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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

                      More by this author

                      Heather Poole

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                      Last Updated on July 13, 2020

                      How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

                      How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

                      Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

                      If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

                      1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

                      The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

                      Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

                      For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

                      The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

                      2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

                      Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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                      As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

                      Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

                      3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

                      Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

                        This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

                        We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

                        Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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                        When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

                        Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

                        4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

                        Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

                        For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

                        Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

                        5. Make Decisions

                        For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

                        If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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                        If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

                        Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

                        I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

                        This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

                        The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

                        6. Take Some Form of Action

                        Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

                        The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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                        It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

                        Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

                        When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

                        More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

                        Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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