Career Advice for Modern Women: A Book Review
By Amanda Frank
Monster Contributing Writer
I just read Girl On Top, a risqué take on the world of work from a woman’s perspective by best-selling author Nicole Williams. Just like it says on the cover, Girl On Top is a guide for turning dating rules into career success. It is indeed a smart little amalgam of workplace wisdom for professional women. And it reads like an episode of Sex and the City, or Cosmopolitan for Professionals. Why does this formula work so well?
I think we can all agree dating (pastime) is more fun than working (necessity). Between the excitement of dating and our biological predisposition to find a mate, we tend to be pretty open to relationship advice. Williams takes the psychology of courtship and applies it to the development of your career. When it comes to relationships there’s a law of interaction. Girl On Top teaches you how to maintain the power position in any situation. It’s like the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.
Not Your Mother’s Feminist
Williams is not your mother’s feminist. Hers in an ultra-modern take on feminism, entertainingly drawing a few R-rated parallels to get her point across. Which makes sense since we’re more likely to retain something if it’s interesting, or slightly pornographic.
What’s more motivating for pubescent boys to read, Hardy Boys or Penthouse? Same principal. Girl On Top is a shout out to embrace our distinct female qualities and harness the power we as women possess. The result is some tight advice on how to be the ultimate three-dimensional career woman. What does that mean?
Use what you got, from your mentality down to your sexuality. That’s the most controversial point of the book, throughout which Williams’ carefully draws the fine line between inappropriate and desirable. You’re supposed to use your brain to take advantage of the attraction created by your sexuality, not use actual sex. Relax. It really is all about working hard.
Doubly fun and efficient, the parallels drawn between dating and business relationships mean you’re getting advice that runs both ways. Job interview = first date. Prince Charming = Boss. Sex = Hard Work. Okay maybe I made that one up. Sex = Landing the Deal. Girl On Top takes the overarching and overwhelming concept of “career success” and - stylishly - drills down to its nitty-gritty bare bones so you’ll know what to do, and what you should be wearing when you do it. Ace a meeting. Negotiate a raise. Become an entrepreneur. All this while dispensing very handy dating tips. Like two self-help books rolled into one, geared to girls of all ages and experience levels.
As funny as she is, Williams is a no-nonsense authority with ample experience in life and in business. She’s the founder of WORKS, a successful media and marketing resource that serves young professional women, and her ideas get regular big name print and broadcast coverage.
Girl On Top is an approachable read full of valuable real-world insights for the budding careerist. All the things you shouldn’t do or say. How your older colleagues perceive you. Social networking etiquette i.e. don’t flash your chest on Facebook because your employer is going to see it, them, whatever.
I definitely fall into this category. Even though I’ve been post-grad and in the workforce for some time now (> a decade) there was plenty of fresh insight for me. Girl On Top reads like a humorous conversation (albeit one sided because you are reading a book) of pointers to shake things up in your career. Pure motivation with clear direction. How to read body language. How to wear sexy to work. How to use your womanly wiles to get what you want – ahead.
Esthetics of Career Success
Reading it was a little like sitting down for coffee with my laugh-out-loud funniest female mentor slash girlfriend and getting some great advice on life, work and men. Caffeine buzz and all.
Light in tone, hefty in substance and unadulterated in texture, Girl On Top’s crossbreed of dating and career tips provides some indispensable advice to help you understand your worth, get off your rear end and realize your potential.