Sunday, May 27, 2012

Books: Voices: Words From Wise Women

Voices: Words From Wise Women
(Leadership Tools for Work and Life)
By Kathryn L. Jordan, PhD
142 pages
Copyright 2011

It is no secret to me that the workplace experience is different for women than it is for men, and often not in a good way. But finding books that deal with the gender gap and that speak directly to women is often difficult.

Local author Kathryn Jordan, a professor at Radford University, has filled in some of that gap with her new book.

Each chapter addresses various issues or methods of being a more upwardly focused employee. If you are looking to make a lateral move in your employment, or seeking a promotion, or just looking for work in general, this book will help.

The chapters discuss the need to be positive and embrace change, how to build various skills, and how to understand workplace dynamics, particularly with regards to money, among other things.

In particular, most women will find the chapters on finding balance helpful. How do you balance your career, your personal life, and taking care of yourself? It is a hard juggle sometimes.

The author, who is also an executive career coach, advocates an annual review of your resume, and a review of your life goals no less than every two years. I think that is very good advice.

A series of worksheets in the back of the book, which I plan to utilize, should also be helpful in finding focus and creating a plan.

Dr. Jordan has a website, The Success Associates, with information about her work in helping women find good career matches. The website offers a few links to youtube videos with job-hunting tips.

The site offers a list of job-hunting resources at this link.

She also has a blog but it is not updated very often, only about once a month. In my opinion this is not often enough to be useful; I tend to forget about sites if I visit and do not find new information.

I was disappointed that I wasn't able to find a .pdf of the worksheets on her website. That would be a good and valuable addition for her readers, and, given that the book is a little on the expensive side for its small size, a nice tip of the hat. If she didn't want to give it away to the masses, she could make it accessible with a key in the back of the book or something.

As it is, I don't like to write in my books so I will be hunting up a photocopier for about 30 pages of worksheets.

I think any woman with ambition and a little drive, regardless of where she works, will find this book useful, but it is directed more at the educational and large corporate fields. I don't think she had small entrepreneurs or grocery check-out clerks in mind when she wrote it, but there is enough useful information in the book regarding the work world and working relationships that I feel comfortable recommending it to nearly any woman who is looking for a change in her working environment.

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