Here is my book tour schedule so far. You’ll be able to find updates on my book web site, at in a few days. For now, here’s the schedule.

I have actually already gone to one city, as a pre-publication test run: Cleveland. And I met up with a bunch of people including Cheezhead blogger Joel Cheesman, who recorded an interview that you can listen to here.

I’m looking forward to meeting a lot more people in person as the tour continues.

June 4, Atlanta
A Cappella Books
484-C Moreland Ave NE.
Atlanta, GA 30307

June 7, New York City
Tequila Jack’s
1668 Third Ave
Between East 93rd and 94th
(212) 426-1416

June 11, Boston
Location TBD

June 18, Tampa
Inkwood Books
216 South Armenia Avenue
Tampa, FL 33609-3310
(813) 253-2638

June 21, San Francisco
Location TBD

More reviews of my book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success. I send a big thank you to everyone who is writing about the book! Also, for the book publication, I’ve launched a new home site.

Here’s the home site:

And here are the latest reviews:

Bob Sutton at Bob Sutton
This book made me think, it made me squirm, and it also made realize that too many of my assumptions about how to get a job — or in my case, how to advise Stanford students who are looking for jobs — are wrong or half-wrong.

Richard Florida at Creativity Exchange
A terrific guide to managing your career in today’s horizontal labor market. I devoured it in an afternoon.

Brendon Connelly at Slacker Manager
There’s a lot to love in this book. It’s an easy and fun read-especially when you see yourself in the pages.

David Maister at
She writes so well that even if you’re not in her target audience (Generation X or Y), or currently in the market for career advice, she’s nevertheless worth making a daily habit.

Curt Rosengren at Occupational Adventure
She’s whip smart, no-nonsense, and always has great ideas to share.

Steven Rothberg at
Penelope Trunk is one of this generation’s greatest career writers.

Maura Welch at
A hot new book that lays down the new rules for career success in her always smart, no-nonsense manner. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it.

David Rothacker at Rothacker Reviews
As a Boomer manager, I feel as if Brazen Careerist is my own personal undercover spy, infiltrating the Gen X and Y’ers’ world.

Jeri Dansky Jeri’s Organizing and Decluttering News
I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Debra Owen at 8 hours & a lunch
Whether you’re facing a quarter-life crisis, or a mid-life one, this is worth a read.

My book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success, is shipping from Amazon!

Buy it there now. Or buy the book in local book stores starting on May 25.

Here is tip #25 from the book: Don’t Use Adverbs

If you want people to pay attention to what you have to say, write short. This is true in all of life, but most true at work. Most of the writing we do at work is in the format of an email, proposal or presentation – all documents that your audience wants to get through quickly. The faster and more concisely you get to your point, the more likely your reader will stick with you and understand your message. “If today the president got up and addressed the nation in 270 words, it’d be a top news story. People will pay more attention because you’re so brief,” writes Janice Obuchowski in the Harvard Management Update.

We sound most authentic when we talk, and verbally, short, simple sentence construction comes naturally to us. When we write, authenticity gets buried under poor word choice. For example, people who use complicated words are seen as not as smart as people who write with a more basic vocabulary. “It’s important to point out that this research is not about problems with using long words but about using long words needlessly,” says Daniel Oppenheimer, professor of psychology at Princeton University.

Writing short is not easy. Take the 270-word Gettysburg Address, for example. “Lincoln didn’t just suddenly master elegant language. He wrote wonderful, down to earth language that was very concrete. But he rigorously trained himself to do that,” says Bryan Garner, editor of the Dictionary of Modern American Usage.

Here are some self-editing tricks for writing shorter:

1. Write lists.
People love reading lists. They are faster and easier to read than unformatted writing, and they are more fun. If you can’t list your ideas then you aren’t organized enough to send them to someone else.

2. Think on your own time.
Most of us think while we write. But people don’t want to read your thinking process; they want to see the final result. Find your main point in each paragraph and delete everything else. If someone is dying to know your logic, they’ll ask.

3. Keep paragraphs short.
Your idea gets lost in a paragraph that’s more than four or five lines. Two lines is the best length if you really need your reader to digest each word.

4. Write like you talk.
Each of us has the gift of rhythm when it comes to sentences, which includes a natural economy of language. But you must practice writing in order to transfer your verbal gifts to the page. Start by avoiding words you never say. For example, you would never say “in conclusion” when you are speaking to someone so don’t use it when you write.

5. Delete.
When you’re finished, you’re not finished: cut 10% of the words. I do this with every column I write. Sometimes, in fact, I realize that I can cut 25% of the words, and then my word count isn’t high enough to be a column and I have to think of more things to say. Luckily, you don’t have to write for publication, so you can celebrate if you cut more than 10%. Note: It is cheating to do this step before you really think you’re done.

