Book Review: Brazen Careerist Gives Advice on Hacking Corporate Culture

Penelope Trunk helped convince me to take my current job at Wired News, and it was great advice — I love my job. As my friend, her advice is supportive, sympathetic, frank, and cuts through the crap: Just what you wish all of your friends’ advice would be like.

As a writer, she delivers career advice with the same directness and practicality. Trunk’s new book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success seems positioned as a sort of career guide for twenty-somethings, but it’s equally applicable to mid-career professionals, career-changers, wannabe entrepreneurs, and even high school students embarking on their first summer jobs. With entertainingly counterintuitive chapter headings (“Do your own work last,” “Don’t be supportive,” “Use harassment to boost your career”) and brief, well-written anecdotes, Brazen Careerist is like a cookbook for hacking the corporate work world. Its main shortcoming is that its advice might seem a little obvious to more experienced veterans of the job world. But then, even I needed someone to tell me the blindingly obvious fact that I needed to take this job.

WIRED Covers the whole gamut of work, from resume writing to first-time managing to starting your own company. Advice reflects corporate reality, not wishful thinking. Engaging, illustrative anecdotes.

TIRED Emphasis on the importance of being “likeable” and “authentic” could turn a generation of workers into glad-handing fakes. Doesn’t harsh on Baby Boomers quite enough.

$23, penelopetrunk.com
*******— (7 out of 10)

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Book Review: Brazen Careerist Gives Advice on Hacking Corporate Culture