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The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

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You’ve landed a job. Now what? No one tells you how to navigate your first day in a new role. No one tells you how to take ownership, manage expectations, or handle workplace politics. No one tells you how to get promoted. The answers to these professional unknowns lie in the unspoken rules—the certain ways of doing things that managers expect but don’t explain and that top You’ve landed a job. Now what? No one tells you how to navigate your first day in a new role. No one tells you how to take ownership, manage expectations, or handle workplace politics. No one tells you how to get promoted. The answers to these professional unknowns lie in the unspoken rules—the certain ways of doing things that managers expect but don’t explain and that top performers do but don’t realize. The problem is, these rules aren’t taught in school. Instead, they get passed down over the dinner table or from mentor to mentee, making for an unlevel playing field, with the insiders getting ahead and the outsiders stumbling along through trial and error. Until now. In this practical guide, Gorick Ng, a first-generation college student and Harvard career adviser, demystifies the unspoken rules of work. Ng distills the wisdom he’s gathered from over five hundred interviews with professionals across industries and job types about the biggest mistakes people make at work. Loaded with frameworks, checklists, and talking points, the book provides concrete strategies you can apply immediately to your own situation and will help you navigate inevitable questions, such as: • How do I manage my time in the face of conflicting priorities? • How do I build relationships when I’m working remotely? • How do I ask for help without looking incompetent or lazy? The Unspoken Rules is the only book you need to perform your best, stand out from your peers, and set yourself up for a fulfilling career.


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You’ve landed a job. Now what? No one tells you how to navigate your first day in a new role. No one tells you how to take ownership, manage expectations, or handle workplace politics. No one tells you how to get promoted. The answers to these professional unknowns lie in the unspoken rules—the certain ways of doing things that managers expect but don’t explain and that top You’ve landed a job. Now what? No one tells you how to navigate your first day in a new role. No one tells you how to take ownership, manage expectations, or handle workplace politics. No one tells you how to get promoted. The answers to these professional unknowns lie in the unspoken rules—the certain ways of doing things that managers expect but don’t explain and that top performers do but don’t realize. The problem is, these rules aren’t taught in school. Instead, they get passed down over the dinner table or from mentor to mentee, making for an unlevel playing field, with the insiders getting ahead and the outsiders stumbling along through trial and error. Until now. In this practical guide, Gorick Ng, a first-generation college student and Harvard career adviser, demystifies the unspoken rules of work. Ng distills the wisdom he’s gathered from over five hundred interviews with professionals across industries and job types about the biggest mistakes people make at work. Loaded with frameworks, checklists, and talking points, the book provides concrete strategies you can apply immediately to your own situation and will help you navigate inevitable questions, such as: • How do I manage my time in the face of conflicting priorities? • How do I build relationships when I’m working remotely? • How do I ask for help without looking incompetent or lazy? The Unspoken Rules is the only book you need to perform your best, stand out from your peers, and set yourself up for a fulfilling career.

30 review for The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Evans

    I'm a recent college graduate who just started my first ~real~ job (in management consulting). I was given an advance review copy of the book. I loved this book and will regularly return to it for three reasons: (1) Unspoken Rules teaches you how to fish *and* gives you fish: Throughout the book, Ng provides readers frameworks for thinking about your work (e.g. he explains difference between our 'internal' and 'external' narrative at work). He supplements these with very practical tools, such as I'm a recent college graduate who just started my first ~real~ job (in management consulting). I was given an advance review copy of the book. I loved this book and will regularly return to it for three reasons: (1) Unspoken Rules teaches you how to fish *and* gives you fish: Throughout the book, Ng provides readers frameworks for thinking about your work (e.g. he explains difference between our 'internal' and 'external' narrative at work). He supplements these with very practical tools, such as 'what to keep in mind during work meetings', and written examples of emails other young professionals have written to reach powerful people at work. On that note... (2) Unspoken Rules is filled with stories of young professionals like me, making it very different from other self-help and career books I've read. I laughed, I cringed (usually at my own past internship blunders that popped to mind), and took many notes. (3) Unspoken Rules isn't prescriptive. Ng begins the book by reminding readers to "reject, embrace, or bend the rules". Ng's tone throughout the book strikes a delicate balance between gifting us best practices and encouraging readers to be curious and self-aware at work. Highly recommend.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Le

    I am a late 20s professional in finance was given an advance copy of this book to review. Wow, I wish I had this book when I graduated from college! Ng does a wonderful job not just explaining the basics of career success, but exploring more nuanced examples of how to set yourself apart. As a hiring manager for our undergraduate and MBA internship and analyst/associate programs, it is important to demonstrate the 3Cs that Ng mentions: competence, commitment, and compatibility...and yet so few st I am a late 20s professional in finance was given an advance copy of this book to review. Wow, I wish I had this book when I graduated from college! Ng does a wonderful job not just explaining the basics of career success, but exploring more nuanced examples of how to set yourself apart. As a hiring manager for our undergraduate and MBA internship and analyst/associate programs, it is important to demonstrate the 3Cs that Ng mentions: competence, commitment, and compatibility...and yet so few students that graduate today showcase all 3. One story in particular stuck with me...too often students expect to apply for a specific position, but do not create their own opportunities. Ng's story about an analyst starting out and being persistent to network and "ask" for a rotation in a coveted role through exceeding bare minimum expectations and networking through a book club provides great anecdotes for fresh graduates to reflect back on work expectations and how to go above and beyond to be noticed and also create opportunities for themselves. Outside of work, I also mentor several high school and college students and usually recommend a few. I would recommend "How to Win at College" and "How to become a Straight A Student" by Cal Newport for the graduating high school senior and then Ng's book as well as "Defining Decade" by Meg Jay for the graduating college student. These are must reads for students to understand the passage from high school to college, and the professional world as they enter their first post-college job and experience a world with fewer rules on getting an "A" and more unspoken rules on dress code, performing well at work, and much more!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paige Boehmcke

