I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know

I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know

by Kate White

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New York Times bestselling author Kate White is the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, the #1 young women’s magazine in the world, and a hugely successful businesswoman. In I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, she shares her secrets to success. A witty, wise, straight-talking career guide for women, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This is the perfect book for the current economic climate, whether you’re just starting out, re-entering the workforce after maternity leave, or simply looking for a career change; essential tips and bold strategies from a gutsy innovator who helped increase Cosmo’s circulation by half a million copies per month.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062122117
Publisher: Harper Business
Publication date: 09/18/2012
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
File size: 553 KB

About the Author

Kate White is the New York Times bestselling author of eight standalone psychological thrillers, including Have You Seen Me? (2020) and the upcoming The Fiancée (June 2021), as well as eight Bailey Weggins mysteries, including Such a Perfect Wife, which was nominated for an International Thriller Writers Award. Kate, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, is also the author of several popular career books for women, including I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve and Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead, as well the editor of the Anthony and Agatha Award-nominated The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. 


New York, New York

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Glens Falls, New York


Union College, 1972

Read an Excerpt

I Shouldn't Be Telling You This

By Kate White

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Kate White
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-212212-4



{Rule #1: Go Big or Go Home}

I once heard someone famous say that what separates successful people from the unsuccessful ones is their willingness to work really, really hard. Sure, hard work is part of the equation, and so are well-honed skills. And in certain cases, success is even somewhat about the people you know. But I think those factors get you only so far. From what I've seen again and again, success is most often the result of doing the bold extra something that no one else has thought of or dared to try.

I call it the go-big-or-go-home strategy. And before I even talk about the ins and outs of gaining your first career successes, I need to stress the importance of going big. It's a strategy you need to use now and during every other stage of your career.

You've heard the phrase "go big or go home," right? My first encounter with it was about five or six years ago. A young staffer used it when she was talking about her plans for Saturday night. What she meant was that if she wasn't willing to give the whole night an extra push - with her outfit, her hair, her makeup, her attitude - she should bag the entire thing.

I secretly co-opted that phrase for everything I did in the next years at Cosmo. The magazine is geared toward fun, fearless females, and from the moment I arrived I tried to factor that into my approach. But I liked having a specific mantra to work with. With every photo, article, and cover line I began to ask myself: did I go big or go home with it? If the answer was that I went home, I gave myself a swift kick in the butt and rethought what I was doing. Soon I began using that mantra in other parts of my life. And as I thought about it, I realized that most of my successes - and the successes of women I knew - always involved going big. Doing a job well is not enough. The key is to do more than what's expected, power it up, go balls to the wall.

Going big doesn't always have to involve some huge undertaking. You can go big in key little ways, too. Here's a sampling of how I've used the strategy in my own career.

When I was up for my first big job - as editor in chief of Child Magazine - the headhunter mentioned that the magazine was looking for someone who was "mediagenic." So right before my first interview, I had my hair professionally blown out and styled. And I swear that my long, flowing, "mediagenic" locks helped me land the job.

When I shot a cover of Pierce Brosnan, his partner, Keely Shaye Smith, and their newborn for Redbook, they asked the photographer to take a few pictures of the baby breast feeding for them to keep personally. But when I saw those photos, I decided, with the couple's permission, to run one as the cover image. That photo literally became news around the world.

When one of my top staffers at a magazine resigned to take another job, I didn't just graciously (or grumpily) accept her resignation. I wrote a memo called "Ten Reasons You Shouldn't Leave" and left it on her chair. She decided to turn down the offer and stay.

You'll see the "going big" theme running through everything I talk about in this section, as well as the rest of the book. You may be just beginning in a particular job or field, but in order to score your first major successes, you're going to have to go big - with your job search, the interviewing process, your early career moves, everything. In this world of the supersized, going big is, in fact, probably more important now than ever. Everything seems to be bolder and even more badass. When Cosmo interviewed Pink after the birth of her daughter, she told us she was going to get back into the game full throttle. "I want my album to be really great, and I want to do an amazing tour. I'm going to up the ante, even if it means covering myself in Velcro, lighting myself on fire, and shooting myself out of a cannon. I'll do that, no prob."

I'm not suggesting you shoot yourself out of a cannon, but you need to push the envelope these days.

