Kate White: Go Bolder and Bigger in Your Career

Kate WhiteDo you want to go bigger, bolder and more badass in your career? That’s what Kate White taught the many young women who attended a recent NYWICI event, “Interview Prep: How To Be The Gutsy Girl That Gets The Job.”

Kate, The New York Times best-selling author of “The Gutsy Girl Handbook” and former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, shared her secrets for career success, letting students and young professionals in on the key strategies that she swears by. And even if you weren’t able to make it to the Student Affairs Committee event, the secrets and stories she shared are applicable for years to come.

Listen to Kate White on NYWICI’s podcast Coffee Break.

“Today, I want to encourage any of you who still wear your good girl shoes to hang them up,” Kate announced and inspired us to take risks and ask for what we want, plus so much more, with these three key messages.

Own your ambition and passion

Kate emphasizes that women should own their ambition and recognize how ready they are. “If you hold back from doing actual things, it could make a huge difference in your career,” she says. And her secrets to achieving authenticity? Know yourself. Show passion. Accept that you do not need to be 100 percent ready.

Whether it’s applying for a job, asking for a raise or starting that side hustle, Kate believes we all need to just “say yes and then figure it out!”

Go big or go home

According to Kate, achievement comes from going bigger. “It’s not enough to do what you have been told to do and do it well,” she says. “Bold innovation and disruption create buzz. And most importantly, generate your own buzz!”

When taking action, Kate asks us to consider these questions: Could it be better? Could it be bolder? Could it be bigger? Could it be more badass? “These questions will guide you to breakthrough ideas, and breakthrough ideas break the rules.”

How to go bigger? Kate recommends approaching people for support and advice. For example, students should take advantage of school resources by attending various information sessions and events, meeting with a variety of students and faculty members and listening to their advice and feedback.

Asking for what you want

Kate encourages women to ask for promotions and seek opportunities. Put yourself out there and “raise your hand!” One way she herself did this in her own career was to bring her accountant to a meeting regarding a contract for a new job. Her accountant Bob was there to help Kate negotiate her salary and equity in the company, which ended up helping her get exactly what she was looking for. Kate states that one way she reminds herself to feel empowered (and others can too!) in these situations is to BYOB—be your own Bob!

And she adds that it’s important to really take the time to envision your career. “Spend 30 minutes a week thinking about your career. Ask yourself, ‘am I happy working here? Do I like the environment? And finally, am I ready for a change?’ Then find steps to determine where you want to go.”

Beyond these three key strategies for overall career success, Kate believes you can easily apply them to the job interview, too. For starters, women can and should play up their successes more in interviews. Don’t dismiss your background and don’t be afraid to own your own your accomplishments.

Secondly, one of the top mistakes during the job interview is a lack of enthusiasm, which can cause jittery nerves to negatively impact your performance. This is where that BYOB mantra can come into play. Find your confidence and own it in the interview.

Lastly, people love to talk about their business, so do your research and ask questions! Make it clear that you would bring value and be a true asset to the company. Kate believes that showing enthusiasm and curiosity, customizing your responses and being your unique self can go a long way in the interview process.

For more amazing career advice from experts like Kate White, sign up for one of the many upcoming events offered by NYWICI. And to get the scoop or bring an idea for an event to life, get involved by joining NYWICI and one of its many committees today!

Ningjie (Grace) Zhan


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