    I am a late-20s professional, and I was given an advance review copy of the book. As an oldest child and someone with a winding career path, this is the career advice book I wish I had when I was young and wide-eyed. Like an encouraging older brother, Ng conspiratorially reveals the "unspoken rules" of professionalism. Each chapter empowers young people to "take ownership" of their career by learning the rules and then making informed decisions on when to follow the rules and when to break them. I am a late-20s professional, and I was given an advance review copy of the book. As an oldest child and someone with a winding career path, this is the career advice book I wish I had when I was young and wide-eyed. Like an encouraging older brother, Ng conspiratorially reveals the "unspoken rules" of professionalism. Each chapter empowers young people to "take ownership" of their career by learning the rules and then making informed decisions on when to follow the rules and when to break them. For example, in Chapter 6: Manage Your Appearance, Ng explains how to identify expected attire, what conforming looks like, what non-conforming looks like, and what factors you might consider when deciding how much of your personal style to show at work. Unlike similar books in the self-help/advice for recent grads genre, this book takes a modern approach to career advice, citing the latest research on bias and discrimination, and providing short examples of other young people's actions at work and how they were perceived. Some pieces I found especially helpful: - In Chapter 3: Show Up Like a High Performer, there's an excellent section on email etiquette and follow up. I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed young professionals fail to follow up on emails that don't get a response because they're afraid to be "annoying." - In Chapter 14: Resolve Conflicts, Ng lays out a plan for what to do when the job just isn't working out, whether the solution is to fix it, live with it, or cut your losses and leave. Having worked at startups with a lot of "uncertainty" in my early career, using the straightforward plan laid out in this chapter would have saved me a lot of emotional turmoil! This book would be appropriate (especially as a gift, maybe from a parent, teacher, mentor, or manager) for any young person new to the world of work or any young person who feels like an outsider.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nasaiah

    Gorick Ng's book, The Unspoken Rules, provides a specific guide to how to become a successful career-oriented individual. As a high school student who is close to graduating, Mr. Ng's story has given me insight to what the real world is like. It has given me wisdom and knowledge to apply to my day-to-day activities. With Mr. Ng being an FGLI (first generation, low-income) student who has graduated an elite university TWICE, and has a successful lifestyle, it makes this book a lot more reliable, Gorick Ng's book, The Unspoken Rules, provides a specific guide to how to become a successful career-oriented individual. As a high school student who is close to graduating, Mr. Ng's story has given me insight to what the real world is like. It has given me wisdom and knowledge to apply to my day-to-day activities. With Mr. Ng being an FGLI (first generation, low-income) student who has graduated an elite university TWICE, and has a successful lifestyle, it makes this book a lot more reliable, relatable, and rich. This book gives you all of "The Unspoken Rules" about how to reach the top. What makes this book so unique and apart from others -- is that it includes real experiences. Whether you hope to go into finance or law, The Unspoken Rules can give you the greatest secrets to be at the top.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paul Posoli

    I'm a former leader in the energy business and the founder of a non profit for first generation college students. Gorick masterfully presents the behaviors that are critical differentiators between top performers and the rest of the pack in corporate America. He created a comprehensive guide to early success in the workplace. His real life examples from diverse, first generation graduates are powerful, enlightening, and easily understood. Unspoken Rules is a must read for any young person starti I'm a former leader in the energy business and the founder of a non profit for first generation college students. Gorick masterfully presents the behaviors that are critical differentiators between top performers and the rest of the pack in corporate America. He created a comprehensive guide to early success in the workplace. His real life examples from diverse, first generation graduates are powerful, enlightening, and easily understood. Unspoken Rules is a must read for any young person starting their career, especially those from an underrepresented background! Paul Posoli, Founder, CareerSpring

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Li

    For context, I am the 2nd growth marketing hire at Zageno, a General Catalyst backed biotech startup based in Boston, MA. I also head content at Elpha, a Y Combinator backed startup and a community of 36K+ women in tech, Harvard in Tech, and Techstars Boston. I was formerly a venture capital investor and employee #1 at Soma Capital, a seed stage fund based in San Francisco. I was given an advanced review copy of the book. The Unspoken Rules is truly a treasure trove of information. Like Ben Horo For context, I am the 2nd growth marketing hire at Zageno, a General Catalyst backed biotech startup based in Boston, MA. I also head content at Elpha, a Y Combinator backed startup and a community of 36K+ women in tech, Harvard in Tech, and Techstars Boston. I was formerly a venture capital investor and employee #1 at Soma Capital, a seed stage fund based in San Francisco. I was given an advanced review copy of the book. The Unspoken Rules is truly a treasure trove of information. Like Ben Horowitz’s What You Do Is Who You Are, the Unspoken Rules expertly blends tactical information, immensely useful communication templates, narratives, and examples. As someone who has had a wide variety of early career experiences and as someone who writes, reflects, and reads often on the topic of professional development, I had thought I knew much of what there is to know on the topic, but Gorick’s book proved me wrong in the best way. I found new insight in practically every paragraph and frankly wanted to bookmark every page! After reading the book, I am approaching my professional life both in and outside of work in an entirely new and better way. I now have tremendous guidance on how to best navigate both challenges and opportunities with the highest level of tact and EQ. I have spent tons of time searching for and reading professional self help content (on podcasts, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, and general search) but always found that existing resources stay too high level in their advice, telling people to, for example, manage up well or be proactive or prepare well for meetings but never clearly articulating (or articulately rather poorly) *how* exactly to do those things. In contrast, Gorick’s book does the absolute best job in getting to the atomic unit of advice that is immediately useful and usable by anyone in the workplace. He spells out exactly what taking the advice looks like, actual email and conversation scripts, different possible scenarios and how to respond, best practices, common pitfalls, and much, much more. My younger brother is starting college this fall, and I am 100% going to buy him this book. My partner (same age as me) will also be getting a copy! If I had the means, I would buy this book for everyone early career employee at every company, particularly in rapidly growing industries like tech (where I have spent my early career) and in very EQ oriented industries like finance or business in general (where I did several internships while at Harvard). As someone who works closely with startups (as an advisor and mentor and previously as an investor), this book would be a tremendous asset for talent leaders and truly any bosses or CEOs looking to grow or strengthen their team and culture. I am the first child of 2 immigrants. My father always encouraged me to focus on working smart, not just hard, but he never knew or could tell me how. I had wonderful mentors but even they were only able to give me bits and pieces of advice throughout the years (most of it at a high level only). I am so glad to have discovered Gorick’s book because it truly answers all of my questions, concerns, and doubts throughout the years of navigating the professional world on my own. I wish I could give this book to my younger self, to parents everywhere, and to students and early career people like myself! If you read nothing else, please read this, and I can promise you will thank yourself 1000 times.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jitendra

