April Book Club Pick

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It seems like women in the workforce today are often faced with the dilemma of either embracing their unabashed career ambitions or holding back in order to remain “liked.”

They are expected to walk this invisible line automatically and adroitly, while perhaps sacrificing their own goals in the end. The assumption seems to be that a woman must choose between being a “nice” pushover versus an abrasive, pushy corporate-ladder climber.

There is no middle ground…or is there?

As Fran Hauser declares in her unique and timely book, The Myth of the Nice Girl—Achieving A Career You Love Without Becoming A Person You Hate, “niceness” can coexist with ambition, and it is an underestimated and frequently misunderstood quality.

The goal of this book is to “show you how to negotiate powerfully, to speak up so people listen, to project confidence, to own your decisions, and to deal with conflict—all while never hiding the nice woman you know yourself to be.”

The author makes the logical, albeit often overlooked, argument that “there is real power hidden in traits like empathy, kindness, and compassion that are undervalued in the business world.

When coupled with an appropriate dose of savvy and ambition, these overlooked superpowers can help launch your career to the top.”

Indeed, “nice” should never be mistakenly perceived as synonymous with weakness. Quite to the contrary, it is important to recognize that it can be both a strength and asset in many situations.

Hauser, a self-professed “nice girl” who has struggled to find her own “balance,” shares personal experiences and insights as she offers strategies for real-life challenges. Each chapter wraps up with clear “Key Takeaways” for you to review and digest before moving on.  

For those of us navigating the path to career advancement while simultaneously trying to remain true to ourselves, this book offers reassurance and proof that you do not need to become the dreaded office “bitch” in order to succeed.

Pursuing your career goals should not…and does not…mean letting go of the admirable qualities of empathy and kindness. Rather, being the “nice girl” can actually be the key to getting ahead.    


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