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Reviews: Career and Corporate Cool

career_corporate_cover_fina.jpgThink about how many pairs of jeans you have to try on before you find your perfect fit and color. The same is true for self-help books; with as many shapes and sizes that women come in, there are a million times as many personalities and situations that are targeted by self-help books, making it even trickier to find the right “fit for your personal situation.

That said, Rachel Weingarten, author of Career and Corporate Cool, has done an admirable job of writing a book that everyone can stand to learn from. And, listen to Weingarten we should: her own, highly successful career path is proof that the advice she offers works.

She previously worked in the cosmetics industry and as a beauty columnist. Now, Weingarten is regularly quoted in big-name publications such as The New York Times and CNN.com. She is also the founder of the GTK (Good to Know) Marketing Group, a firm that develops and implements brand strategies with a focus on the fashion and entertainment industries.

Although the book makes a few half-hearted references towards a male audience, the cover and tone definitely address females. What was most appealing to me is that the lessons Weingarten teaches are applicable in both professional and personal settings—life lessons, if you will. Her tone is clear and concise with just the right amount of humor (and if the jokes are a bit awkward sometimes, it is more than forgivable).

Her approach targets the entire professional spectrum, from the best way to navigate a snafu in the workplace, to what to wear to a formal event (hint: an LBD, or Little Black Dress, is always appropriate). Unlike many business books out there, Weingarten teaches how to climb the corporate ladder by making improvements to yourself instead of promoting more cutthroat tactics that will leave you with few friends at the end of the day.

Comfortingly, Weingarten makes no efforts to hide her own mistakes; quite frequently, she will use her own past errors as an example of what not to do in a given situation. This is part of what makes the book so successful. Mistakes happen, but it is how you deal with them that really showcase your value. Unlike many self-help or even business books, there are no impossible claims of overnight success here; the strategies are practical and easy to implement while emphasizing the importance of hard work.

One of Weingarten’s key tenets in her business strategy is to never promise a client something that she cannot deliver…something she has carried over to her career as an author. If all of us follow Weingarten’s methods, it’s a sure thing that we will be able to handle any situation that rolls our way with intelligence, poise, and of course, corporate cool.

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