6. Avoid telltale signs of a rube.
Passive voice. Almost no one ever speaks this way. And on top of that, when you write it you give away that you are unclear about who is doing what because the nature of the passive voice is to obscure the person taking the action. Check yourself: search for all instances of “by” in your document. If you have a noun directly following “by” then it’s probably passive voice. Change it.

7. Avoid adjectives and adverbs.
The fastest way to a point is to let the facts speak for themselves. Adjectives and adverbs are your interpretation of the facts. If you present the right facts, you won’t need to throw in your interpretation. For example, you can say, “Susie’s project is going slowly.” Or you can say, “Susie’s project is behind schedule.” If you use the first sentence, you’ll have to use the second sentence, too, but the second sentence encompasses the first. So as you cut your adjectives and adverbs, you might even be able to cut all the sentences that contain them.

… I just checked to see if I have modifiers in this section. I do. But I think I use them well. You will think this, too, about your own modifiers, when you go back over your writing. But I have an editor, and you don’t, and I usually use a modifier to be funny, and you do not need to be funny in professional emails. So get rid of your adverbs and adjectives, really.

Guy asked for more material from me for his blog. So I wrote up a list of the biggest workplace myths. Here is my favorite:

Myth #9: Create the shiny brand of you!
There is no magic formula to having a great career except to be you. Really you. Know who you are and have the humility to understand that self-knowledge is a never-ending journey. Figure out how to do what you love, and you’ll be great at it. Offer your true, good-natured self to other people and you’ll have a great network. Those who stand out as leaders have a notable authenticity that enables them to make genuinely meaningful connections with a wide range of people. Authenticity is a tool for changing the world by doing good.

Go to Guy Kawasaki’s blog, How to Change the World, for the whole list.

Here are more reviews of my book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success, which is already shipping from Amazon.

I send a big thanks to each of these bloggers for taking the time to review the book!

Sarah van Ingen at Armchair Interviews
Trunk’s writing is tight, energetic and enjoyable to read. After spending a couple days with the Brazen Careerist, I felt like I had been given a shot of adrenalin for my career. And who isn’t in need of that?

Devin Reams at
A must-read for upcoming or recent college grads. This is a guide for how successful careers work.

Heather Mundell at lifeatwork
Trunk’s advice is refreshing and her arguments are thought-provoking. She challenges us as readers to take a clear-eyed view of what we want in our careers and consider new ways of getting it.

Jason Alba at JibberJobber
No matter what generation you are in, this book is a must read.

Dawn Papandrea at CollegeSurfing Insider
For anyone making their way through corporate struggles, deciding if they should go for an advanced degree or launch a new business, or discovering a completely new line of work, Trunk’s renegade advice is right on.

Alexandra Levit at Water Cooler Wisdom
Penelope Trunk knows herself, she stands by her beliefs, and she can always be counted on for a unique and often provocative opinion. As she mentions her own leadership achievements and her worst social faux pas in the same paragraph, Penelope’s tone and examples balance confidence and assertiveness with authenticity and a little healthy self-deprecation. It’s a fabulous resource for anyone who’s searching for fulfillment in a career or in life!

Interviews with me about the book:

Audio! Chris Russell at Secrets of the Job Hunt

Allen Holman at Management College

Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious

Toby Bloomberg at Diva Marketing

Previous reviews of Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success are here and here.

My book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success, is shipping from Amazon!

Buy it there now. Or buy the book in local book stores starting on May 25.

Here is tip #26 from the book:

Leverage Your Core Competencies by Off-Loading Jargon

Don’t use jargon. I know you’ve heard this rule before, but maybe no one has ever told you the real reason for the rule. You lose your authenticity when you reach for cliched phrases, and your choice of jargon reveals your weakness. Today business writing is “mired in cliche. It’s very stiff, striving to impress. It’s not honest: Here’s who I am,” says Tim Schellhardt, former bureau chief at The Wall Street Journal and now a public relations executive.

Phrases like “leverage your core competencies” spread through corporate life because the pressure to conform at work can be intense. Once you hear other people using the jargon, it’s easy to use it yourself. The result is an environment in which no voice stands out as authentic, according to the authors of, Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter’s Guide.

There’s also jargon that goes across most industries. The phrases you hear whether you’re an accountant in consumer products or a programmer in health care. Most people understand this jargon, but using it makes you look bad because most cross-industry jargon is a euphemism for being desperate or incompetent or calling someone else desperate or incompetent. Here are some examples:

“Let’s think out of the box.” Really means, “Can you creatively anemic people please come up with something?” People who really do think out of the box do it whether they are told to or not. That’s how they think. If you feel like you need to tell someone to think out of the box, then it’s probably hopeless. The person who says, “Let’s think out of the box” is usually desperate for a new idea and surrounded by people who are not known for generating ideas. So the phrase is actually an announcement that says, “I’m in trouble.”

