Why are almost all the bloggers in the Life at Work section at BNET women? I’m worried, because it’s never good for one’s career to be in a room full of women unless you’re a model or a stripper. Because where there are women there are lower salaries.

This is not a case of discrimination. I mean, it’s not that men get paid more for the same work that women do. It’s that women choose to do different work. I interviewed Al Lee, the quantitative analysis genius who combs through salaries at PayScale, and among the fascinating things he told me was that women and men get paid similar amounts for similar work but that women pick lower-paying fields, and lower paying paths.

So, for instance, neurosurgeons are men and family practice doctors are women. And social workers are women and psychiatrists are men. Al says that the best thing women can do to increase their earning power is “to choose fields dominated by men right out of college.”

I have actually been given this advice often in my career. For example, mentors told me to stay in line for management positions where I would be responsible for profit and loss for the company (product manager, for example) rather than go into support roles where I help people become stars in profit and loss but get no direct credit myself (human resources, for example).

So I went into tech. All men. And I started doing venture-backed startups. All men. And when I have been in departments that were all women, I either quit or switched to another department. Really. I am not stupid.

But all that careful work throughout my career and now I’m writing with all women. I am sure this is not good.

I went over the BNET to investigate the situation and I stumbled on Kimberly Weisul’s piece titled,Why Mentoring Helps Men More than Women. I clicked, mostly because I am always worried about not having the right mentors.

It turns out, I probably don’t have the right mentors, because women connect with people lower on the food chain than men do. I panic. I need to connect with business writers who are not writing work life stuff. No. Wait. I need to connect with Eric Schurenberg, who is editor-in-chief of BNET. I need to go out to lunch with him and make him love me, and then he’ll think of me first when he creates the power-writer’s group that lives on the home page of BNET and pops up in everyone’s browser with the urgency of a subscribe-now button on a porn site.

The thing is that Kimberly concludes in her post that women are getting ripped off. It kills me. I don’t want to be writing next to women who believe that women are getting a raw deal and then complain about it. I don’t buy it.

As I said, there is not a salary gap between women and men. There is a competition gap between women and men. Women choose collaborative, feel-good jobs, like writing in the how-can-we-all-get-along-better section of BNET and men choose the competitive, dog-eat-dog jobs like managing all the feel-good writers on BNET. That link is to Paul Sloan. My editor.

Will he even let me run this piece? I don’t know. You know what? I can’t stop writing about him. I have a little crush on him even though he won’t answer his phone when I call and he always returns my calls at 6pm central when he knows I won’t pick up the phone because I’m having dinner with my family.

Women: It is very bad to write stuff about dinner with family if you are trying to get ahead. Do not do this. People assume that if you have kids you will do less work. This may or may not be true – I mean, doing less work. But what is true is that you should not talk about family at work if you want to be in the all-boys departments.

However it is okay to talk about crushes at work because it is more of a single person thing to do. I mean, everyone has crushes, but only single people talk about it. So I think it makes me have a better chance of getting out of the girl ghetto at BNET if I tell you that Paul is a little shorter than I am, and not as good-looking as I am, but still, he is fun and cute.

My kids are Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2010. And I wonder: what can we see in those kids now that can tell us what they’ll be like later, at work?

As a history student in college (history of political thought, for all you fans of the Republic) and still an obsessive researcher of generational demographic trends (everyone should start with Strauss & Howe) I understand that to study history (contemporary or ancient), you must study generational shifts in thinking, because the way the generation thinks helps us to understand and explain historical action. And maybe predict future action.

So I think a lot about what Generation Z will be like. I have written before about what Generation Z will be like at work , but I’ve been thinking, recently, that the way Gen Z is educated will change the workplace when they enter it.

Baby boomers changed politics, Gen X changed family, Gen Y changed work, and Gen Z will change education. Here’s how the education of Gen Z will affect us at work. Read more

I just spent the last two weeks selling my self-published book. I published a book a few years ago with Time Warner, but I wanted to see what it would be like to self-publish. I decided against an ebook format because I really like holding the book of an author I love to read. I like living with that book in my house because it’s like living with a friend.

So I went with a print book. And I did a lot of unconventional things – beginning with the announcement — and they paid off. So, here’s my advice on the new rules for self-publishing.

1. Mainstream publishers help very few people. And probably not you.
Authors sell books, not publishers. For writers without a big name, publishers give them credibility. The problem is that publishers aren’t set up to be able to make money from authors who haven’t already made a name for themselves. This arrangement used to be fine before social media, before almost every author needed a channel to an audience. But now authors have the ready-made sales channel that is social media, so the publishers are no longer the gatekeepers to customers.

Amanda Hocking is reportedly making a million dollars a year self-publishing ebooks. And very rich author Joe Konrath, who has written about the math behind publishing, recently he turned down a half-a-million-dollar book deal so that he could self-publish. Read more

If you’re here because you read the Tim Ferriss article in the New York Times today, you will probably want to read the blog post I wrote about my experiences with Tim Ferriss:

5 Time management tips I learned from years of hating Tim Ferriss

And, here are some other posts you might enjoy:

What it’s like to have sex with someone who has Aspergers Syndrome

Bad career advice: Do what you love

Tim Ferriss Diet

I hope you enjoy my blog!


