Advice, Breakthroughs, Careers, Challenges, Empowerment, Kathy Caprino “Terrible Career Advice” for Women Written by: Kathy Caprino

I love reading Penelope Trunk’s posts – they’re always thought-provoking, controversial and stimulating.  I’m thankful that she has a large voice and an even larger audience because she is able to prod so many of us to think about what we truly believe, in comparison with and contrast to her very strident views.

I must say, though, that her recent post on BNET – Terrible Career Advice Women Give Each Other – really got me going, and I have a feeling it will arouse a vigorous response from you too.

Please do check it out!  And read my comments on her post here:

Penelope, you’re always interesting to read and ponder, but sometimes you get it SO wrong. This is one of those times. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and so skewed to the negative.

Everything you’ve shared flies in the face of what I know to be true as a woman, a high-level professional, a trained therapist, and a career coach who’s helped hundreds of women succeed on their own terms.

First, I’ve been sexually harassed at work, and it’s hellacious. I didn’t do anything about it — just to save my skin and my job — and let me tell you, that’s the wrong advice. For God’s sake, if you encourage women to grin and bear it and shut up about it, what does that say about you as an advocate for women, and about the future we can expect for women in the workplace? Yes, what you do about harrassment depends on the gravity of the situation, but if it’s grave, you must find a true advocate (even if it’s outside the organization) and speak up.

Secondly, I was married at 30, had two fantastically beautiful children at 34 and 37. I’m 50 now, and it all unfolded as I wanted it to. Women need to decide for themselves when to marry and when to have kids. If they listen to you (or anyone else) about it, they’re barking up the wrong tree. It’s absurd to advise a woman about this – it’s a deeply personal issue.

Thirdly, of course books don’t make you a good leader – you make you a good leader. But reading, exploring, inquiring, learning, and stretching yourself through powerful books and ideas is a terrific way to become more of who you really are.

Sometimes I wish your views weren’t always so skewed to the extreme negative – it’s fun that you’re a contrarian, but it’s not as beneficial as it could be that your writings are so overwhelming bleak. Spice it up with some positivity, will you?

But thanks, as always, for getting us going!


So folks, I’d LOVE to hear from you.  PLEASE! leave a comment below.  What do you think about Penelope’s views, and mine.  Share your voice! 

Give us some great career advice for women – puleese!

One thought on ““Terrible Career Advice” for Women”

  1. Thanks, Viviana. Very helpful comments. I think my core problem with this post is that the areas Penelope touches are so HUGELY important for women, that presenting her views in this quick, off-handed manner (even if the backstory articles offer more information that supports her views), just doesn’t serve well (because most of us don’t read the supporting material!). The positive outcome, however, is that her posts incite a flurry of comments, and new thinking and sharing about what people believe and care about – that’s a very good thing, in my book. Appreciate your input!

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