    Youtube Review :The unspoken rules by Gorick NG "Managers expect the things to be done in a certain way but do not explain, these are the unspoken rules. The top performers, without realising, always follow the unspoken rules. These rules aren’t taught in schools. Instead they are passed down from parents to child and from mentors to mentees. We generally think that getting ahead in life is all about hard work but actually hard work only gets you hired up for a job. To survive and thrive in a job Youtube Review :The unspoken rules by Gorick NG "Managers expect the things to be done in a certain way but do not explain, these are the unspoken rules. The top performers, without realising, always follow the unspoken rules. These rules aren’t taught in schools. Instead they are passed down from parents to child and from mentors to mentees. We generally think that getting ahead in life is all about hard work but actually hard work only gets you hired up for a job. To survive and thrive in a job you need something more, you need to know the rules of the game." - The Unspoken Rules by Gorick NG I just paraphrased the above text from the introduction of the book and the rest of the book talks about these unspoken rules and the "Secrets" to live by those rules. Author is talking about 20 such rules and there can be many more. the 20 rules involve getting aware of your work space and people - involving the perceptions of your colleagues , your performance , your attitude etc. the secrets will help one to live by these rules. Overall, this is a nice book and I liked it. it will certainly benefit not only the people who are just starting their career but also to the experienced people and specially to those whose career is stuck at a particular level and do not know the next step.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Mackenzie

    I was given an advance review copy of this book and I could not put it down. All throughout, I found myself nodding in agreement as it brought me back to lessons I had learned the hard way during my time as a junior officer in the Coast Guard, staffer on Capitol Hill, a law student, a lawyer, and a management consultant. This book hits on so many important and hard-to-intuit rules in such a short space that I cannot think of a more effective way to prepare young adults who are entering the workf I was given an advance review copy of this book and I could not put it down. All throughout, I found myself nodding in agreement as it brought me back to lessons I had learned the hard way during my time as a junior officer in the Coast Guard, staffer on Capitol Hill, a law student, a lawyer, and a management consultant. This book hits on so many important and hard-to-intuit rules in such a short space that I cannot think of a more effective way to prepare young adults who are entering the workforce for the first time. I found three elements of The Unspoken Rules very compelling. First, the rules themselves – there have been multiple times in my career where I have looked back at some selection process or tough experience and wished that someone had explained the expectations upfront. Like the author, I didn’t know that people spent their summers studying for the SATs, or their first year of law school trying to get a clerkship that would not start for another three years, or their evenings practicing what they were going to say in the next day’s team meeting. I eventually figured these things out, but a book like this could have saved me a lot of grief (and helped friends and colleagues who never did figure it out¬). Second, I like the checklist approach to applying the rules. Have a meeting with your boss tomorrow? Here’s what you do… The paths the author highlights seem so simple once they are illuminated, and that illumination has the potential to save readers from wasting their time wandering aimlessly in the dark in the hopes that they happen to end up in the right place. Third, the focus on effective communications throughout is something that is so important, but so often neglected in the advice given to people starting out in their careers. The author does a great job in both explaining how others perceive certain types of communication and explaining how to communicate in a way that will convey the proper message and inspire confidence. In focusing on these three areas and doing so in a way that targets young adults who are just entering the workforce, the author has hit on both a winning combination and a unique angle on how to prepare people for their careers. Whereas most training, books, and formal resources use the coded language of the rules, this book is the first I have read that presents the nitty gritty explanations and advice that most of us only receive when someone takes pity on us and pulls us aside to explain “how things really work around here.” Anyone about to start their career, or a new chapter in their career, would benefit from reading this book. I will be pushing my organization to gift it to all new hires, and I would recommend it to college students who are starting to think about their search for a summer internship, to military cadets and junior officers headed to their first units, and to anyone hoping to work in any of the professional services (consulting, law, accounting, banking, etc.).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shuo Chen

    This is the book I wish I had back when I was starting my career! For context, I have worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, where I represented the firm on the Board of Women in Finance, as well as in consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where I worked on Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola. I am now a General Partner of a venture capital fund I co-founded, where I have invested in companies now acquired by Goldman Sachs, Ford, Caterpillar, Binance and Dialpad, as well as a This is the book I wish I had back when I was starting my career! For context, I have worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, where I represented the firm on the Board of Women in Finance, as well as in consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where I worked on Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola. I am now a General Partner of a venture capital fund I co-founded, where I have invested in companies now acquired by Goldman Sachs, Ford, Caterpillar, Binance and Dialpad, as well as a Lecturer at UC Berkeley. In all of these roles, I have mentored classes of students, young professionals and entrepreneurs on an ongoing basis. I co-authored a non-fiction book published by Cambridge University Press in 2019, and I was given an advanced review copy of the book. The Unspoken Rules is truly the go-to guide for success in the workplace. As someone who has had an interdisciplinary career and as someone who enjoys reading and reflecting on books about professional development, the Unspoken Rules has been the most practical advice I've read to date for early career professionals from navigating a new role through to one's promotion. Gorick's book not only presented helpful overall frameworks, but also focuses on the how--from suggested scripts for responding in different scenarios to actual email templates, and much more. In my own experiences, the most difficult part of a job has always been not knowing what I should know--precisely the "unspoken rules" which Gorick defines precisely as "certain ways of doing things that managers do but don't explain and that top performers do but don't realize." Gorick's book is the perfect combination of anecdotes, specific to-do's, checklists, talking points and email templates that he has sourced from extensive interviews with professionals across geographies, industries, and job types on the lessons they wish someone could have told them earlier about how to get ahead once they get hired. What better way to learn than from people who have been through it themselves? Reading the book has been a great reminder of all the different ways in which I can better approach my professional life, as well as a great framework for how I can be a better mentor for the students and young professionals in my life. This is the book I wish I could have given to my younger self. I highly recommend it to everyone, regardless of geography, industry or seniority. For those of you who want to hear more from Gorick, he has also done an amazing job of creating soundbites in easily digestible formats via TikTok and YouTube, and Gorick's content on these channels are great ongoing reminders of the lessons learned in this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jabril

