The Brazen Careerist

Good management: Take every chance to tout successes
Published on Dec 22nd, 2011
0 comments I got a book deal. I got a big advance for it– big enough to buy a nice house and big enough to stop fights with my husband about money.Yet for all my recent success, someone recently asked me...
The waiting game: Don't waste the time-- fill it up!
Published on Dec 8th, 2011
0 comments In general, I’m not a big fan of waiting. But I have found that the art of waiting is to do it actively. The more action you can take, the more you feel like you're in control of your life....for a...
Dolt rules: Learn these lessons from 'career idiots'
Published on Dec 8th, 2011
0 comments I rarely interview anyone for this column. Most of my sources are family and friends. But lately I’ve had to interview strangers. I usually don’t like to trash people I interview, but I’m at my...
Suffer stupidity: Even dummies can prove useful
Published on Dec 1st, 2011
0 comments One of the most common gripes I hear from corporate complainers is that they’re surrounded by people who see the world incorrectly. Sometimes it’s the accountant who works for a CEO who doesn’t...
Get creative: Use bad times to spark genius
Published on Nov 24th, 2011
0 comments I’ve found that bad situations get creative juices flowing. And I’ve come to appreciate the bad times; they give us unique opportunities to find our best ideas. Here are some situations to keep an...
Say no: Work fewer hours yet get more done
Published on Nov 17th, 2011
0 comments It’s possible to work fewer hours without hurting your career, but you need to get serious about changing how you approach your work. First, don't blame your long hours on your boss, your CEO, or...
Straighten up: A messy desk tells your whole story
Published on Nov 10th, 2011
0 comments Here's a way to kill your career: Have a messy office. These are things that people with messy offices say: My work gets done; I know where everything is; people are too concerned about appearances....
Internships: Start your summer search now
Published on Nov 3rd, 2011
0 comments Students who want a job or internship in June need to start looking in the winter. Those who wait until spring to search set themselves up to be bottom feeders in the job market. The hardest part of...
Go to bed: Enough sleep is crucial for success
Published on Oct 27th, 2011
0 comments Even though you know you need eight hours of sleep a night, you probably sleep much less than that. Me, too. After a recent all-nighter baking for my son’s birthday party, I told myself I would never...
Management 101: Handle your conflict, your staff, your life
Published on Oct 20th, 2011
0 comments All managers have one shared goal: get a promotion. But many times, a manager's job is so multifaceted and detail-laden that the manager loses sight of that big picture. Here are five jobs of a...
Blame yourself: First look inside for source of trouble
Published on Oct 13th, 2011
0 comments Even though I rarely report about the letters I receive from readers, I do receive many. Almost all are thoughtful and intelligent, and the mail influences what I write about. Many times I answer...
Not Jewish? Spend a day in reflection anyway
Published on Oct 6th, 2011
0 comments The Jewish highlight of my life was probably Hebrew school, when I honed my ditching skills at the ice-cream store down the street from the synagogue. The reward for my Jewish education was my bat...
Quit, write, clean up: Penelope answers readers' questions
Published on Sep 29th, 2011
0 comments It's the Penelope Trunk Q&A column. I like to think my columns answer the questions that people don't ask but should. But today I'll answer the questions that people actually do ask. Most popular...
Barnyard basics: Life lessons from a chicken farm
Published on Sep 22nd, 2011
0 comments One summer, when I found myself with no job and no plan, I panicked and took a job on a chicken farm in the French countryside. I told myself the job would look good on my resume– showing I’m...
Uncovered: Negotiate insurance as part of salary
Published on Sep 15th, 2011
0 comments We knew a year in advance when my husband's job would end. So he conducted a typical job hunt for a while, but his searching went into overdrive when we found out that our insurance payments (COBRA)...
A lot or a little: It's all the same when you're stalling
Published on Sep 8th, 2011
0 comments There are two ways to not get something done: doing a lot and doing nothing. The trick to getting your list of tasks done is to understand your method of not doing them.Everyone I know has something...
Read the writing: Penmanship can reveal deep truths
Published on Sep 1st, 2011
0 comments Handwriting analysis is no longer for freaks and psychics. Multinational companies hire handwriting analysts to understand personality traits of prospective job candidates. Character traits that...
Less is more: Keep writing short and simple
Published on Aug 25th, 2011
0 comments Almost one-third of workers do not meet the writing requirements of their positions, according to a survey by the College Board's National Commission on Writing.Before any of you get smug with your...
Line up: Gals, skip those support staff spots
Published on Aug 18th, 2011
0 comments It's time for a new approach to squelching the gender wage gap and getting more women into senior management.For one thing, today's wage gap doesn't begin until women are in the middle of their...
Networking: Do it even if you hate it
Published on Aug 11th, 2011
0 comments I met a not-friend at a restaurant. I was networking, because this is what you must do to further your career. Even if you hate it, you have to do it.We discussed segmented marketing. For example, we...
Uncovered: Make your intro letter get the job!
Published on Jul 28th, 2011
0 comments Most cover letters are to people you don't know, so stop referring to them as cover letters; they are sales letters. You’re trying to sell yourself to a stranger.Think about this letter in terms of...
Take a risk: Bid family bye, try something new
Published on Jul 21st, 2011
0 comments For too many people, staying in the family business is the easy way to worm out of difficulties of adult life: finding a place where you fit in, discovering what you love to do, and living with the...
Bad boss: He still has something to teach you
Published on Jul 14th, 2011
0 comments My favorite example of a bad boss is one I had at a software company who refused to learn how to use a computer. I often played the role of secretary even though I was a vice president. He once said...
Half full: $40,000 is really all you need
Published on Jul 7th, 2011
0 comments Looking for happiness through financial success? Wondering what the magic number is? It's $40,000. Really. So technically, most of you should be happy. And if you're working for the next big raise,...
No regrets: Hiring older workers can pay off
Published on Jun 30th, 2011
0 comments If my mom were telling you her life story, she would begin with her dad suffering a stroke when she was very little and having to grow up with no money. Despite her humble beginnings, my mom's career...
You're fired! Learn from this valuable phrase
Published on Jun 23rd, 2011
0 comments Maybe you have never been fired. I sure have– more often than I care to remember– and I can assure you that, while the moment may be humbling, the experience has always been educational....
It's only $10: Hire an assistant for the scutwork
Published on Jun 16th, 2011
0 comments Your to-do list is dragging you down. Why do tasks that don't inherently enhance the quality of your life when you could pay someone $10 an hour to do them?I learned this when my boss and I had our...
Sporting chance: Set a flexible goal and stick to it
Published on Jun 9th, 2011
0 comments Watching professional sports is inspirational if you need a kick in the pants to set high goals for yourself, but the trick is not to make goals so lofty that you make yourself sick.Having finished...
Career change: Plan carefully before making a leap
Published on Jun 2nd, 2011
0 comments In this kind of economic climate, many people have been forced to or are planning to change careers. For readers considering a change, here’s a plan to follow: Step 1. Soul search. Consider all...
E-mail intelligence: Watch how you come across in messages
Published on May 26th, 2011
0 comments I remember when I met my boss face to face for the first time. I'd been working with him for more than two years– via phone and e-mail. I had never seen him, but I had a general idea of what he...