While I appreciate the emails I receive with requests to read and review books on careers and leadership, I always decline. Not because I’m not interested in reading them — it’s a simple issue about prioritizing time — because time is money right?
When Dan Schawbel reached out and asked me to read his new book and review it, the calendar was in my favor. I had an upcoming vacation planned and agreed to read and write a post about Promote Yourself. I dove into the book with an open mind and without any expectations. And to be perfectly honest, I expected to find areas of the book that might need a little challenging.
Turns out I was wrong.
Dan hits on valuable topics that you won’t find being taught in schools. And while this book is primarily focused for GenY readers, the downpour of advice in this book is useful for all of us. Here is a small sampling of the topics that stood out for me.
- Perception – How do you control what others think of you? Is social media helping or hurting your reputation? And if you screwed up, there are great tips on how to go into online “damage control” mode.
- Soft skills – What they are, why they’re important and how to learn them. The worthwhile section that addresses the differences between leaders and managers is crucial for GenY to understand, along with the comparison between the traits that executives actually look for in leaders vs. the traits that employees think executives look for in leaders.
- Interpersonal skills and relationships – This was one of my favorite parts because Dan did an excellent job detailing and defining the distinct generations that are currently in the workforce, along with what they believe to be their place at work as well as how they view GenY workers.
It dives deeper with practical and effective resources on ways to handle workplace conflict and having uncomfortable conversations with either managers, executives or coworkers. Knowing how to communicate successfully can make or break any relationship. And isn’t it better to learn how to do this before you have to put it into practice?
- Controlling your own career – Perfectly outlined examples on how to be a “go to” expert at work — being true to yourself and doing what you enjoy while not being perceived as the resident brown noser. All while keeping in mind that you’re more than your job description and the hours (quantity) you work aren’t nearly as critical as the results (quality) you achieve.
I have to point out that Dan is deliberate sending a critical message throughout Promote Yourself stressing to readers that any endeavor you tackle outside of your day job — whether it’s education, external networking activities, etc. — must always come second to doing the job you were hired to do. While going above and beyond your day job means long days and hard work, it also means that it can backfire if you’re neglecting the job you were hired to do.
Dan’s book was logically written and packed with advice. Advice that is realistic and that anyone — especially college grads and GenY workers — can start putting to use right now.
I bought 2 books to give to my own kids.