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TD Magazine Article

More Than Just Career Advice

A review of Career Forward: Strategies From Women Who’ve Made It by Grace Puma and Christiana Smith Shi.

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Wed May 01 2024

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Career Forward: Strategies From Women Who've Made It

By Grace Puma and Christiana Smith ShiScribner, 256 pp., $28.99

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In Career Forward, Puma and Shi, two former executives from PepsiCo and Nike, respectively, offer guidance for women navigating the evolving workplace landscape. Dispensing practical advice amid shifting paradigms, the book serves as a beacon for those seeking to carve out their professional path with resilience and purpose.

The authors present a series of actionable lessons to empower readers in their career journeys. From reframing one's self-perception as a "growth stock" to embracing challenges head-on by "turning into the skid," Puma and Shi impart wisdom from their years of corporate experience. They caution against the pitfalls of complacency, urging readers to remain vigilant against the subtle trap of "benevolent stagnation." Moreover, they challenge the conventional wisdom of "faking it till you make it," advocating for authenticity and self-assurance instead.

At the heart of Career Forward lies a transformative mindset shift encapsulated by the concept of living a "360-degree life." By encouraging readers to adopt a holistic approach to personal and professional development, the authors empower their audience to transcend traditional constraints and seize opportunities for growth in all spheres of life.

Furthermore, the book emphasizes the importance of building individuals' professional equity. By becoming essential to their organizations and continually evaluating their career trajectory through "career equity checkpoints," readers can ensure their stock within the company continues to rise, ultimately reaping the rewards for themselves and their employers.

This book offers a pragmatic approach to career advancement, which is its strength. As an inspiration for young women entering the workforce, the book provides a road map for success rooted in self-awareness and strategic thinking. Additionally, it serves as a lifeline for those trapped in stagnant careers, providing a blueprint for reinvention and renewal.

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In essence, Career Forward is more than just a career advice book—it's a guide for embracing change and seizing control of destiny. Through its pages, Puma and Shi share practical strategies and a mindset geared toward continuous growth and fulfillment. For any woman embarking on her professional journey or seeking to reignite her passion for work, this is a must-read for navigating the complexities of the modern workplace.

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