Diane Cashin speaks directly when she explains how readers can adapt when their original plans go awry. “You need to know where ‘Your True North’ is, by knowing yourself, your career goals, and your life goals. This clarity acts as your compass and guide so no matter what unexpected detours you may encounter along the way, you can always get back on course.” Still, the title of her new book, Why You Didn’t Get the Job, is a bit misleading. It doesn’t help to explain why someone was passed over for a promotion or didn’t get hired for a new position. Cashin’s intention is to help women move up the executive ladder by understanding the factors in the workplace—personal, professional, societal—that may impact their rise to the top.
Cashin offers ten steps, which are organized like chapters, to achieve clarity and build professional success. At the conclusion of each step there is a one-page worksheet that includes a review of the main points and space to make notes and develop action items. Sample worksheets are included in some chapters to inspire the writing of priorities and goals. Cashin illustrates her points with references to studies and statistics. She includes some personal stories that effectively reinforce her message. A detailed table of contents helps to zero in on specific areas and replaces the need for an index. Cashin also provides a useful resource guide listing her favorite books on leadership and women in business. A list of women in top executive positions at Fortune 1000 companies is included to inspire readers.
Reading the book is a bit like having a daily cup of coffee with a girlfriend who acts as a mentor. It is written in a friendly, down-to-earth manner with an inspirational, motivational tone. A drawback to this approach is the book’s wordiness. Bullet-point paragraphs would have conveyed her message more simply, directly, and effectively to a genertion of women accustomed to PowerPoint presentations, texts, and Tweets. There is nothing new or groundbreaking in Cashin’s book. It is just sound, practical advice about setting personal and professional goals, managing time effectively, dressing for success, communicating in an effective manner, mentoring, networking, and other topics.
Cashin has more than thirty years of leadership experience with major corporations such as Cisco, Lockheed Martin, and Siemens. The presentation of her credentials would have been strengthened by the inclusion of the specific corporate titles she held and responsibilities she fulfilled.
Why You Didn’t Get the Job will be a helpful first step for women starting out in business or stalled in their careers. More in-depth information and guidance than this book provides will be necessary for most women seeking to move into the executive suite, and the resource guide provided may help in that pursuit.