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I Have 10 Books to Make You a Boss Lady. Do You Have 5 Minutes?

I Have 10 Books to Make You a Boss Lady. Do You Have 5 Minutes?

It was not all that long ago that women did not have a place in the business world. Many of us have heard from our mothers and grandmothers about their secretarial positions. But now things have shifted and you could work for a female CEO and even become one. Granted, women only make up about 7% of the number of CEOs right now, but it’s certainly more than in our grandmothers’ days.[1]

While the opportunities are there, the know-how can sometimes be difficult to learn. How do we climb the corporate ladder and reach our business goals? While there isn’t necessarily a hand-book, there are plenty of books written by successful women who offer valuable insight as to accomplishing our professional dreams.

Recommended Reading for Willful Women

For each of these books, we’ll dive into what the book is about and what career advice can be learned from reading it. Don’t worry, no one expects a book report.

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

    This New York Times Bestseller tackles the biggest issue faced and feared in the workplace: Gender Inequality. Kay and Shipman give inspiration and practical advice needed to confidently bridge the gender gap experienced in the day-to-day lives of women.[2]

    This is a recommended read because it teaches the thing we all want to be masters of: Confidence. Rather than adopting a “fake it ’til you make it” attitude, The Confidence Code teaches you how to truly believe in yourself and be successful in the workplace.

    Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht

      Licht has done PR for some of the most notable designers out there, so she knows a thing or two about being a successful female. The best advice comes from experience, and boy, does she have it! Licht uses the things she has experienced first-hand to give advice, inspiration and a little bit of tough love.

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      Leave Your Mark is great for someone just starting off in their career and also for those who feel they are doing pretty well for themselves. It also sheds light on successfully marketing on Social Media which, in this modern world, is vital to success in business.

      Bossypants by Tina Fey

        Tina Fey is hilarious, talented and by all accounts super down to earth. But she’s also a remarkable business-woman. Fey was never handed anything, especially her success in comedy. She had to work hard every day to get to where she is not. Her book details the uphill battle she fought but also empowers the women readers.

        This #1 National Bestseller is a must-read because it proves, page after page, that no matter how many times people tell you that you can’t do something, or they doubt your talent, you can achieve anything. Fey especially highlights how we should laugh all the way to the bank when it comes to people putting us down.

        Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

          via Amazon.com

          If you ask a female entrepreneur what book she would recommend, it would most likely be this one. Lean In has been the entrepreneur’s bible since it was released. Sandberg shares advice on getting the salary you deserve and how to believe in yourself.[3]

          This book covers all of the important basics and is definitely a must for the female employee who wants to do more. Sandberg helps you drop that self-doubt and really lean in to your potential.

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          Leading from the Front: No Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women by Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch

            via Amazon.com

            These authors spent years in the U.S. Marine Corps, instantly breaking any stereotype you may have had about women writers and entrepreneurs. The tough duo learned a lot about leadership in their time serving and are sharing it with their readers.

            This book is a must for women who want to know how to take action and be successful without any fluff. With a foreword by Paula Zahn, a successful woman herself, Leading from the Front is chocked full of helpful info that will have you at the top in no time.

            Women in Tech: Take your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories by Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack

              via GeekWire.com

              Accomplishing your career goals as a woman is filled with setbacks. Accomplishing those career goals in the tech industry as a woman is even harder. With only 5% of leadership positions in tech being held by women, it can seem discouraging to pursue much of anything.

              If you’re a woman in tech, this book offers advice from female professionals on how to succeed. Yes, this is a male-dominated work field, but there are women out there trying to change that. Wouldn’t you like to be one of them?

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              Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting what You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski

                via MSNBC.com

                This book, like the other books on this list, really delves into how to ask for the right salary and feel you’re valued as an individual and employee. The unique thing about Brzezinski’s book is that it discusses how to do it no matter where you are in your career.[4]

                Many women are afraid to ask for a raise. Whether they’ve been a great employee for one year or ten, that request is always overshadowed by excuses and self-doubt. Brzezinski asked for more late in her career, and she explains how you can, too.

                Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus

                  via Amazon.com

                  Do you freeze up in a job interview when asked what you’re good at? Do you feel bad bragging about your strengths? Or maybe you’re great in the interview, but when it comes time to ask for that promotion, you feel cocky listing out all you’ve accomplished. If any of these sound familiar, you need to read Klaus’ book.

                  Klaus discusses self-promotion and how awkward it can be. She teaches you how to brag in a way that doesn’t make you uncomfortable. It’s highly recommended reading if you often don’t feel like you’re allowed to boast about the things you’re proud of.

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                  Getting from College to Career Rev Ed: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World by Lindsey Pollak

                    via Amazon.com

                    I remember how vague and ominous it always sounded to me when people would talk about “The Real World.” Those three words were tossed about frequently while I was in college and seemed to be there to instill fear about getting a job, let alone a career, once I graduated. Now that I’m in “The Real World,” I can tell you it’s not always as scary as it sounded…but sometimes it is!

                    Pollack’s book addresses the harsh transition from school to salary and helps you tackle the changes. With her suggestions, you’ll be accepting job offers in no time.

                    How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life by Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston

                      via Amazon.com

                      If it’s true that leading by example is the best way to lead, then the women discussed in this book will make you a phenomenal leader. This book uses real-life examples of some of the most successful women in the world and touches on how they became successful and stay successful every day.

                      This book is ideal for the woman who wants to be inspired by the stories of other women and appreciates finding common ties between herself and those she idolizes.

                      Think of me while you’re sitting in your corner office!

                      No matter what success looks like to you, know that you can achieve it. Make it easier by grabbing a few of these books. Don’t be afraid to jot notes on the pages and put bookmarks in all the chapters that really speak to you. This is your journey to success, no matter how you define that. You’ve so got this!

                      Reference

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                      Heather Poole

                      Heather shares about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on September 17, 2020

                      5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

                      5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

                      There’s nothing quite like a state of “flow” when you’re working. The rare moments when your inspiration aligns with your motivation likely lead to some of your most creative work. Plus, it feels great to actually check a task or project off the list so you can move on to the next thing. Meanwhile, a mental block — its opposite — can cause work to feel laborious and uninspired. Forget creativity when you have a mental block — it makes it difficult even to start working on what you need to do.

                      A mental block can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your imposter syndrome is squelching your creative ideas, for instance, or you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of a project and its impending deadline. Maybe you’re just tired or stressed.

                      Either way, having a mental block feels like being trapped in your own head, and it can seriously dampen your ability to think outside the box. The problem is, you’re so locked into your own perspective that you don’t see more innovative approaches to your problems.[1]

                      Luckily, jumping over these mental hurdles is simpler than you think. You just need the right strategies to get your flow back.

                      Try these five practical ways to overcome a mental block.

                      1. Break Your Project Down

                      A few years ago, I was working on changing a company product that I believed would hugely benefit our customers. Sounds great, right?

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                      As inspired as I was to make people’s lives easier, though, the sheer magnitude of the task at hand felt overwhelming. Every morning, I cracked open my laptop to work and felt totally paralyzed. I loved the idea, yes, but actualizing it felt risky. What if it didn’t turn out the way I pictured in my mind? More importantly, where would I even begin?

                      A former colleague gave me great advice over coffee:

                      Change how you think. Start by breaking the big project down into small tasks.

                      When a major project overwhelms you, you only see the entire forest instead of the individual trees. And as you stare it down, you start to feel discouraged by your own lack of progress, thus slowing you down further.

