Book review: Brazen Careerist: New Rules For Success

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Gen-Y'ers are in the midst of the toughest job market in recent memory: And we have an outlook and set of priorities that makes many of the old rules for career success outdated and irrelevant.

Enter professional volleyball player-turned-software-executive-turned-career expert Penelope Trunk and her 2007 book Brazen Careerist: The New Rules For Success.

Trunk offers a compact career guidebook for young people -- although much of the advice is great for Baby Boomers too -- in the form of "45 New Rules For Success." Young people will learn the do's and don'ts of successful emailing, how to deal with sexual harassment, work-life balance and work-life balance. The book is sprinkled with anecdotes from Ms. Trunk's own work experiences and references to fascinating academic research.


Much of the advice is counter-intuitive and successful, but occasionally it falls flat: Rule #37 is "Don't be the hardest worker" but I'm not convinced. She uses that hook to make a valuable point about the importance of taking time to think big thoughts but still: Young people need to know that success without extremely hard work and sacrifice is unlikely. But this crotchety gripe aside, there is some great stuff in Brazen Careerist that you won't find anywhere else.

If you know a college senior who will be needing a job in another month, there are two books you absolutely must buy for him or her: Brazen Careerist and Lindsey Pollak's Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World.

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