    I am a late 20s professional working in career education and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives, and was provided an advanced early review copy of this book. First, this book certainly fits under the "where was this when I was growing up?" label. While Ng communicates an array of individual points that are profoundly imperative (I’ve included a few favorites below), it’s his exceptional blend of personal and secondhand stories (some refreshingly humorous!), “unspoken rule” framewo I am a late 20s professional working in career education and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives, and was provided an advanced early review copy of this book. First, this book certainly fits under the "where was this when I was growing up?" label. While Ng communicates an array of individual points that are profoundly imperative (I’ve included a few favorites below), it’s his exceptional blend of personal and secondhand stories (some refreshingly humorous!), “unspoken rule” frameworks, along with periodic empirical research findings, that allow this read to shine as a truly unique contribution, not just another academic read. A few highlights I took away from of this book, among others: --The three C’s (competence, commitment, and compatibility)--Far more than skill demonstration (i.e., can you do the job), It’s difficult to advance in the workplace and secure valuable relationships without a quality understanding and demonstration of engagement and agreeableness. --Storytelling: From being introspective and asking yourself the right kinds of questions in conjunction with your goals, doing your research to know your audience, and framing it in a concise, yet compelling manner--an incredibly crucial topic. --Managing Your Workload: Whether in a WFH or in-person context, determining how to set and execute priorities is as important a skill now as ever. --Pay it Forward: This isn’t just a book on ignoring others until you “make it” yourself, but rather applies the “lift as you climb” concept--so important to walk the line of self advancement and positive community impact, as career development is not a solo journey but a collaborative one. While the target audience is primarily aimed towards young adults, graduating college students, and early career professionals, I believe professionals of all organizational settings (e.g., nonprofit, startup, corporate), years of experience (early, mid, senior level) and cultural backgrounds can take something compelling away from this book. It surely has helped me refocus not just my “what”, but more importantly, my “why” in my line of work. In sum, I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to navigate the complex world of work and interpersonal relationships in a professional setting, discern their “SWOT” (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and thrive, not just survive in a meaningful work setting, starting even before day one. After all, I wholeheartedly agree with Ng’s message that it’s really up to each of us to play our part in building a more fair and just workplace--and world.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Isaiah Baldissera

    Required reading for your new (and old) employees. It’s no stretch to say that this book could increase your team’s productivity almost immediately. As an entrepreneur, I’ve managed dozens of direct reports (mostly millennials). Training them well is the single, highest-leverage activity I can engage in. The problem? Never enough time. Can a book replace personalized coaching? No. But, besides Covey’s 7 Habits, this one comes closer than any I’ve come across. I received an advanced copy and found Required reading for your new (and old) employees. It’s no stretch to say that this book could increase your team’s productivity almost immediately. As an entrepreneur, I’ve managed dozens of direct reports (mostly millennials). Training them well is the single, highest-leverage activity I can engage in. The problem? Never enough time. Can a book replace personalized coaching? No. But, besides Covey’s 7 Habits, this one comes closer than any I’ve come across. I received an advanced copy and found that it addresses the things I wish my new hires knew with more clarity and detail than any of its peers: •How to show up prepared and stay ahead of incoming work. •How to decide if something is urgent and/or important, and how to see the big picture of the team’s objectives. •What makes a good and bad question, plus how and when to ask good questions. •How to communicate in a clear, concise way in written and verbal exchanges. I’m not usually drawn to books with the word ’secrets’ in the subtitle, however, this one stands out for a few reasons: •Specificity: Skim most career advice books and you’ll find yourself knee-deep in vague generalities like ’be prepared’, and ‘communicate with confidence’. This book not only defines things in granular detail, but also identifies the spectrum—what does ’too much enthusiasm’ for your role actually look like? Also notable was the use of actual interviews conducted with subjects in the book. •Action-oriented format: I’ve been sold on checklists ever since reading Atul Gawande’s Manifesto, so I was happy to see a number of them in this book. There are also several ‘fill in the blanks’ sections to help the newbies understand where they fit into the bigger organizational picture. This was unique and useful. •Fairness: The author isn’t out to complain about millennials, nor coddle them, as he notes “Curiosity and entitlement are not the same thing… demanding something or being overly disappointed if the answer is ’no’ can be dangerous for your compatibility." Ng avoids the ‘preachy’ or ‘activist’ tone that some authors in the genre adopt. In sum, the book is everything you wanted to teach your team, but either ran out of time for, or did too lousy a job of explaining. I’ll be gifting it to future hires.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Happy L.

    Most reviewers emphasize how they wished they had Gorick Ng's Unspoken Rules to guide them as they started their careers. That certainly resonates with me, but almost ten years into my own career and now a seasoned coach and mentor, I want to emphasize how important it is to recommend/buy/share this guide with all the young people you want to see succeed in the business world. I'm a career consultant and now a junior partner at a boutique strategy consulting firm. So not only do many of the anec Most reviewers emphasize how they wished they had Gorick Ng's Unspoken Rules to guide them as they started their careers. That certainly resonates with me, but almost ten years into my own career and now a seasoned coach and mentor, I want to emphasize how important it is to recommend/buy/share this guide with all the young people you want to see succeed in the business world. I'm a career consultant and now a junior partner at a boutique strategy consulting firm. So not only do many of the anecdotes Ng shared from his own career mirror my own (e.g., 3am model clean up sessions ahead of 8am meetings) but I've experienced the situation as both the analyst and the manager. With that hindsight, I could not help but nod vehemently in agreement as I voraciously tore through the book. Ng so accurately portrays what is both in the mind of the junior and the manager and why while both are well meaning, there can be conflict. Some of my favorite quotes which I jotted down to share with my team and coachees: -"Intent is what you mean. Impact is how you come across to other people. You know your intent; others do not. This is how misunderstandings arise." -"School is about keeping up, work is about stepping up" -"Mediocre performers wait for their managers to manage them. High performers mange their managers" -"If the worst case scenario is the other person says 'no', your fear is really a fear of judgment...Don't limit yourself before you've even given yourself a chance" Not only do these nuggets of wisdom give a sense of the breadth and depth of Ng's approach to career coaching but they also illustrate the effectiveness of his voice. Ng's guide is shines not only because he is able to draw on his own rich experiences and weave those seamlessly with countless others he has interviewed to bring to life the twenty or so Upspoken Rules, but he is also able to do all that with warmth, empathy and a touch of humor. Ng's first book is a truly a treasure trove for anyone starting their career or are vested in the success of new hires as a manager or coach. Human Capital teams everywhere should send this book to new hires start jump start careers. I know it's certainly on my to-do list to have our new hire class benefit from Ng's coaching and guidance.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Estar

