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Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead Paperback – 16 Nov 2009
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About the Author
Nancy Ancowitz is the creator of the popular Self-Promotion forIntroverts® workshop, which she offers at New York University.Her coaching clients range from CEOs to emerging leaders in thebusiness and creative worlds. Ancowitz lives in New York City.
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However, she quickly demonstrates that she hasn't herself understood what she has written by expressing surprise that around half the population are Introverts in this sense. She then addresses how this half of the population can overcome their 'weakness'. She does this first by assuming - without presenting any evidence - that all Introverts have low self-esteem. They don't. She herself points out that she is, psychologically speaking, an Introvert and readers of the book will rapidly come to the conclusion that her problem is exactly the opposite of low self-esteem.
In any event her route to dealing with this perceived issue is several chapters of standard self-help advice about the importance of variously setting goals, networking, stepping outside one's comfort zone, blah blah. If anyone inexplicably feels in need of that sort of stuff then it is available elsewhere much better presented.
The advice from lumninaries such as Bill Clinton and Warren Buffett that is highlighted on the cover doesn't come from any knowing collaboration on their part, but was obtained by accosting them stalker-like as they went about their daily business. Unsurprisingly, and with no reflection on these individuals, their advice is trite and platitudinous; which makes it several orders of magnitude more intellectually valid than the rest of the book.
It's drivel. Don't buy it or read it.
Unfortunately this book is from the viewpoint that all introverts are people with low self esteem and poor social skills.
The first half is all about positive daily affirmations, banishing negative self talk, finding personal strengths etc. The second half is about public speaking and job hunting. The first half may have some value if you've low esteem, the second half re-treads very well worn ground - Remember to practice, wear clean clothes, speak clearly, smile and nod etc. Throughout the book there's emphasis on "who are your friends that will help you with X task?" You need so many friends to work with this book you'd have to be an extrovert in the first place!
The book hasn't been edited for the UK market. All references, including popular culture, are American, as are the few practical tips given. (For example, the author recommends local radio to promote yourself, but the advice is tailored to the USA local radio network which operates completely differently to the UK. All the recommended groups and websites to subscribe to/participate in don't operate outside the USA.)
In short, a book for American job hunters, looking for jobs in America, hoping to boost their low self esteem.
(NB Amazon Vine reviews that give anything short of glowing praise tend to be hit hard with 'no' votes to the question 'Was this review helpful?'. As my self esteem is absolutely fine, this doesn't bother me a jot.)
I work in an industry that has a very high percentage of introverts working in it. Personally, I would say that I am borderline between introvert and extrovert. However, I am much more comfortable than many people in my industry doing things like public speaking, self-promotion, and simply getting my ideas across. I'm also far more comfortable than I used to be in social situations. Is this because of this book - no. It's because some years ago I went on a public speaking course (taught by Gavin Campbell at the Bishopsgate Institute in London - very good indeed), read some really good books about self-marketing (both on and off-line marketing), and learnt to dance partner dances (great for social skills). We all have our own ways of doing things - those were what worked for me. Yes, it involved going outside my comfort zone, but as a result I am now a much more rounded person than say 15 years ago.
More than anything, I started reading this book to see if it contained any useful ideas that I could promote to people I mentor at work. Unfortunately, it really didn't, or if it did then the ideas were hidden amongst so much turgid drivel that I glazed over and missed them. As other reviewers have said, this book is very, very American and really not in a form suitable for the UK market. However, I don't think it would really work in America either - I am not going to inflict this book on any of my friends living/working there to check, but I think the writing is so poor that even in the American market (where some of the suggestions might be more appropriate) people would choke on it. In the UK, I think some of the suggestions could actually have a negative effect on career progression.
Poorly written. Not adapted for the UK market. Not recommended.
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