Now that Kate White is no longer the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan to focus on speaking engagements, digital media and her books, White’s been dishing advice to women in her new book.
The author of I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know explained to The New York Post:
“We’ve made incredible strides, but I think there are challenges that women face that are not the same for men. I think sometimes we can still have that good-girl tendency not to grab the seat next to the boss at a meeting or not to talk on that project. We sometimes worry about what other people will think. I think men are maybe not as prone to that.”
As for her top ways women can get ahead in the working world, here’s a succinct version. Although her tips are specifically geared toward women, men may likely benefit from her sage words as well.
1. Ask for what you want and ask right away. Pointing out in the interview that women are “afraid we’re going to be seen as too greedy or they’re not going to like us,” its’ important to grasp that “they’re not going to think bad things about you.”
And as you ask for a higher salary as an example, bring a list of your accomplishments into a meeting to demonstrate how you’re adding value to the company. “Don’t make it, ‘You owe me,’” she explained. “Make it about, ‘Here are some things I’ve done.’”
2. Show me the money. Considering your salary at a new job is the starting point for future raises every year, it’s important to address the magic number before you start. “You have to ask for what you want in terms of salary. Everything builds on that.”
3. Do not confuse mentors with sponsors. While mentors add advice and act as a sounding board, sponsors provide introductions to potential employers. Whereas you can feel free to open up to a mentor, with a sponsor everything should be professional.
She explained in the piece, “Sponsors open doors for you and become your advocate. You don’t want your sponsor to know some of the down-and-dirty stuff about you — the professional agonizing you might be doing.”
4. Get schooled; do research. When you make decisions, going with your gut is one thing. Going with your gut backed by information is quite another. White called it an “educated gut” by doing “a ton of research.”
She not only held focus groups and hired a person to consult on the interests of Gen X and Gen Y readers, she also reviewed a Twitter report and rated “every single thing” in the magazine.
“When you gather info, you discover things may not be exactly as you think they are — and that your gut is based on faulty info.”