You have to be strategic, though, and assess your surroundings first. If you're in a new job, how much (from what you can tell) will your new work culture welcome the big idea, the bold new strategy? How much will your boss welcome it? What kind of big ideas is your boss likely to be receptive to? Good bosses will respond positively and love you for it.

A small warning: when you go big, whether it's early in your career or later, there will be people wishing you had gone home instead. Perhaps you're pulling off a feat someone else wishes she'd thought of or you're infringing on her turf - at least in her own mind. Or maybe one of your accomplishments has necessitated a change in someone else's daily work MO and that person now has to take care of business each morning rather than spending an hour nibbling on his blueberry muffin. You may end up with a few haters. Regardless, you can't get caught up in worrying about whether everyone you work with likes you. Ultimately you want the respect of your coworkers, but you don't need them to be your buddies. No one says this better than Mika Brzezinski, the cohost of MSNBC's Morning Joe, whom I asked to write a work column for Cosmo.

"Look, it took me twenty-five years in television news and writing two books to realize that it doesn't matter if everyone adores me," she says. "Being liked is what women strive for. But when you make that mistake, it diverts your attention from more important tasks at hand."

So go big, love the thrill of it and the prizes it brings, but know that when you make a big move, it creates a big breeze, and that can sometimes ruffle feathers.

Excerpted from I Shouldn't Be Telling You This by Kate White. Copyright © 2012 by Kate White. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

Part I Success: How to Get It 1

Rule #1: Go Big or Go Home 5

What Are You Really Lusting For? 9

Ballsy Strategies for Finding a Job 19

Know What They Know About You 29

How to Nail a Job Interview 33

9 Things You Should Never Do in a New Job 45

Now Knock Their Socks Off 51

How to Pull Off a Project Perfectly 57

Develop a Golden Gut 63

Always Ask for What You Want 69

Success Style: 10 Easy Steps 81

Why You Should Get in Touch with Your Bitch Envy 87

4 Tips for Masterfully Managing Your Boss 91

How to Dazzle at a Meeting 97

12 Ways to Get Buzzed About 103

Be Grabby! 113

What You Need Even More Than a Mentor 117

Career Breakthroughs: The Very Simple Formula 123

Part II Success: How to Go Big with It 127

Get Some Eye of the Tiger 131

How to Come Up with Bold, Brilliant Ideas 137

You, the Brand 145

My Best Rules for Being a Boss 151

Arrive at Work Before Everybody Else 165

Beware of Sudden Promotion Syndrome 167

18 People Principles: Because Now You Really, Really Need Them 175

The Secret Weapon That Will Make You a Winner (and Save Your Butt) 191

How to Own a Room-and Be Great on Your Feet 197

9 Ways to Look and Sound Powerful 205

Drain the Swamp as" You Slay the Alligators, or Possibly the Best Work Advice I Have Ever Been Given 211

11 Things I've Learned About Choices, Decisions, and Risk 215

It Pays to Be a Little Paranoid 221

Go Big or Go Home, 2: You're Going to Have to Break the Rules 227

Advanced Networking (Never Say You're Too Busy to Do It) 233

When Bad Things Happen 239

Why You Must Manage Your Career as Well as Your Job 247

What to Do When Things Change (and They Will!) 255

Bravo! You Landed the BIG JOB. Now What? 261

Part III Success: How to Savor It 269

The Bliss Quiz: Is Your Success Making You Happy? 273

Why You Must Absolutely Be the Boss of Your Personal Life, Too 279

Terrific Time-Management Tricks 287

How to Handle an Insane Day 293

Setting Boundaries 297

Drain the Swamp as You Slay the Alligators, 2 301

Men, Love, and Success 305

How to Be Smart About Maternity Leave 313

My Kids Aren't Serial Killers-Yet 319

Discover Rotisserie Chicken and Other Ways to Keep Life Simple 329

Take Your Own Sweet Time 333

Make Your Back-Pocket Dream a Reality (While You've Still Got a Day Job) 337

Reinvention: A Brief Course 341

What People are Saying About This

Claire Shipman

“This is NOT your mother’s plodding, nose-to-the-grindstone, put-on-a-power-suit career guide. Kate White gives us her witty and wise secret sauce to fast-tracking your career, thinking big, having fun, getting the money you deserve—all while pursuing your passion.”

Mika Brzezinski

“Kate’s fierce courage and determination make this book a witty, fun, and refreshingly blunt read for career women-teachers and CEOs alike!”

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