    I am so jealous of early-career people now because they have this book to give them some unspoken rules in the workplace to put in action. If I knew most of these rules when I was younger, I most likely would have had better career advancement. I found that this book is not just for those graduating from college for the first time, but those introverted workers who have struggled to be noticed for their hard work (even interns). I think this would be a great graduation present as well as bought I am so jealous of early-career people now because they have this book to give them some unspoken rules in the workplace to put in action. If I knew most of these rules when I was younger, I most likely would have had better career advancement. I found that this book is not just for those graduating from college for the first time, but those introverted workers who have struggled to be noticed for their hard work (even interns). I think this would be a great graduation present as well as bought by a mid-career person who needs to better navigate the unspoken rules in a new job or are thinking of leaving their current job. The overarching themes of Competence, Commitment and Compatibility work well as Ng uses short vignettes, illustrations and diagrams to make his points. He outlines key areas or steps that underpin successful careers. Gorick doesn’t leave the reader struggling with how to do something he suggests. In some chapters, he has sentences with blanks for the reader to fill in and sample e-mails or phrases of what to say in certain situations. I really enjoyed his diagrams – there is something in each chapter to help amplify his concepts. He also breaks up the content by boxes in the beginning of a chapter that say KNOW THIS and then ones at the end of a chapter that say TRY THIS. He doesn’t talk about himself except to mention in passing the illustration is from an interview he did with people around the world and telling his story at the beginning. He jumps right into the content and leaves the end of the book for the many people he acknowledges. He tackles a wide range of issues in the workplace, such as seeking feedback, talking about yourself and prioritizing your work. He recognizes more people work remotely now by some of the advice he covers. All in all, Ng has done a great job of taking material from his interviews and experience and turning it into a very clear, worthwhile, and readable book. At first I thought this book was just for business professionals, but he gives illustrations of people in other fields as well. So far, it looks like one of the best books I have read this year! Thanks to NetGalley and Harvard Business Review Press for allowing me to read an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sudheer P

    Note: I was given an advance review copy of the book. As a former Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, I heard from hundreds of women, people of color, first-gen professionals, and other diverse professionals about their difficulty navigating workplace cultures (from Fortune 500 companies to startups). I co-authored a book (Mastering the Game: Strategies for Career Success) to help diverse professionals and that’s also why I was excited to see the practical advice Gorick Ng shares in his new book Note: I was given an advance review copy of the book. As a former Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, I heard from hundreds of women, people of color, first-gen professionals, and other diverse professionals about their difficulty navigating workplace cultures (from Fortune 500 companies to startups). I co-authored a book (Mastering the Game: Strategies for Career Success) to help diverse professionals and that’s also why I was excited to see the practical advice Gorick Ng shares in his new book. Diverse professionals often struggle in new roles when no one tells them the unwritten rules critical to success. The most helpful aspects in the book were: (1) visual doodles that are fun and informative, (2) thorough checklists of what people expect from you but don’t say outright, and (3) side-by-side comparisons of mediocre vs. excellent actions in a given situation. I highly recommend Ng’s book for the following groups: (1) diverse college/graduate students preparing for summer internships or new jobs, (2) any diverse professional who wants to advance but isn’t getting concrete feedback on how to improve, (3) University Career Services Departments, (4) Employee Resource Groups looking to support junior members, (5) HR managers who focus on on-boarding, professional development, and talent management, (6) D&I Committees looking for practical advice to share at an annual retreat, (7) D&I Advocates focused on retention and advancement of diverse professionals in their organizations. Diverse professionals know that they often have to work twice as hard to get half the recognition that their peers in the majority group. We are constantly judged on everything we do from our email tone to voicemail messages to how we ask questions (Ng gives tips on all three in this book). If you use Ng’s book as an active strategy guide rather than figuring things out through trial and error, you will take your career performance to the next level.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Danny Zhang

    Like Gorick, I grew up in an immigrant family that instilled in me the values of hard work and perseverance. But it wasn't until college that I began to appreciate the power that "the unspoken rules" have on one's professional and life success. Once you begin to notice them, these "rules" are everywhere and can seem to govern every interaction and experience you have in the working world. Over the past decade or so (I'm 28!), as I navigated organizations, institutions, and even social settings w Like Gorick, I grew up in an immigrant family that instilled in me the values of hard work and perseverance. But it wasn't until college that I began to appreciate the power that "the unspoken rules" have on one's professional and life success. Once you begin to notice them, these "rules" are everywhere and can seem to govern every interaction and experience you have in the working world. Over the past decade or so (I'm 28!), as I navigated organizations, institutions, and even social settings where I was often an outsider, I wish I had Gorick's book to guide me along. The title of Gorick's book might make you think it's just yet another self-help manual, one among dozens now often found near the entrance of bookstores all across the world. But reading through it, I found the book to be so much more than that. It's a comprehensive, concise, and practical summation of the dynamics of the modern workplace. Gorick covers everything from making a great first impression to writing professional emails to managing up the chain to prioritization of your work to navigating happy hour dynamics. Gorick also has a knack for storytelling that is on full display throughout the book. Each chapter begins with an anecdote that hooks you into a specific challenge that a young worker has had to confront. These stories and Gorick's takeaways are resonant across job types and industries. The tone of voice is accessible and clear. Having worked in a rarified and relationship-based arena of the commercial art world for 6 years, I was still picking up new tidbits of advice and helpful hints in this book. And for the skills and observations I have intuited over the years, Gorick articulates them in a highly organized and accessible manner that would have saved me a lot of time and grief during my own entry into the workplace. I will soon be going back to school and transitioning careers. While I do so, I'll surely be keeping my copy in an easy to reach place on my bookshelf! *I was given an advanced copy of this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joyce Kim

    I am a working professional in my late-20s who has worked across cultures and in non-profit, public service, and higher education research roles. I was given an advance review copy of this book. This book comprehensively covers so many of the skills and competencies (and then some) for the many who may not be armed with the know-hows to succeed in their careers. One of my previous jobs included working at a non-profit serving underserved youth by providing them with the necessary professional sk I am a working professional in my late-20s who has worked across cultures and in non-profit, public service, and higher education research roles. I was given an advance review copy of this book. This book comprehensively covers so many of the skills and competencies (and then some) for the many who may not be armed with the know-hows to succeed in their careers. One of my previous jobs included working at a non-profit serving underserved youth by providing them with the necessary professional skills and internships to launch them into corporate careers. This book would be so helpful to students served by this non-profit! The three C’s are a great framework that can be adapted across contexts. The myriad of anecdotes that are interspersed throughout compellingly communicate the strategies in the book. The “try this” of the chapters also prompt action from the reader. This book stands out amongst other resources in how practical and relatable it is. There are many strategies and frameworks that comprehensively cover so many facets of professional life. This book would be an asset for those starting out in their career journeys (e.g., interns. new grads). As a researcher, I see great relevance in my own line of work. For example, this resource would be helpful for post-docs who could manage up their professors or research supervisors in a work environment where there is a great chance of limited structure and guidance. I also found the “Manage Feedback” section particularly helpful. Oftentimes, giving and receiving effective feedback can be a big professional challenge. I was appreciative that the author highlighted the importance of cultural context, which is becoming ever-important in our increasingly connected world. The Unspoken Rules is a practical, well-researched, relatable guide that offers so many invaluable tips, tricks, and tools! I would highly recommend!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Trang Mai