                      Breaking down a massive task into smaller chunks makes the work feel more manageable. You’ll have multiple clear places to start and end with, which will lend a motivating sense of productivity and mastery to your process. Learn more about it here: The Motivation Flowchart: The Mental Process of Successful People

                      Think of it as accumulating small wins. When you realize you’re more capable than you have once thought, you’ll develop the momentum and confidence needed to get your big job done little by little.[2]

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                      2. Change Up Your Scenery

                      Of course, there’s a time and place for sitting down to get things done. But if you’re experiencing a mental block, switching up your surroundings can make a big difference in your output.

                      Have you ever noticed how your environment directly impacts your performance and mood?

                      Your brain associates your physical surroundings with certain feelings and activities. So, if you feel mentally stuck, your mind may need some new sensory stimuli.

                      During this time in your life, it may not be possible to set up shop at a cafe or move from your cubicle to a conference room, so you may need to think outside the box. If you’re working remotely in a home office, try going to your dining table or couch. If the weather cooperates, sit outside for a bit with your computer or take a walk around the block.

                      You can also simply rearrange your workspace. Not sure where to begin? Try decluttering. Some studies show that an organized desk enhances productivity.[3]

                      The point is to stimulate your brain with new sounds and sights. You may find a much-needed dose of inspiration when you work while breathing in the fresh air, listening to city sounds, or staying in the comfort of your own living space.

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                      3. Do an Unrelated Activity

                      When it comes to productivity, a bit of distraction isn’t always a bad thing. That’s especially true if your chosen distraction helps you get things done in the long run.

                      Have you realized how your most creative thoughts tend to bubble up when you’re, say, lying in bed or taking a shower? In their research of the “incubation period,” scientists have discovered that people’s best ideas seem to surface when they aren’t actively trying to solve a problem.[4]

                      In a 2010 study, participants needed to look for a roommate or new employee based on the profiles that the researchers gave. The people who had a brief “incubation period” — in this case, working on an anagram — consistently made better choices than those who spent more time weighing their options.

                      If you can’t seem to prime your brain for a project, try doing something completely unrelated to work, such as washing your dishes, working out, or calling a friend. Some experts say finding another low-stake project to work on can help jump-start the creative part of your brain and activate your flow.[5]

                      The key is to allow your unconscious mind to do its best work: eliciting the new knowledge your conscious mind may be ignoring or suppressing.[6]

                      4. Be Physical

                      Feeling antsy? When your mind won’t seem to settle into a state of flow, it may help to swap out your mental activity for a physical one and see how it impacts your perspective.

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                      While any physical activity is beneficial for your body — and getting up to move can serve as a helpful form of distraction — certain forms of exercise can more directly impact the mind. To be specific, relaxing, flow-based exercises like dance, yoga, or tai chi can create a gentle sense of momentum in your body, which can prime your brain for the same state.

                      Stress-reducing activities may also be necessary. Meditating or taking slow, deep breaths will also calm your nervous system if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Evidence shows that the logical, creative part of your brain essentially shuts off when you’re stressed.[7]

                      On the flip side, when your mind and body are relaxed, you can think more clearly, be more creative, and focus for longer periods — all of which will help you overcome a mental block.

                      5. Don’t Force It

                      It can be frustrating to fight against your own mind. If your mental block won’t go away after some effort, it may be time to take a break. Forcing creative thoughts only adds to your stress levels, which in turn inhibits your ability to think creatively. And if you sit and stare at a project for too long, you’ll not only waste valuable time but also begin to associate this specific work with frustration and produce work you’re not proud of.

                      “I know that forcing something is not going to create anything beyond mediocre, so I step aside and work on a different project until it hits me,” the artist Ben Skinner said about his creative process.[8]

                      If your work isn’t time-sensitive, then it may make sense to step away for a while to focus on something else, be it an administrative task that requires less creativity or a project that you feel motivated to work on.

                      When the time is right, you’ll find your way back to the original task with a fresh, creative perspective (hopefully).

                      More on Getting Rid of a Mental Block

                      Featured photo credit: Jonas Leupe via unsplash.com

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