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How Work Works: The Subtle Science of Getting Ahead Without Losing Yourself (Hardcover)
Named a Best Business Book for 2023
A PORCHLIGHT BEST BUSINESS BOOK AWARD WINNER
AN INC. MAGAZINE NON-OBVIOUS BOOK AWARDS PICK
A unique and revelatory guide to understanding and navigating the unwritten rules of the workplace—the key to achieving success, finding meaning, and staying true to your authentic self in today’s business world—from the organizational expert and celebrated author of The Fix.
In her two decades researching organizations, Michelle King has discovered that people who succeed possess a particularly unique skill: They know how workplaces work. More specifically, to get ahead, they do not rely on the often generic and outdated written formal rules that for a century have defined the workplace. Instead, they have learned to gauge how they should behave and perform by becoming aware of informal (and unspoken) rules that exist just below the surface, rather than “formal” organizational guidelines. In this one-of-a-kind guide, King offers her proprietary framework based on over ten years of research and hundreds of employees who reached leadership positions. By focusing on five key areas -- navigating informal networks; developing self-awareness and awareness of others; learning the skills you need to be adaptive to changing conditions; getting support for your next promotion; and finding meaning and fulfillment at work—King teaches every professional how to understand and make these systems work for them and achieve their career ambitions.
The new world of work requires a new way of working. With more people vying for top positions, a volatile unpredictable global workplace, and an ever-evolving landscape, it is increasingly important for employees to understand how to negotiate the unspoken and intangible elements of workplace culture.. In How Work Works, King dispels old myths and provides keen observations about what it means to find belonging, build networks, manage the informal and ultimately thrive at work.
About the Author
Dr. Michelle P. King, PhD, MBA, MA, is a globally recognized gender equality and organizational culture expert. She is the host of the popular podcast The Fix and a LinkedIn Top Voice on equity in the workplace. King has been featured in the Economist, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Time, Business Insider, the Times, and the Daily Mail, and on CNBC and CNN Business. She regularly speaks at major conferences and events, such as Ellevate’s Network Conference, the S.H.E. Summit, and SXSW, and presented a TEDx Chelsea Park talk, It’s Not You, It’s Your Workplace. She is the founder of the Culture Practice, a global consultancy, and is a senior adviser to the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign. She lives in London.
“An insightful guide for those who want to learn how to navigate the new world of work, advance their careers, find meaning and make a contribution beyond a job description.” — Arianna Huffington, founder & CEO, Thrive Global
“Michelle Penelope King has masterfully deciphered the unwritten rules of today’s workplace. If you are looking to find your way, How Work Works is your compass for navigating a meaningful career on your own terms.” — Cindy Pace, Chief Diversity Officer, MetLife
“How Work Works is a must-read for anyone who touches the workplace. King’s decade of research allows her to lay out five key areas to make work work for all. In a post-pandemic world, where workplace culture is up in the air, How Work Works is a roadmap for workers in these uncertain times.” — Eve Rodsky, New York Times bestselling author of Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live)
“Unlock the secrets of managing the ambiguity that is transforming workplaces. This insightful book takes readers on a journey of self-discovery as they learn to navigate the unwritten rules of office politics and master the art of ‘reading the air.' Dr. King is a magnificent guide to discovering and pursuing greater meaning at work.” — Jay Brown, CEO, Crown Castle
“How Work Works is a guide for anyone who wants to create a positive, healthy, and productive workplace culture that fosters individual growth, collective success, and inclusivity. Michelle King’s deep understanding of workplace culture provides insights and practical advice on how diversity, equity, and inclusion are all intrinsically linked to company success.” — Sebastian Dettmers, CEO, Stepstone
“After a global pandemic, virtual internships, and onboarding, if you are new to work, early in your career, or just need a brush up on how all of this work stuff works, Michelle King has delivered an important and honest resource that will help anyone, especially those new to work, navigate and grow their careers in today’s workplace. These ‘soft skills’ are the keys to success at work. How Work Works is the playbook we’ve ALL needed to level the field in advancing our careers.” — Melissa Kilby, CEO, Girl Up
“How Work Works will inspire and guide you in ways you did not even know you needed. Highly recommended for everyone who works.” — Dolly Chugh, NYU Stern Professor and author of The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias
"Throughout How Work Works, King offers a persuasive update on corporate-derived conceptions of success and the routes one must take to get there. King points the reader to consider why it is just as important to deepen our understanding of the unwritten, informal socio-cultural cues that shape our work practices and environments as it is to master the work itself. And how timely a resource given the ever-changing landscape of workplaces in a world where our intentional care for others, and the contexts from whence they come, is a critical practice." — Darnell L. Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire and VP of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix
"The people who understand people always win. Doing this means reading the seemingly invisible hints, cues, innuendos and symbolic actions that humans constantly share beyond words. These are the non-obvious secrets of how we work and this book is a wonderfully indispensable guide to decoding them." — Rohit Bhargava, bestselling author of Non-Obvious Megatrends and The Future Normal
"Whether you’re well into your career, looking for your next move, or starting something new, this insightful book cuts through the noise and gives you actionable advice to navigate the unwritten rules and find your place and purpose at work." — Dorie Clark, bestselling author of The Long Game and executive education faculty, Duke University Fuqua School of Business
"With the authority of experience, King shows how knowing the informal rules is the path to advancement and fulfillment." — Kirkus Reviews
"This book will help readers understand what it means to belong, build networks, and succeed at work." — Booklist