    Where was this book years ago before I started my first job?! Each chapter in "The Unspoken Rules" lays out the do's and don'ts, tips and tricks, and even has templates on how to respond to different situations (this would have saved me countless hours of Googling "how to respond to___"). I received a copy in advance to review. Although I'm now a late-20's professional and no longer at my first job, the content is still relevant and extremely helpful. Ng's tips on taking ownership, managing my w Where was this book years ago before I started my first job?! Each chapter in "The Unspoken Rules" lays out the do's and don'ts, tips and tricks, and even has templates on how to respond to different situations (this would have saved me countless hours of Googling "how to respond to___"). I received a copy in advance to review. Although I'm now a late-20's professional and no longer at my first job, the content is still relevant and extremely helpful. Ng's tips on taking ownership, managing my workload, mastering meetings, and managing feedback really helped me re-evaluate the areas I still need to work on regardless of the amount of experience I have. Unlike other books I've read, "The Unspoken Rules" didn't feel like an endless list of tips. Instead, Ng gets right into the details while including real life and relatable experiences, diagrams to illustrate his ideas, and summarizes key takeaways at the end of every chapter... AND provides template responses?! I will be bookmarking those for future reference as learning professional email lingo is something I still struggle with. I can't emphasize enough how much I've been able to learn even as a late-20's professional. I would strongly recommend "The Unspoken Rules" to high school juniors and seniors, college students and recent college grads, or anyone who may be starting their first job and need a clear and concise read on what to do/expect. Like Ng, I come from an immigrant family who did not know any of the unspoken rules of the work place. I had to learn by myself (and am still learning as I go!). "The Unspoken Rules" is also a great read for managers who are interested in understanding and recognizing any unspoken rules they may unknowingly have and how to address those unspoken rules. Regardless of years of experience or position in the hierarchy, there is a lot of valuable information in "The Unspoken Rules" for anyone to learn. I highly recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nils

    A great reference for anyone hoping to succeed in the workplace, whether just starting out, or at a transition - in work or leadership. Gorick plays out common scenarios and judgements that are pivotal in not only achieving your best work, but also building relationships that will drive your success further. Im entering the mid part of my own career, with a very technical math degree in my background and having worked on a factory floor, a Fortune 100 company, and now at a charity expanding into A great reference for anyone hoping to succeed in the workplace, whether just starting out, or at a transition - in work or leadership. Gorick plays out common scenarios and judgements that are pivotal in not only achieving your best work, but also building relationships that will drive your success further. Im entering the mid part of my own career, with a very technical math degree in my background and having worked on a factory floor, a Fortune 100 company, and now at a charity expanding into leadership. Vastly different experiences at each, having at times muddled my way through to success discovering a lot of the suggestions Gorick so succinctly outlines in this book. Notably around managing interactions with your manager, and taking risks on opportunities that fall outside your role or comfort zone. Only some of the ideas laid out will likely apply and make an impact in your own career. But as my own mentor often reminds me - its about incremental improvements, reminding yourself that attitude and aptitude play such outsized roles. I can recommend this to my team and those I mentor. I echo the disclaimer that Gorick himself makes - this probably isn't meant to be read in a straight shot. Use it as a reference guide, referring to different sections and scenarios with the ebb and flows of your own work. My only criticism is that there's not enough emphasis on work/life balance and how to manage your work with your mental health. Its something that took me a long time to realize, and wish was addressed more. Success at the cost of overworking yourself, being unhappy, and putting off personal experiences is often not success at all. This review is based on an advanced review copy. Found it a valuable enough resource that I have ordered my own personal copy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Arsa Syed

    I was lucky enough to be offered an advanced copy of this book and I am truly amazed! I am a medical doctor residing and practicing in the UK. I grew up in an immigrant family in Canada just like the author and many of the values instilled in him resonated with my upbringing, hardworking being one of them. Although I went to school and grew up in Canada, I moved to the UK for university and work-life. I work in multidisciplinary teams. I can see how this book would have put me at such an advantag I was lucky enough to be offered an advanced copy of this book and I am truly amazed! I am a medical doctor residing and practicing in the UK. I grew up in an immigrant family in Canada just like the author and many of the values instilled in him resonated with my upbringing, hardworking being one of them. Although I went to school and grew up in Canada, I moved to the UK for university and work-life. I work in multidisciplinary teams. I can see how this book would have put me at such an advantage had I come across it earlier in my career but I also realise what a gem it would be if my current trainees could learn these rules (and make my life as their mentor easier!). Although many people don't view doctors having a traditional 'desk-job' there is definitely a lot of 'answering to seniors' and 'delegating to juniors' involved and most, if not all, of the rules in this book can be applied directly at some point or the other of the job. Also, don't get me wrong, this book would benefit those new to the workplace the most but being someone who has been a working doctor for over 4 years, even I found useful pointers for myself in it. I recently had a baby and as a parent, you want nothing but the best for your kids; a lot like how you want the trainees you've taken under your wing to succeed and even excel beyond you have. The lessons in this book are definitely getting passed down to all those I'm mentoring. This is a great way to prepare and set new trainees up for future success. Love this book and not only would I recommend it, but I would urge you to grab yourself a copy!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Suepfeff

