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Find Your Inner Ugly Betty: 25 Career Lessons for Young Professionals Inspired by TV Shows Hardcover – May 6, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

TANNER STRANSKY works at a national magazine, Entertainment Weekly, where he writes stories and reviews about television, books, and movies, including frequent postings to the publication’s website, He previously clocked time at the New York Post, Teen People, and several custom published magazines. He is also on staff with Ed2010, a magazine for career building dedicated to helping young journalists find their first job in magazine publishing and continue their trek up the masthead.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427797676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427797674
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,656,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It takes a lot of work to rise to the top of the corporate ladder, or even just to survive your first day on the job! Tanner Stransky, author of "Find Your Inner Ugly Betty", should know. He has gotten himself writing jobs at a number of popular magazines and currently works as an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly in addition to being part of the Ed2010 staff (a network group for young editors).

Taking his lead from popular and successful television series, such as Ugly Betty (hence the title!) and Grey's Anatomy, Stransky outlines 25 career lessons needed to excel in any industry. The book consists of five sections that teach how to polish your image, build relationships, become irreplaceable, go beyond office hours and advance your career. Within each domain there are explanations, realistic pointers, advice from experts and anecdotes to further illustrate each chapter's message.

Being a young professional myself, this book has a lot of relevant and helpful advice that I will certainly put to good use. While some of the tips seemed obvious, the majority of them are contemporary, carefully considered and creative. I especially enjoyed the chapters on embracing your individual style and the importance of knowing the people who really make things happen (such as the office manager and receptionist). What I really like about Stransky's approach is how clearly each lesson is outlined and explained. Each chapter is very succinct and includes a quick list summarizing the key points at the end. Of course, the pop culture references included add an entertainment aspect to the book in addition to its educational value.

I definitely recommend this book for anyone entering the workforce or someone who is returning to work after an extended period of time and needs to educate themselves about the modern workplace. I have a hunch that even seasoned career veterans could learn a thing or two from this book as well!

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Find Your Inner Ugly Betty is a new book by Tanner Stransky, a young man who appears to have held a job like the one held by television's Ugly Betty.

It's a clever title, but the book really should be called, "25 Simple Tactics for Entry Level Somethings." Author Stransky does draw analogies to episodes from Ugly Betty, Mary Richards, and a few other shows. But the lessons come from the author's own experience.

As a career consultant, my experience has focused on mid-life professionals. When I read about entry level professionals, I look ahead to ask, "How will this advice impact their future, when they reach the mid-life career stage?"

Some of Stransky's advice will be important at any career stage. I like

* his warnings about socializing and getting too personal
* his advice on keeping a game face
* his emphasis on acting confident and "fake it till you make it"

When your boss asks you to do something, says Stransky, you don't say, "I don't know." You figure it out. In general, that's a good idea. But I suspect some bosses would rather you asked for direction so you wouldn't waste a lot of time.

And that's the main quibble I have with this book. Stransky delivers absolutes in situations that should be defined as "it depends." For instance, let's say you're asked to make 500 copies. Stransky says you're paying dues. I'd say investigate the culture. Do others at your level also pay dues? Do they get rewarded?

I'd be careful about asking for extra challenges or taking initiative. In some cultures, these efforts will backfire. In my own younger days as a certified corporate maverick, I was always hearing, "Maybe we don't need a strong achiever around here.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the most endearing qualities of Millennials is how they reach out to help each-other. Another endearing quality of this cohort is their amazing creativity. Yes, this book is mostly focused at young professionals in the publishing industry. Yes, the book based on the author's somewhat brief time in the corporate world. And yes, readers must consider the nuances of their own situation before applying Tanner's suggestions at their workplace.

However, given the TV savvy of Millennials, Tanner has picked an innovative way to point out common problems and how they can be overcome. Using fictional characters well known to his generation and situations that they have encountered is so clever. The reader can, in the privacy of his or her own mind, supply the comparisons between their own behavior and a hapless or victorious TV character. Few of us like to have our limitations boldly held up for others to see.

Nearly 40% of the Millennials I interviewed felt they made poor post high school choices based on too little information about the world of work. Perhaps Mr. Stransky's greatest contribution is allowing those with little experience in the business world a peek into real life on the job.

Finding Your Inner Ugly Betty would make an excellent book for a whole class discussion or as a choice for a career book club. Kudos to Tanner Stransky on his delightful and informative contribution to young adult career development.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Walker on June 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the ideal graduation gift for anyone starting out in the world--a guide to navigating the job world that is actually fun to read! With TV references galore and a genuine wit, Tanner Stransky serves up career-related tips (complete with real-life Bettys who share detailed anecdotes) that are well worth your time.
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