“I need someone who can hit the ground running.” Really means, “I am screwed.” Because no one can hit the ground running. You need to at least assess what race you’re in and who else is running. Everyone has a race strategy when they are in the blocks. You need a little time to get one. In the case of a new hire this means taking some time to assess company politics. If your employer needs you to hit the ground running then you’ve already missed your window to achieve success.

Let’s hit a home run: “I’m desperate to look good. Even though the odds of a home run are slim, I’m banking on one because it’s the only thing that’ll save me.” Something for all your sports fans to remember: If you have a bunch of solid hitters you don’t need a bunch of home runs.

You and I are not on the same page. “Get on my page. Your page is misguided.” No one ever says, “We’re not on the same page, so let me work really hard to understand your point of view. If you want to understand someone else, you say, “Can you tell me more about how you’re thinking.”

I’m calling to touch base. “I want something from you but I can’t say it up front.” Or “I am worried that you are lost and I’m sniffing around for signs to confirm my hunch.” Or “I’m calling because you micromanage me.”

My plate is full: “Help I’m drowning,” or “I would kill myself before I’d work on your project.”

Let’s close the loop. “Let me make sure I’m not going to get into trouble for this one.”

Let’s touch base next week: “I don’t want to talk to you now,” or “You are on a short leash and you need to report back to me.”

Keep this on your radar. “This will come back to bite you… or me.”

I sent this list to Peter Degen-Portnoy, inventor and president of Innovatium, and he pointed out one I missed: We’re not communicating well means “I don’t like you.”

I have never met Peter in person. But he sends me smart and soul-searching emails that reveal an authenticity that makes me feel like we’re friends. He never uses jargon, at least with me. So I like him.

Those of you who strive to be authentic every day of your life will not be derailed by jargon. To people who are connected to their work and their co-workers, jargon will not feel appropriate so you’ll rarely use it. Use jargon as a sign that you are disconnected to whatever is going on that is related to the jargon. If you treat the disconnectedness, and reestablish authenticity, the jargon will go away.

Buy the book now!

Here is a list of some reviews of my book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success. I really appreciate that so many people took the time to review the book. Thank you! (There are more reviews than these — I’ll post another list next Monday.)

Joanne Bamberger at Punditmom
An amazing little volume that should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

Rowan Manahan at Fortify Your Oasis
Brazen Careerist covers the ground that other careers books shy away from. It is pertinent (sometimes impertinent!), immediately applicable and a joy to read. If you are looking for ideas to synchronize your working and personal lives into a “harmonious adventure” that you pursue on your own terms, then get yourself a copy. Penelope never disappoints.

Cody McKibben at Pursuing Excellence
Penelope’s new book, Brazen Careerist, picks up where Tom [Peters] left off. The name not only describes Trunk’s bold approach to work, but it delivers on its promise to key readers in to the important ingredients in a recipe for delicious career success!

Diane Danielson at Downtown Women’s Club
Managers and more senior employees should take a gander too. It might shake up some of your beliefs, but it also might help you better understand why young people think a bit differently about their careers.

Marshall Sponder at Web Metrics Guru
Brazen Careerist is much different than any career book I’ve seen before this. Penelope cuts her own path and makes a convincing case for her approach to the workplace.

Frank Roche at KnowHR Blog
Brazen Careerist is a book that should be read by everyone under 40 who wants to know the real deal in corporate America. And it should scare the crap out of those over 40.”

Ramit Sethi at I Will Teach You To Be Rich
She has attitude. I mean that in a good way. You can actually hear her in her writing.

Maureen Rogers at Pink Slip
Brazen Careerist is an advice book that is actually well-written, sharp, and funny.

And here are earlier reviews
By Guy Kawasaki, Bob Sutton and Keith Ferrazzi

Hello everyone in Cleveland. I’ll be there Monday night, and after years of writing columns and blogging, I’m really excited to meet people face-to-face.

I’ll be at Artefino at 6:30, with no particular agenda except to get to know you. If there is a small crowd, we can have coffee and chat. If there’s a large crowd, I’ll speak about something — maybe the book, maybe my plane flight, who knows…

The book isn’t out yet. So I won’t be selling it there. You could say this is sort of a pre-book tour stop on the book tour. I look forward to seeing you!

My book tour will include a lot more cities than this. But these are my test cities, to see how much interest there is coming from the blog.

I’m going to do a sort of get-together thing (not sure what) in both of these cities. If you are interested in joining me in Cleveland or Atlanta, can you please send a quick email to to let me know?

Also, if you have a great idea about what I should set up in either of these cities, please tell me that, too.

Thanks. I’m really looking forward to meeting people face to face.