    As a retired superintendent of education for a large school board, I believe that there are numerous audiences for The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right by Gorick Ng. This is the book everyone should read at any stage of life, from the first job search to seeking employment. The advice Ng provides is invaluable; from a step by step job search and onboarding to navigating the complexity of work world dynamics, interpersonal relationships, dealing with difficult situations As a retired superintendent of education for a large school board, I believe that there are numerous audiences for The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right by Gorick Ng. This is the book everyone should read at any stage of life, from the first job search to seeking employment. The advice Ng provides is invaluable; from a step by step job search and onboarding to navigating the complexity of work world dynamics, interpersonal relationships, dealing with difficult situations and setting up the conditions for career advancement. What makes this guide so user friendly is the many real life scenarios Ng provides to illustrate his message. In every 'fail' he revisits the scenario to turn missed opportunities into success. He candidly discusses social inequities in the workplace and how to address them, by finding allies and mentors along the way, to using personal privilege to lift up others. What I appreciated most about this book was the emotional intelligence that Ng promotes. Having mentored many people throughout my career, I remember those who took the time to listen thoughtfully and take notes, then follow up with appreciation and updates on their progress. Ng promotes sincerity, gratitude and outreach, when seeking assistance and when giving others a boost. His message is to become the leader you want to work for. I highly recommend this book to job-seekers, business teachers, entrepreneurs, and mentors alike. The practical application of Ng's guide is in all aspects of personal and professional life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Yao

    This is the book I wish I had when I plunged into my consulting career. Coming from an engineering background, I was always focused on the work itself and did not give much thought to the human aspects of work, such as optics, management, networking, and relationships. It was not until I started working in consulting that I started to realize the importance of the human aspects. The behaviours, languages, and mindsets discussed in this book were traits I observed from high performers in my organi This is the book I wish I had when I plunged into my consulting career. Coming from an engineering background, I was always focused on the work itself and did not give much thought to the human aspects of work, such as optics, management, networking, and relationships. It was not until I started working in consulting that I started to realize the importance of the human aspects. The behaviours, languages, and mindsets discussed in this book were traits I observed from high performers in my organization over the past few years, all condensed into clear, easy-to-understand concepts that anyone can consume within hours or days - now that's efficient. I especially enjoyed the anecdotes shared by real people in this book; they are both relatable and helpful in terms of contextualizing the complexity of applying these frameworks in different situations. I also really liked the many wording/phrasing examples shared in each chapter because they help to demonstrate the communication norms in a professional setting - something not usually taught in school. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is starting to transition into the professional world and would like to start their careers strong. I also recommend this to those who have been working for a few years (such as myself), whose work habits may have started to slip and would like a refresher on how to keep their performance high.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marci Arnold

    I was given an advance copy to read of "The Unspoken Rules" as we are using Gorick Ng's book at the nonprofit where I work as the foundation of a leadership development program for first generation, low income college students, many of whom are starting their first summer internships. This book is incredibly helpful to give students the tools to navigate everything from interviews, to their first day on the job, to working with difficult people, learning to "manage up", and learning how to accep I was given an advance copy to read of "The Unspoken Rules" as we are using Gorick Ng's book at the nonprofit where I work as the foundation of a leadership development program for first generation, low income college students, many of whom are starting their first summer internships. This book is incredibly helpful to give students the tools to navigate everything from interviews, to their first day on the job, to working with difficult people, learning to "manage up", and learning how to accept feedback. Right from the beginning, he discusses the 3 C's of Competence, Compatibility and Commitment, and how to learn to balance all of these throughout the job experience in order to be successful in dealing with all sorts of people. One of the best chapters was about learning how to tell your story, and we plan to use this to help our first generation students to leverage their identity in the workplace as a positive attribute. I know our students will find his writing style easy to read as he intersperses personal stories about himself and others he has met to give examples in each chapter. I have already ordered several copies of the book for when it launches to be given as college graduation gifts, as I think his advice is applicable to anyone starting their first internship or job, and is especially applicable to first generation students.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Gosnay

    My background is 43 years in manufacturing with responsibility for hiring, onboarding and training new employees. Over my career I have onboarded literally a thousand new employees. The transition into a new job is challenging, the transition from school to the workplace is even more difficult. In my experience, the number one reason people fail is their inability to get along with people. Attitude, relationships and effort. Compatibility is the common denominator for failure. I was given an adv My background is 43 years in manufacturing with responsibility for hiring, onboarding and training new employees. Over my career I have onboarded literally a thousand new employees. The transition into a new job is challenging, the transition from school to the workplace is even more difficult. In my experience, the number one reason people fail is their inability to get along with people. Attitude, relationships and effort. Compatibility is the common denominator for failure. I was given an advance copy of The Unspoken Rules by Gorick Ng. I was please to see that compatibility was one of the three C's which makes up the foundation of the book. Competency, Commitment, and Compatibility. All three C's are important and they make up the whole employee. Employers are looking for people who are competent and able to learn. They also want employees who are loyal. But compatibility seems to be the first barrier that determines success or failure. If you can't get along with people, you can't be successful. Gorick's book offers good advice to the first time employee as well as those transitioning into new careers. The advice in this book gives the reader good and tangible direction to start on, and stay on, the path to success.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Xiangan

    Every day, this book teaches me more on how to go above and beyond. The advice in this book has gotten me internships at global organizations, made me a lead developer, and opened my life up to the third-door hustle. From balancing competence with compatibility to showing commitment on every piece of my work, I learned the best practices for seeming competent by habitually being. It has distinguished me from the rest of my peers and engaged me with real-life anecdotes. It's a playbook I'm going to Every day, this book teaches me more on how to go above and beyond. The advice in this book has gotten me internships at global organizations, made me a lead developer, and opened my life up to the third-door hustle. From balancing competence with compatibility to showing commitment on every piece of my work, I learned the best practices for seeming competent by habitually being. It has distinguished me from the rest of my peers and engaged me with real-life anecdotes. It's a playbook I'm going to live by, now and forever. This is a work that, the sooner you get it and internalize it, the greater of a positive impact it will have on your success. I'm a 17 year-old, so I am fortunate to be impacted by this book starting from now. I do wish, however, I had gotten this when I was 13-14 or even earlier. I strongly recommend this book to all of you reading this. I bought this using my dimes and pennies of hard-earned internship money, and I promise you that you will not regret the buy either. For a fuller list of my personal takeaways, please check out: https://xhe3.medium.com/keys-to-succe...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    I'm a new grad out of college currently working in investment management. I received an advance review copy.  A lot of self-help books are catalysts for self-reflection, but Gorick helps balance reflection with frameworks and actionable steps. Though we are often given broad advice about careers, Gorick provides a step-by-step guide for how to clearly approach a broad range of work situations. This book has definitely pushed me to think more critically about how people view me, and how I should b I'm a new grad out of college currently working in investment management. I received an advance review copy.  A lot of self-help books are catalysts for self-reflection, but Gorick helps balance reflection with frameworks and actionable steps. Though we are often given broad advice about careers, Gorick provides a step-by-step guide for how to clearly approach a broad range of work situations. This book has definitely pushed me to think more critically about how people view me, and how I should be communicating with everyone around me (amongst many other things).  It is evident how much work and thought went into this book to balance the diverse range of careers and experiences people have in the workspace. The synthesis of wisdom is thought-provoking and motivating (there are clear things we can all do to be better!). Highly recommend this book for anyone beginning their first jobs, or honestly anyone in the workplace. Seeing these "unspoken rules" written out so clearly is a gem for anyone currently navigating these rules, and also for people who've played by these rules (and who may now have more power to bend them!). 

