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Girl On Top
Your Guide To Turning Dating Rules Into Career Success
by Nicole Williams

Let's go back. It's March 29, 2004. I know the day, the exact day, because the evening before I was at one of my best friend's weddings. Sitting in a front pew (her sister was her only bridesmaid), absorbing the vows (self written), holding the hand of my husband (uncharacteristically clammy), I decided I was leaving (not church...my marriage).

There were, of course, the requisite dastardly, excruciating, heartbreaking months in between, but on one special day sick and tired of my distress, a friend came by my new apartment with a basket of get-out-of-your-funk-goodies. It was filled to the brim with everything from chocolate and erotic porn to a library of dating books and that night, as I jumped into my big, lonely bed and strategically chose The Rules over the vibrator, my life changed.

Page after page I devoured the words that were meant for my love life and I was struck with a one shining beacon of discovery...pure career genius.

Here's the thing: I'm a career manager so I do tend to look at the world through the lens of work. Thanks to my mother who, working for a paint and chemical manufacturer, lived a special kind of hell, I grew up with the desire to actually spend my days doing something I enjoyed. As a kid I would drive people to drink with questions of, "How did you know you wanted to be a doctor?" "Where did you learn that?" and "How much do you get paid?" I was a one-woman career investigative team terrified of hating my job (which really means hating your life) and I ultimately parlayed that fear into a career management brand called WORKS.

But get this: Even before I read and re-read The Rules, I was, and still am, a good dater. The whole concept of "playing hard to get" is as natural to me as breathing. Love dating or hate it: We know it. We need it. We do it. In my business I've been forever trying to convince women that working for less than industry standard is going to kill your career but now I have a context to wrap it around--DON'T GIVE AWAY THE MILK FOR FREE.

After that fateful night in bed, I took a cruise through the bookstore and online and found the top 20 classic dating rules and then turned them into career strategies. Treat him mean to keep him keen; Don't tell him you want a kid on the first date (or interview); Don't expect to change him...I didn't make this ship up but I promise I've found the key to applying it to your career in a way that will change your life.

So the most important question and the whole reason I'm so adamant you read this introduction is: Who is the He? He is your boss, your assistant, your client, your vendor. Anyone and everyone you do business with. And just like our tendency is to throw our the rule book and call, and call, and call, and call the super hot dude you can't help but imagine is "the one," you're going to come across the job, the boss, the client you can't imagine yourself living without and it's exactly here where you need play the game. Finding, catching, and building a relationship with a beau simply isn't so different from finding, catching, and building a relationship with a boss. We're human, instinctive, and the same way we want what we can't have in the bedroom...same goes in the boardroom.

And for those of you who think you're above playing games in love or in career, good for you...have fun in the mailroom and put this book down. I've heard it all before. Save your feminist brew-ha-ha for someone who cares. This isn't intended to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning work of non-fiction--it's an easy-to-get-your-head-around way of thinking about your job, in a language that we're already familiar with, in a context that makes the mind-numbingly boring theory of career a little more fun.

Dating rules turned career strategies...everything you need to be the Girl on Top!

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