I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know

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Kate White—New York Times bestselling author, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan for fourteen years, and motivational speaker—shares her gutsy secrets to success in this witty, straight-talking new career guide for women.

Whether you've just settled into your first work cubicle and have no clue how to go after the success you crave, or you've already got a sweet little office but you aren't sure how to take your career to the next level, I Shouldn't Be Telling You This gives you ...

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I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know

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Kate White—New York Times bestselling author, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan for fourteen years, and motivational speaker—shares her gutsy secrets to success in this witty, straight-talking new career guide for women.

Whether you've just settled into your first work cubicle and have no clue how to go after the success you crave, or you've already got a sweet little office but you aren't sure how to take your career to the next level, I Shouldn't Be Telling You This gives you all the secrets you need to become a success, go big with it, and then savor every second. It is jam-packed with insider strategies, interviews with women at the top of their game, and Kate's advice from her own career running five major magazines (including one of the bestselling women's magazines in the world, Cosmopolitan). She hows you how to break out of the pack, master the learning curve, make bold moves, and, ultimately, have the career you've always lusted for!

Kate shares five secrets every woman needs to know—how to:

• Land a Job You're Truly Passionate About
• Use "Bitch Envy" to Your Advantage
• Radiate Confidence and Get Buzzed About (Without Worrying What Other People Think)
• Ask for the Money You Want—and Get It
• Manage Your Career and Not Just Your Job (It's a Whole Different Ball Game!)

But more than anything, Kate says, you have to go big or go home—do what's unexpected and always keep your career trajectory in mind. It might be tackling a project that no one else is taking on and nailing it—then making sure your boss knows it. Or it might be developing a "golden gut" that will help you to break the rules the right way, so you always end up shining. In I Shouldn't Be Telling You This, Kate White shares the kinds of secrets no boss is ever likely to spill—all with her irreverent wit and candid style. You'll come away with the know-how you need—and you'll feel as though you've just gotten up from a fabulously dishy lunch!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It will come as no surprise that White, the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, would write a career guide that’s lively, funny, and rife with quick-read tips. White, author of Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead, but Gutsy Girls Do and “eight mysteries and thrillers,” chronicles her move up the ranks of the magazine world, aiming to help women at all stages of their career. She runs through the essentials of managing your success and making sure your success actually, in the long run, makes you happy. Through stories of her magazine jobs, she proffers advice on networking, interviewing, handling gossip, learning to take credit when it’s due, assembling a personal board of directors rather than a mentor, making good hiring decisions, and learning how to radiate power. White’s enthusiasm and verve combine with tales of challenges and successes from a fascinating career. This as well as stories of celebrities and successful women make the book an energetic, inspiring career memoir. Agent: Sandra Dijkstra. (Sept.)
New York Journal of Books
“I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This packs a powerful punch: Ms. White covers every possible topic the up-and-coming female executive will need to tuck into her Prada portfolio. This book should be on every career-minded woman’s bookshelf dog-eared and well read.”
Fast Company
I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This is packed with practical lessons she’s learned over a long tenure as a leader.”
Claire Shipman
“This is NOT your mother’s plodding, nose-to-the-grindstone, put-on-a-power-suit career guide. Kate White gives us her witty and wise secret sauce to fast-tracking your career, thinking big, having fun, getting the money you deserve—all while pursuing your passion.”
Mika Brzezinski
“Kate’s fierce courage and determination make this book a witty, fun, and refreshingly blunt read for career women-teachers and CEOs alike!”
Reader's Digest
“White’s advice is smart and pithy-and maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this, but guys can get plenty from this book, too.”
Library Journal
Here's what White is doing when she's not at her desk as editor in chief of Cosmopolitan or writing best sellers like the Bailey Weggins mystery series: she's writing a career guide for women aiming to make it in today's tumultuous business world. With a 40,000-copy first printing and lots of publicity through social media.
Kirkus Reviews
In this follow-up to her bestseller Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead…but Gutsy Girls Do (1996), Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief White (The Sixes, 2011, etc.) offers straight-shooting career advice to women at all stages of their professional lives. In the first section of the book, the author discusses how to gain a foothold in the workplace and includes advice on everything from how to get a job and manage projects to developing "a golden gut" to read work situations beyond a surface level. As White sees it, success isn't just about doing things right and "dazzling your boss." It's also about knowing how to survive, and thrive, in sometimes-hostile environments and unapologetically grab for the opportunities and sponsors (rather than mentors) that can make a real difference. White then turns her attention to what to do after a career begins to gather momentum. The first thing is to become "focused, fierce and steadfast." This means learning how to own power and the responsibilities that come with it and understanding that personal confidence can ebb as well as flow. The key is to be self-aware and open to all possibilities for continued growth and development as a leader. But success only goes so far. In the last section, which is unfortunately the shortest, White discusses how to enjoy being at the top. She offers tips for time management, including ways to handle maternity leave. White's portrait of a highly structured, tightly scheduled life may not appeal to all readers, but her advice is useful and delightfully no-nonsense. A smart, savvy guide for working women looking to climb the professional ladder and maintain positions of power.
USA Today

“In this self-help tome, Cosmo’s former editor in chief combines the story of her own career path with interviews and research to impart sensible lessons about getting ahead in the world while still having a personal life…Whether you are a just-hatched college grad or a sacred elder in need of an occupational overhaul, Kate White can help.””

