selgson-book-cover.jpgThere will be a bunch of college graduates heading off to real work for the first time come September, and unfortunately, the women in the group may be at a disadvantage.

Women still don’t make as much as their male counterparts and there are few women in the corner offices of Corporate America. Some studies have shown that the pay and position disparity begins early on, when female employees first hit the job market.

They’re generally not as assertive as their male counterparts right out of the gate, and that kicks off what will haunt many women throughout their careers, a never-ending battle to catch up.

Any help young women can get to help them with confidence is fine by me.

That’s why I had my intern Katherine Guiney read a new book called “New Girl on the Job” by Hannah Seligson, to see if it offered helpful advice to gals like her.

Her conclusion: It’s a great tool to have as you embark on your work life.

The following is Katherine’s review:

In her book New Girl on the Job, Hannah Seligson strives to give young women the advice she never got.

After being fired from her first job, Seligson was inspired to write about the disappointment and despair she says she experienced during her employment.

While Seligson dishes out some career advise that can apply to both sexes, she also gives a few good tips that apply specifically to young women.

1. Don’t get assistant-ized

While you do have to pay your dues, make sure not to get stuck doing administrative duties forever. Seligson says that being a great assistant can be “a catch-22 because, while you want to do a good job, doing so could actually hinder you from moving up.”
In New Girl, career expert Tony Johnson says it’s easy for women to get stuck playing a supportive role.
To prevent yourself from getting pigeon-holed into an administrative position, create a timeline for how long you’re willing to stay in such a support role and make sure to actively create opportunities for yourself.

2. Research your employer

Before even taking a job, find out how that company treats its female employees. How many women work there? How many women are in upper-level positions? Have there been a number of lawsuits or sexual harassment cases?
Make sure you know if you’re going to be the only woman in a building full of men, and make sure there is room for advancement.

3. Flirting doesn’t pay

Although being nice at work will get you far, crossing the line into flirting does more harm than help. Seligson references a 2005 study in which researchers at Tulane University found that sexy dressing and sexual behavior negatively impacted the careers of women.
Women who used flirting to their advantage received fewer promotions on average than women who refrained from sexual behavior altogether.

4. No one likes a gossip girl

Instead of gossiping, set a standard for how you want to communicate, especially with other women.
Seligson says to follow the “No Triangling Rule.” This term, which is apparently somehow technical because it is defined in her glossary of terms at the back of the book, is described as the act of being direct when a problem arises.
If you are encountering a problem with a certain co-worker, you should approach that person to solve the problem, instead of going to a third party. This helps prevent office gossip and distrust.

5. Women versus women?!

The “images of backstabbing and competitiveness among women”, says Seligson, are everywhere.
Not everyone has to be your friend, but when issues do arise, communication is key. Many young women come into the workplace unprepared to handle the issues that come with working with other women.
Talk about situations when you have a level head and don’t make it personal. Demonstrate how certain actions impact the whole group.
Women should work together, so “they’ll have a collective muscle to flex when you need to lobby for a change.”

6. Be assertive!

Not that any of this is taught in college, but workforce “newbies”, women in particular, have to learn how to use power language, promote themselves, and ask questions.
Author Jennifer Baumgarder, says that women are less likely to expose themselves to asking a dumb question because they don’t want to be a burden.
But how are you ever going to advance in your career if you don’t ask questions and put your ideas, let alone yourself, forward?
It’s easier said than done, but you must find that middle ground between pushy and pushover.

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