“Nice Girls (still) Don’t Get the Corner Office”

One of my goals for the month of July is to read two career development books. I just finished “Nice Girls Still Don’t get the Corner Office” and have moved on to “Leave your Mark“. As a whole I really wasn’t sure what to expect from “Nice Girls Still Don’t get the Corner Office” (the revised/updated version of “Nice Girls Don’t get the Corner Office”); I just haven’t read many books in this category!


The book was structured as 133 tips for women in the workplace, with each tip serving as a “mini chapter”. ¬†The tips were separated into sub categories “How You Play the Game”, ¬†“How You Act”, “How You Think”, “How You Brand and Market Yourself”, “How You Sound”, “How You Look” and “How You Respond”. The author, Lois P. Frankel is a psychologist who works as a career coach/counselor and utilizes her years of experience working with women as a reference for the book. The emphasis of the book isn’t placed on not being “nice” as the title may imply at face value but rather on not acting like “helpless little girls” in the workplace and rather as the empowered adult women we are!

Overall the book was informative and I would recommend any early twenty-something girl pick it up and give it a quick read/skim. Some of the tips were more applicable to me than others, for instance I definitely need to work on asserting myself and not making statements as weak questions but I’m not concerned about gossiping, grooming in public, wearing inappropriate makeup or treating my boss as a father figure. I read the book in its entirety but for anyone with time constraints you could easily skip around to the chapters you feel most apply to you and the book would still completely make sense.


My biggest “issue” with the book was less with about the book and more about society as a whole. The author does state that she is NOT writing tips for how she wants women to have to behave in the workplace but rather how to thrive given how the workplace currently is. Basically there are a lot of gender inequalities in the workplace and the author doesn’t necessarily try to fight those but rather shows readers how to climb the corporate ladder despite gender inequality. For me this aspect of the book kept upsetting me. There was a chapter on wearing makeup and it essentially encouraged women to start wearing makeup even if they don’t already because women are expected to look put together and in society that means wearing makeup. For me this tip though completely valid was a major source of contention. I wear makeup, I like makeup but I do not believe it is in any way a woman’s obligation to wear makeup. It upsets me that woman must put time and energy into her makeup to be taken seriously at work when men are not asked to do the same thing.¬†Essentially the author did a good job of addressing the reality of the world but that doesn’t change that my idealist nature has a few issues with the way the world works.

I found the most informative tips revolved around assertiveness and straight forward communication. I have a tendency to frame my ideas as questions (bad), second guess my opinion (also bad), ramble when I should be concise (bad bad bad) and apologize about every little thing (potentially the worst). The book really opened my eyes to how weak and “girl-ish” (therefore immature and unprofessional) I probably sound. Being assertive doesn’t mean being impolite, it means speaking with confidence which I think we can all agree is vital for success.


I’m excited to finish “Leave your Mark” and hopefully compare the two books (not that it’s a competition). I usually read fiction so it has been thought provoking to switch it up with a few career development books.

Have you read any fantastic career development books? Do you have any suggestions for me?

  1. These sound like great books for career development! I don’t think that I’ve read any books on that subject yet, but before going to college a few years ago I did read several “everything you need to know about college” books. Like your thoughts on this book, some of the topics in those books I agreed with a lot (and found helpful once I got to school!), but some I disagreed with.

    xoxo A

  2. I read “Lean In” which wasn’t necessarily a career development book, but it was interesting to hear perspectives from a woman so high up in a company. I’ve always wanted to read “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office”, but just haven’t yet. I’ve also heard good things about “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I’m curious what you think of “Leave Your Mark” – I hadn’t even heard of that book until you mentioned it!

  3. I have such a problem with some of the current corporate cultures. I’m hoping to work for a strong female who is willing to empower others! I’m interning for someone like that now, and I learn something new everyday! I might still read this book.

  4. Leave Your Mark is definitely on my reading list. If you haven’t read it already #Girlboss is a must read. I am currently going to be reading Quiet because a big introvert. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

  5. This sounds like an excellent book for young professionals. I am definitely adding this to my list and might just bump it up to be next. Thanks for sharing- I can’t wait to check it out for myself.

  6. I just ordered this book & got it in the mail yesterday! I can’t wait to start reading it. I’m trying to read more books like this as I’m trying to advance in my career. I also bout Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich and Lean In so I’ll hopefully be reading those soon too.

  7. This book definitely sounds like a great book to get into. I always have a hard time finishing nonfiction books, and that is something I would definitely like to work on. I will definitely have to look up the book mentioned here!

  8. I haven’t read any career development books, but I definitely wouldn’t mind picking one up! I’m curious to hear your review on Leave Your Mark as that’s the one I’ve been thinking of reading!

  9. I cannot wait for your review of ‘Leave Your Mark,’ it’s been on my reading list forever! Gender inequality still makes me pretty angry in the workplace too, so I’ll need to check out ‘Nice Girls’ ASAP and educate myself a bit more on the topic.

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise

  10. I really enjoyed your review of this book! I am on a “self help” book kick right now, as well. I’m working on Leave Your Mark, but I am working through it very slowly because I’m in a weird state right now, and sometimes I just cry when I read it. (What is wrong with me?!)

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  11. Oh I totally want to pick up this book now!!

    One thing I’ve been trying to do lately, that I picked up from a Business Insider article, is to stop saying “Just” in my emails for work. I have a bad habit of emailing journalists or clients and saying “I just wanted to follow-up” or “Just checking in.” I’ve noticed since I’ve dropped the ‘just’ I sound far more confident and my response rates are improving. It shows confidence, but I’m still being polite :)

  12. Pingback: Should you Read it? Leave Your Mark | The Fairy Princess Diaries

  13. Ugh, you are so right and this (and women’s issues) is a big passion of mine and a discussion needed to be had. I’m never assertive enough and also question my opinions. I’ve even found myself saying at work “i know this might be a horrible idea, but…” before stating my idea which is usually one taken well! We have to be confident!

    x Sarah