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Porto, MD

    As a venture investor and physician with many trainees, I work daily with ambitious young men and women aiming to advance in their field. Some of these trainees really shine; they set themselves apart from their cohort and go on to rewarding, fulfilling careers. It's hard to distill what makes these young professionals stand out from their peers. The unfortunate truism here is "you either have it or you don't." Perhaps that was true at one time, but now you have Gorick Ng's groundbreaking instru As a venture investor and physician with many trainees, I work daily with ambitious young men and women aiming to advance in their field. Some of these trainees really shine; they set themselves apart from their cohort and go on to rewarding, fulfilling careers. It's hard to distill what makes these young professionals stand out from their peers. The unfortunate truism here is "you either have it or you don't." Perhaps that was true at one time, but now you have Gorick Ng's groundbreaking instructional on launching your career off right. He distills intangible and unspoken skills into actionable, concrete advice. And, he does this in a way that is engaging, entertaining, memorable, and with refreshing clarity. Gorick is able to tackle such a difficult topic because he is uniquely positioned to do so having navigated roles at top firms, counseled countless Harvard students, and interviewed hundreds of managers and executives. This depth of experience is clear on every page. I just wish I had this book at the outset of my career (I'm sure my managers would have been much happier with me as well!).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cheech

    Disclosure: I received an ARC copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book. What a helpful and insightful guide for anyone seeking to advance in their career. Though this book is geared towards individuals entering the workforce for the first time the advice it gives is helpful to anyone no matter where you are in your career. Though the book bills itself as the unspoken rules the author proposes helpful suggestions rather than hardline rules Disclosure: I received an ARC copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book. What a helpful and insightful guide for anyone seeking to advance in their career. Though this book is geared towards individuals entering the workforce for the first time the advice it gives is helpful to anyone no matter where you are in your career. Though the book bills itself as the unspoken rules the author proposes helpful suggestions rather than hardline rules to be followed. I found this refreshing as often career books tend to offer one size fits all advice. The author openly acknowledges that not all people experience the workplace in the same way and tailors the advice in a way that if it doesn’t fit your unique circumstances it can be outright ignored. I especially appreciated the fact that the author addressed the nuanced experiences of people of different backgrounds including transgender people . I will definitely be recommending this book to my friends and am glad I had the time to read it before I start seeking a new career.

  28. 4 out of 5

    North Peters

    For context, I am a sophomore in college, a student-athlete who is interested in finance. I was given an advance review of the copy, and I jumped on this opportunity because as a first-generation college student, I was looking for ways to learn some 'insider' information as I begin my recruiting process. This book gave me great advice on the do's and don'ts of the workplace that I otherwise wouldn't have known before reading. Ng did a great job pulling from many different cases and scenarios tha For context, I am a sophomore in college, a student-athlete who is interested in finance. I was given an advance review of the copy, and I jumped on this opportunity because as a first-generation college student, I was looking for ways to learn some 'insider' information as I begin my recruiting process. This book gave me great advice on the do's and don'ts of the workplace that I otherwise wouldn't have known before reading. Ng did a great job pulling from many different cases and scenarios that may happen in the workplace and giving various ways to respond in those situations. Simple things such as responding to emails or reaching out to colleagues that I never thought much of, Ng did a great job explaining how to use those opportunities to my advantage. This was a great read and was never too dense or difficult to understand. I think all undergrads or anyone about to embark on their recruiting process can greatly benefit from reading this.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tia

    I am a mid-level professional working in the capital markets industry and was provided with an advance review copy of "The Unspoken Rules". As part of my role, I help oversee the day-to-day work of junior team members and guide their onboarding and early development. The themes and tools provided throughout the book have broad application that make them relevant to many types of roles and industries beyond financial/professional services. The book is the product of vast research across different I am a mid-level professional working in the capital markets industry and was provided with an advance review copy of "The Unspoken Rules". As part of my role, I help oversee the day-to-day work of junior team members and guide their onboarding and early development. The themes and tools provided throughout the book have broad application that make them relevant to many types of roles and industries beyond financial/professional services. The book is the product of vast research across different kinds of organizations and industries, and the result feels like having access to the best advice from a broad network of informal mentors. Ng does an excellent job of providing easy to understand frameworks and graphics, which help make this guide very practical and concrete. The "Three Cs" outlined in the introduction set a focus that all the other "secrets" shared connect back to, and is a helpful framework applicable to people at all career stages. For students coming out of college/university who may not have as much work experience under their belts, this guide can help make navigating the workplace and transitioning from student life much smoother. The book goes so far as to provide sample emails and cases, making this among the most easily actionable guides I have come across. I think this book should be required reading for anyone looking to start their career on the right foot and managers who want perspective to help set new hires up for success. In an organizational setting, this would be a great tool to share with new hire classes or as part of orientation programs. There are many skills that organizations can, and do, teach. This guide helps fill in the gaps to help develop the more intangible, or unspoken, habits that lead to early career success.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peter Blair

    As a professor, I coach and mentor students as they prepare for the world of work. Many of the students I work with come from diverse backgrounds and are the first of their families to attend college. This book is a fantastic tool for them to not only survive in the workplace, but thrive. The book is filled with concrete ways for readers to take the next step in becoming conscientious employees; for example, by learning how to ask the right questions and solve minor issues before they become lar As a professor, I coach and mentor students as they prepare for the world of work. Many of the students I work with come from diverse backgrounds and are the first of their families to attend college. This book is a fantastic tool for them to not only survive in the workplace, but thrive. The book is filled with concrete ways for readers to take the next step in becoming conscientious employees; for example, by learning how to ask the right questions and solve minor issues before they become larger problems. I found there to be enormous value in the specificity of his examples and recommendations. He goes above and beyond to create checklists and summarize the most important points. I highly recommend this book to students, HR professionals, CEOs, and career centers as essential reading.

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