Book Review: Roundup of Women’s Career Books
From time-to-time, as we receive career-related and job-hunting books and other resources from publishers, the staff of Quintessential Careers will review them to help you make better decisions about the best books to use in your career and job search.
Careerpreneurs: Lessons from Leading Women Entrepreneurs on Building a Career Without Boundaries by Dorothy Perrin Moore, $28.95, 198 pages. Hardcover, Davies-Black Publishing; ISBN: 0891061444
This gem of a book deals with some of the how-to’s women can use to start their own businesses, but the main thrust concerns determining your entrepreneurial type and readiness while preparing you to be your own boss. Loaded with quotes and anecdotes from and about successful woman entrepreneurs, self-assessment exercises, and checklists, Moore’s book is not just for the would-be entrepreneur, but also for women who want to use entrepreneurial approaches to traditional career success.
Moore presents chapters on using organizations such as corporations to incubate talents, networking, new leadership styles, negotiation skills, and some of the basics of starting a business.
Successful Woman’s Guide to Working Smart: Ten Strengths That Matter Most by Caitlin Williams, $20.95, 270 pages. Paperback, Davies-Black Pub; ISBN: 0891061568
Another must-have volume for women who want to advance, Williams’ book, like Moore’s, is chock-full of exercises, activities, anecdotes, and bulleted lists of strategies and suggestions. Williams’ 10 strategies focus on confidence, self-reliance; planfulness and initiative; knowledge, skills, and learning; interpersonal competence; flexibility and savvy; balance; coping and self-care; awareness of opportunities; and creativity and leadership. Each chapter is summarized with a list of strategies and suggestions.
Winning Roles for Career-Minded Women: Understanding the Roles We Learned as Girls and How to Change Them For Success at Work, by Binnie Shusman Kafrissen, Fran Shusman, Joanna Smith Bers, $17.95, 172 pages. Paperback, Davies-Black Publishing; ISBN: 0891061460
As the title suggests, the premise of this book is that the roles women learn in childhood often determine the roles they will play in their careers — and how those roles can be changed into more successful patterns. The names the authors give to these roles include Peacekeeper, Maverick, Pleaser, Caregiver, Survivor, and Entrepreneur. The authors provide character summaries for each role, role comparisons, and suggestions for what each role should stop doing, start doing, and continue doing for success. Like the foregoing books, this one offers lots of helpful exercises, quotes, and strategies. This book will probably be of greatest interest to those who are curious about the underlying psychological issues that affect how women succeed or fail in the workplace.
Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Women in Business, by Linda Brakeall, Anna Wildermuth, $24.95, 336 pages. Paperback, Hawthorne Press; ISBN: 0971020906
By far the most superficial of the books for women we reviewed, this book is a busy, dizzying jumble of divergent type sizes and fonts, huge subheads, and sloppy misspellings of people’s names, including one on the front cover. It’s not that the book’s message isn’t important; it’s just that it’s not on quite the same level as the other books in this review. A significant portion of the content is devoted to professional image, attire, makeup, and business etiquette. We found the last several chapters to be the most valuable, although they’re not especially gender-specific. Containing lots of useful suggestions, these chapters deal with business communication, presentation skills, and applying sales-presentation techniques to various situations, such as job interviews.
Advancing Women in Business-The Catalyst Guide: Best Practices from the Corporate Leaders, by Catalyst, $26.00, 256 pages. Hardcover, Jossey-Bass; ISBN: 0787939668
Advancing Women in Business is a painstakingly detailed guide that leaves no stone unturned in telling women about the value of internal networking groups within the companies they work for. These details are modeled after the “best practices” of successful internal women’s networks, some of which have won the Catalyst Award, which “honors the innovative approaches companies take to address women’s recruitment, development, and advancement.” Full of charts, lists, and profiles, Advancing Women in Business notes that internal networks can address a variety of issues that women face in the workforce, including, women’s advancement, work-life practices, gender awareness training, and safety training. The book profiles a number of successful networks in depth.
Creating Women’s Networks: A How-To Guide for Women and Companies, by Catalyst, Sheila Wellington, $28.95, 208 pages. Hardcover, Jossey-Bass; ISBN: 0787940143
Although somewhat more targeted to corporations than individual women, Creating Women’s Networks expands on the themes of Advancing Women in Business. Where Advancing Women in Business describes best practices of successful internal women’s networks, Creating Women’s Networks offers a nitty-gritty how-to guide for establishing a network within your own company, again providing countless charts, checklists, anecdotes and quotes.
Check out all our book reviews in Quintessential Reading: Career and Job Book Reviews.