I didn't notice how much Yiddish I use until I moved to Wisconsin and people had not heard any Yiddish. I keep using it, though because it’s a great supplement to English; almost all Yiddish words we use with English are actually extremely nuanced ways to express negative feelings about something or someone.

Take, for example, tsotcke, chazzerai, and schmate. In this photo, the candlesticks are tsotchkes—they are stuff I don't need but I have in the house because I like them. In general, if it's your stuff, it's valuable or sentimental, but to other people, it's just tsotchkes.

The stuff in front of my candlesticks is chazzerai—junky toys. The kids still play with them, but only in so far as they are weapons to catapult into each others' heads under the guise of a missed toss. Chazzerai is more negative than tsotchke. If it's a tsotchke, everyone wants to throw it out except for the owner. If it's chazzerai, even the owner will not rescue it from the garbage.

Using Yiddish is a way to feel a sense of belonging through a common language. There are lots of ways to feel like you belong. When I work at a company I belong through a common goal.

Last week I flew to Washington DC for a Brazen Careerist meeting, with Ryan Paugh. When he saw what I was wearing and he said, “Nu? What’s with this schmate around your waist?”

He didn't actually say that. He might have if he were Jewish. Instead, he said, “That sweater is pretty dirty.” I put another schmate over my schmate because if you have one schmate it's just a rag—which is the literal translation of the word. But two schmates, I was hoping, is more Mary-Kate Olsen. Read more

My son made this card for me, after I bought him Pokemon Cards. So it seems appropriate that after you guys bought so many copies of my new book last week, I give the card to you.

My book sales are going great, probably because I'm very happy having something to sell. Book sales were supposed to close yesterday, but I have a new idea. For another week. Maybe you can do this with your friends.

If you buy 10 books, I'll work with you on the phone to rewrite your resume or provide an hour of coaching.

If you buy 100 books, I'll fly to wherever you are and speak, or do a workshop or hang out with you — whatever you want.

I'd really like to speak at a high school. I've done it before and it's a blast. So if you buy books for all the kids in a high school, I'll spend two days there inspiring the kids to think bigger about what makes a good life for them — one day speaking and one day meeting with students.

Here’s the place where you buy the book.

Thank you for being so fun to do a blog with. I hope I get to meet a lot of you this way.

I just got back from Washington, DC where we were meeting about the future of Brazen Careerist. The only time you have big company meetings for a startup is if you have no money or a lot of money. We just got a lot of money.

Usually I bring something to do during Brazen Careerist meetings because I get so bored. I don’t get bored when I talk. But I get bored when I listen. Unfortunately the only way to hear new ideas is to listen. So I try.

We brought in this guy, Michael Mayernick, from the company Spinnakr. Here’s a picture I took of him meeting with us.

He has this great product that can tell where someone is coming from, and then you change your home page to appeal more to the type of person that would come from that site. Really big companies use this technology already, but now Michael’s company makes this technology for smaller companies. So now, for instance, all of you who come to my blog from porn sites can get a version of this photo with Michael naked.

When Michael wasn’t there, I furtively worked on my site redesign. Not like I did the designing. Melissa did a lot of it. If you think the design sucks, here’s her twitter handle: @melissa.

I like the design because there are now more than 1000 posts, and this design is meant to help people get to them. I spent most of my time in DC drawing lists of ways to think about navigation.

And peppering the conversation with bright ideas about where Brazen Careerist should go.

I did not tell anyone in the company that I was taking the title Brazen Careerist off of my blog. I think it is time, though. This is a good design for a period when my career is in transition. I can change the categories and the links all the time until I figure out which parts of the last eight years of writing are best to highlight now.

I hope you like the new design. I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas of what to do next. Thanks.


Here’s how I got my job at BNET. Paul Sloan asked me if I write for other publications. I said no because I love my blog too much. (Where else could I write a post about what it’s like to have sex with me?)

Then Paul said that he would be my editor. So I said yes. I love Paul. He is fun and smart and he (almost) always answers his phone when I want to talk about my marital problems. (Although he will not publish my marital problems, which, again, is why I love my blog.)

So I tried to negotiate really hard to get a lot of money from BNET. I had Paul get his boss Eric on the phone. I worked with Eric when we were both at Business 2.0. When that magazine went under, Paul, Eric and I all got fired together. Or, wait. Maybe Paul or Eric fired me. Read more

The farmer tells me that farmers are going to the Capitol to protest on Saturday.

I tell him I think it's stupid. It's not like Walker broke a law. People who voted for him should think twice about right-wing fascists next time they go to the polls.

The farmer says fine. He wants to go and he wants to take the kids.

I want to be supportive. I say, “The kids will go nuts there with so many people. I'll go with you to help with the kids.”

He says, “Actually, I am okay handling the kids in crowds. The person who is most likely to go nuts in a crowd is you. So it’d be better if you stayed home anyway.”

I say, “Ok. Thanks.” And I say, “I don't want to start a fight. I just want to understand. Why are you going now? It's over. Walker won.” Read more

I know I said I’d never do another book. But I’m good at admitting when I change my mind.

Here’s how that happened. Read more