We’re sisters (or brothers) from different misters (or mothers)!

I’m just like you. I grew up in a family with parents who knew nothing about office politics (one was a doctor and the other a teacher). I dove head-first into New York’s competitive working world without one piece of know-how or understanding how office culture can affect performance. I didn’t know how to “manage” other people, how to ask for a raise or how to ward off negative people who wanted my coveted job. Eventually, I got the hang of it and lots of girls starting asking me what do about their office dilemma. I was only too happy to share my experiences and opinions. People liked what I had to say, and did I mention I wrote well?

How do and did I know? Well, truth is, I failed. I succeeded. I was fired. I fired people. I hired people and other people hired me and…I write well. I have been working (and earning money) since I was 8.

I was a young suburban know-nothing girl who rose from a twenty-something know-nothing to a top-level player for Big Important Media Companies by the time I hit my 30s. And guess what? You can do it, too regardless of where you are in your professional cycle. 

 

The Chat and Hum Project

Hey there! Welcome to Chat and Hum community, where we’re going to chat about everything young women like you are humming about. But why am leading the chatting and humming? Here’s the backstory…

I co-wrote this fabulous book, The Big Sister’s Guide to the World of Work: The Inside Rules Every Working Girl Must Know, and Simon & Schuster published it in 2005. The book proposal was bought by Simon & Schuster one week after we submitted it, and the day S&S editor, Doris Cooper, called our agent to say it was the best book proposal she had ever read in her career goes down as the best day of my life! (Visualize: A woman jumping up and down with hands over mouth and eyes WIDE open then reaching in the air with both hands. Damn, I was happy). Ultimately, every single word in that book was written exactly as it was meant to be delivered. It took a full year to write and we started just one week after giving birth to my son, Ethan. Oh yeah, baby.

The book was written to help smart people like Y-O-U navigate the work world. I spoke to many corporations and women’s groups and was interviewed many times. It is still an amazing book packed with key information and recommendations that can help anyone get their reputation in order, work well with co-workers, navigate the bad behaviors that keep women back, and develop a long term plan to ensure you are actually productive and HAPPY at work. (Yes, you really can be happy in the workplace.)

Simon & Schuster promoted the book on the Jumbotron in Times Square. We received a Starred Review by Publisher’s Weekly and were featured in magazines and newspapers like Elle, USA Today, Miami Herald and The New York Times. I was featured on radio and TV shows and a million websites. Major companies (think Kraft, Simon & Schuster and Viacom) asked me to speak about office politics. I spoke from coast to coase for women’s business groups, colleges and universities, and even my beloved sorority, Delta Gamma.

We rocked and I have to say, I thought I was going to be starting a women’s movement, be a star, and buy a new car.

Here’s what I know (and sometimes I learned the hard way).

It was painful.
It didn’t HAVE to be as painful as I made it.
I worked harder than sweatshop girls.
I didn’t have to work as hard as I did.
I took risks.
I could have taken even more risks.
If I can manage to maneuver my way into several dream jobs, you can, too.