From the Publisher
"...lively, funny, and rife with quick-read tips...an energetic, inspiring career memoir." - Publishers Weekly
"...straight-shooting career advice [for] women at all stages of their professional lives. ...A smart, savvy guide for working women looking to climb the professional ladder and maintain positions of power." - Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062122124
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 941,804
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate White

Kate White, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, is the New York Times bestselling author of the stand-alone novels Hush and The Sixes and the Bailey Weggins mystery series. She is also the author of popular career books for women, including I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve. She lives in New York City.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
    2. Place of Birth:
      Glens Falls, New York
    1. Education:
      Union College, 1972
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

I Shouldn't Be Telling You This

By Kate White

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Kate White
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-212212-4



{Rule #1: Go Big or Go Home}

I once heard someone famous say that what separates successful people from the unsuccessful ones is their willingness to work really, really hard. Sure, hard work is part of the equation, and so are well-honed skills. And in certain cases, success is even somewhat about the people you know. But I think those factors get you only so far. From what I've seen again and again, success is most often the result of doing the bold extra something that no one else has thought of or dared to try.

I call it the go-big-or-go-home strategy. And before I even talk about the ins and outs of gaining your first career successes, I need to stress the importance of going big. It's a strategy you need to use now and during every other stage of your career.

You've heard the phrase "go big or go home," right? My first encounter with it was about five or six years ago. A young staffer used it when she was talking about her plans for Saturday night. What she meant was that if she wasn't willing to give the whole night an extra push - with her outfit, her hair, her makeup, her attitude - she should bag the entire thing.

I secretly co-opted that phrase for everything I did in the next years at Cosmo. The magazine is geared toward fun, fearless females, and from the moment I arrived I tried to factor that into my approach. But I liked having a specific mantra to work with. With every photo, article, and cover line I began to ask myself: did I go big or go home with it? If the answer was that I went home, I gave myself a swift kick in the butt and rethought what I was doing. Soon I began using that mantra in other parts of my life. And as I thought about it, I realized that most of my successes - and the successes of women I knew - always involved going big. Doing a job well is not enough. The key is to do more than what's expected, power it up, go balls to the wall.

Going big doesn't always have to involve some huge undertaking. You can go big in key little ways, too. Here's a sampling of how I've used the strategy in my own career.

When I was up for my first big job - as editor in chief of Child Magazine - the headhunter mentioned that the magazine was looking for someone who was "mediagenic." So right before my first interview, I had my hair professionally blown out and styled. And I swear that my long, flowing, "mediagenic" locks helped me land the job.

When I shot a cover of Pierce Brosnan, his partner, Keely Shaye Smith, and their newborn for Redbook, they asked the photographer to take a few pictures of the baby breast feeding for them to keep personally. But when I saw those photos, I decided, with the couple's permission, to run one as the cover image. That photo literally became news around the world.

When one of my top staffers at a magazine resigned to take another job, I didn't just graciously (or grumpily) accept her resignation. I wrote a memo called "Ten Reasons You Shouldn't Leave" and left it on her chair. She decided to turn down the offer and stay.

You'll see the "going big" theme running through everything I talk about in this section, as well as the rest of the book. You may be just beginning in a particular job or field, but in order to score your first major successes, you're going to have to go big - with your job search, the interviewing process, your early career moves, everything. In this world of the supersized, going big is, in fact, probably more important now than ever. Everything seems to be bolder and even more badass. When Cosmo interviewed Pink after the birth of her daughter, she told us she was going to get back into the game full throttle. "I want my album to be really great, and I want to do an amazing tour. I'm going to up the ante, even if it means covering myself in Velcro, lighting myself on fire, and shooting myself out of a cannon. I'll do that, no prob."

I'm not suggesting you shoot yourself out of a cannon, but you need to push the envelope these days.

You have to be strategic, though, and assess your surroundings first. If you're in a new job, how much (from what you can tell) will your new work culture welcome the big idea, the bold new strategy? How much will your boss welcome it? What kind of big ideas is your boss likely to be receptive to? Good bosses will respond positively and love you for it.

A small warning: when you go big, whether it's early in your career or later, there will be people wishing you had gone home instead. Perhaps you're pulling off a feat someone else wishes she'd thought of or you're infringing on her turf - at least in her own mind. Or maybe one of your accomplishments has necessitated a change in someone else's daily work MO and that person now has to take care of business each morning rather than spending an hour nibbling on his blueberry muffin. You may end up with a few haters. Regardless, you can't get caught up in worrying about whether everyone you work with likes you. Ultimately you want the respect of your coworkers, but you don't need them to be your buddies. No one says this better than Mika Brzezinski, the cohost of MSNBC's Morning Joe, whom I asked to write a work column for Cosmo.

"Look, it took me twenty-five years in television news and writing two books to realize that it doesn't matter if everyone adores me," she says. "Being liked is what women strive for. But when you make that mistake, it diverts your attention from more important tasks at hand."

So go big, love the thrill of it and the prizes it brings, but know that when you make a big move, it creates a big breeze, and that can sometimes ruffle feathers.

Excerpted from I Shouldn't Be Telling You This by Kate White. Copyright © 2012 by Kate White. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    If you work (or are looking to), this book is for you

    This book is full of pertinent, helpful tips on how your behavior can lead to success in your job. Reading the examples Kate White gives, it's easy to see if you're on the right track -- or not. The writing is easy and informal; the advice is crucial.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    I wish I had read this after high school!

    A great self confidence booster.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Great wake-up call!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

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    Posted April 28, 2013

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    Posted March 14, 2013

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