I am recruiting and hiring employees who were born when I was in high school. Never thought I'd see the day, but yes, here it is, here they are and here I am fortunate enough to interact with them every day. And I am loving it. I am lucky enough to have an awesome HR intern fresh out of law school, a student from the local technical college gaining work experience while finishing her degree and one or two staff members under the age of 30. They are young and they have ideas different than my own. They bring a fresh energy and perspective to what we do each day.
I am interested in work life from the perspective of younger workers and I am interested in new perspectives on every day work life issues to ponder to help me to break out of this rut I think I am in. Well, I found both in Penelope Trunk's new book, Brazen Careerist.
The chapters and rules I enjoyed the most are:
Do Your Own Work Last. Rule # 17 provides advice to new managers to help them avoid the typical pitfalls and not be a general nightmare to work for. Could probably use this advice for some experienced managers as well for a little grounding :)
Playing Office Politics and Other Acts of Kindness chapter actually puts a positive spin on one thing many people dread. Penelope expands on this thought in her Nine Biggest Workplace Myths when she states in Myth # 4 (which I absolutely love!):
Office politics is about backstabbing.
The people who are most effective at office politics are people who are genuinely nice. Office politics is about helping people to get what they want. This means you have to take the time to figure out what someone cares about, and then think about how you can help him or her to get it. You need to always have your ears open for when you can help. If you do this, you don’t have to strong arm people or manipulate them. Your authentic caring will inspire people to help you when you need it.
Don't Be the Hardest Worker chapter supports a "happy medium in order to perform the best" and taking the time to think and the chapter that follows, Getting a Promotion is so Last Century, really hit home for me. This chapter validated much of my recent thoughts as I weigh out my devotion to my family with career advancement, and conversations about mommy tracks, reentry in to a workforce if one should decide to step off the fast track, yada, yada.
I do have to say that Rule #28, Use Harassment to Boost Your Career , caught my interest from an HR perspective but I soon realized after reading Penelope's example that I did just that, rather successfully, as a female Army officer in a predominately male maintenance battalion. HR hat back on again, I am here to help and when you find that you cannot rein it in yourself, please come see me.
Brazen Careerist is a quick read, packed with tons of fresh ideas. I recommend it highly!