Saturday, May 19, 2007

Brazen Careerist

Brazen Careerist book cover

I am so not the intended audience for this book. There's a chapter on managing a boomer boss - and if I were still in the corporate world, I could be that boomer boss. But I bought this career handbook directed at Generations X and Y because I enjoy Penelope Trunk's writing on the Brazen Careerist blog - and because there was a chapter entitled A Messy Desk Makes You Look Incompetent.

From that chapter: "... if your desk is a mess, you look overwhelmed and less competent. This isn't about what is happening in your head, it is about what is happening in your coworkers' heads, and they are judging you by the appearance of your desk."

More from that chapter: "The issue here isn't whether or not you are productive as a worker. The issue is whether you are productive as an image manager . . . Use your workspace to control how people perceive you. A side benefit of this project will be that you might actually become a little more productive once that filing system is in place."

Another organizing-related tidbit: "Do you keep e-mails in your in-box to remind you to do something? Get a real to-do list. Your e-mail box is not a to-do list. Well, for some of you maybe it is, but it shouldn't be."

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole book; my only (tiny) gripe is that I really don't like the cover image. Take a look at the Brazen Careerist blog; if you like that, you'll probably like the book, too.


penelope said...


Thank you for the nice post about Brazen Careerist! I thought you'd be intrested to know that when this research about messy desks first came out, I wrote about it, and I have never received more angry email from readers than I did from this research. Some people with messy desks are SO attached to the mess. Good to see you are helping clear off the desktop messes of the world :)


Jeri Dansky said...


I'm not surprised at the reaction - although since you were just reporting on the studies, jumping on you is just shooting the messenger.

Fortunately, I get to work with people who understand how their messy desks cause them problems - people who want to make a change.