Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Former Cosmo editor offers more advice for gutsy girls
Women no longer have to flip through pages and pages of perfume ads and risqué magazine articles advising them how best to make their man moan when all they really want to read is some bold and flirty career advice.
Kate White, who this month stepped down after 14 years as editor-in-chief of New York-based Cosmopolitan magazine, has spent the last decade penning a series of mystery novels. Now she returns to her non-fiction roots with a followup to her 1996 bestseller, Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead But Gutsy Girls Do.
I Shouldn't Be Telling You This is another career advice book, again aimed at the "gutsy girl" crowd. This time, though, the women she's targeting are more established in their careers. Perhaps they have a couple of people reporting to them, and they likely have a stack of recent Cosmos on their nightstands.
White understands her target audience well and wastes no time in assuring her readers they can still be sexy while succeeding in the workplace. "From years spent writing cover lines for Cosmopolitan," she writes, "I've learned to be pretty frank!"
As if to illustrate this point, she sprinkles in titillating Cosmo cover lines, like "Mattress moves so hot his thighs will burst into flames." She writes that she was inspired when "I once heard Helen Gurley Brown [former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan] say that she loved to go home at the end of a challenging workday and sniff the panties she'd been wearing."
In fact, before readers even finish the introduction, they'll have already come across the word "panties" three times.
So it comes as a small surprise that White gives equal weight to the importance of being on time for work as she does to the value of having your eyebrows professionally shaped and pencilling them every day. (She recommends a Shobha eye pencil -- "It's a fantastic tool.")
Style tips and dress code are an expected and necessary part of any career advice guide. But White may cause some beautifully shaped Prairie eyebrows to rise when she declares, "Do not wear a puffer coat to work in winter." Born and raised in New York, she has obviously never commuted in -40 C.
White does work to ensure her readers understand just how very cosmopolitan her life is: from the chick-flicky moment when a colleague suddenly took her in his arms and kissed her passionately, declaring he'd wanted to do that for a long time, to the day she personally sweet-talked Lady Gaga's publicist into getting the singer on the cover of Cosmo.
But then she seems overly proud of using the phrase "go big or go home," which is now so clichéd it has become passé. Name-dropping Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian does little to prove she's still got her finger on the pulse.
She's a motivating writer, though, and her advice -- while not groundbreaking -- is presented in an exciting and concise way.
She liberally cites the many experts and other successful women she's met through the course of her work as a women's magazine editor.
For serious job seekers looking for solid career advice, there's little here that couldn't be found in any other career guide -- except perhaps the occasional name drop of a Kardashian or Clooney.
But for those self-proclaimed gutsy girls who appreciate anecdotes from the exciting life of a New York fashion magazine editor while picking up tips on dress code, confidence, work-life balance and dealing with the you-know-what in the next cubicle, White delivers a light, fun and easy-to-read how-to guide.
With your career now ready to blaze a fiery trail through the corporate world, it'll then be an easy transition back to finish reading that article on setting his thighs aflame.
Jennifer Ryan is a Winnipeg writer and gutsy career girl.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 6, 2012 J9
(1 of 23 articles for this week)