From Betches to Big Data, the team at Entrepreneur Press recommends their March reads that cover all the adulting advice your guidance counselor should have told you.
6 min read
Entrepreneur Press’ Business and Pleasure series is dedicated to the books that will take your entrepreneurial endeavors to the next level and bonus entertainment guaranteed to help you escape the daily grind. We hope you find your next read here.
Do you ever look around your office and ask yourself, “Are all companies this dysfunctional?” Maybe you even started your own business to escape the chaotic pressure of a corporate workplace, but your plan didn’t work out the way you thought it would… One way or another, you’ll inevitably encounter that one office that makes you feel like going out to lunch and never coming back. That’s why this month, the team and I tackled books that call out office politics, typical time-wasters, and classic miscommunications–plus offer solutions to make “work” the place you really want to be.
For Business, I recommend When’s Happy Hour? by the Betches
My expectations for Betches’ new book on careers went something like this: “I’ll breeze through it, learn a little, and maybe enjoy some silly satire.” But When’s Happy Hour? gave me so much more. I laughed out loud at nearly every page and found their scenarios and suggestions extremely real and relatable. What especially surprised me (in the best way) was the use of actual career stories from Betches founders Aleen, Jordana, and Sami. Plus, each chapter’s “Dear Betches” write-in has a helpful response written in true Betches fashion.
I suggest you pick up this book and jump to the career stage that most applies to you. Here are just a few handy sections you might need sooner rather than later:
- Happy Hours, Retreats, and Work Events: How Drunk Should I Get?
- Dealing with Your Boss: Types of Managers and How to Manage Them
- How to Speak Like a Mature Adult and Not Sound Like You’re at a Frat Party
- Working From Home: Everyone Knows It’s a Joke
- Show Me the Money: How to Ask for a Raise
- Your Employee Literally Just Sucks: How to Fire Them Without Getting Sued
For Pleasure, check out The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen
While When's Happy Hour? give Betches' spunky, female perspective on day jobs in the 21st century, this raw, NSFW novel is a tell-it-like-it-is story that reveals "what all men think" of relationships, sex, and their day-to-day lives. Kultgen's brutal "protagonist" (if he's even worthy of the title) will either make you feel really great about yourself–because at least you're not like this guy–or will make you do a *ha-ha…wait* spit-take and reevaluate your own inner dialogue.
This is such a good book to read (or listen to) on your coffee break. Jessica Bennett's work is both informative and highly entertaining as she opens your eyes to the subtle and not-so-subtle ways your work life (and even personal life) is hella sexist. Full disclosure, there are several non-feminist behaviors that I am guilty of (I won't share which ones) and a gaggle of amazing strategies every woman should implement during their careers like the F*ck Off Fund (a financial defense for when you just can't take it anymore), becoming a Power Poser (it's the pose you need to take before your next meeting), and basic tips on how to deal with the day-to-day B.S. we all deal with (men and women).
For Pleasure, check out Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Two people meet at a coffee shop and they eventually fall for each other (shocker, right?). Yes, this YA novel has a story about two college-aged people falling for each other, but the author expertly explores those angsty and inexperienced-in-life feelings that come with growing up and having to build new relationships while healing old ones.
Don't let the title fool you–this is not a book of essays by fictional Dunder-Mifflin regional manager Michael Scott. What it IS is a long-overdue, real-world look at how men and women can work in tandem to help address the gender gap in the workplace. Neither preachy nor precious, That's What She Said builds the case for greater workplace parity with strong anecdotal evidence that–shocker!–women not only strengthen the core of a business, they make it more profitable.
I loved how Lipman incorporates storytelling with statistics and empowers readers (women and men alike) with concrete, how-to solutions to improve how we work together. The ideas move past the surface-level niceties of efforts that have tried and failed (Truly, guys, free tampons in the ladies' room will not fix everything, but thanks for the gesture.) and call the reader to action. Women, talk more. Men, listen more. Everyone, take action to make the workplace truly equal.
For Pleasure, check out I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson
When I saw Abbi Jacobson speak at last year's BookExpo America, I knew this book had to be in my queue. I Might Regret This is vintage Jacobson with the Broad City worldview you've come to know and love. Jacobson is speaking her truth here (not her fictionalized one you see on TV), and taking us on an adventure of self-discovery. She's funny, she's irreverent, and best of all–she's authentic in her vulnerability as a women on the cusp of what comes next…whatever that may be.
Honorable Mention: For Business, check out The NEW Employee Manual by Benjamin Gilad and Mark Chussil
We couldn’t do a reading list on solutions to corporate dysfunctions without including our March release, The NEW Employee Manual. Tailored for business school survivors and corporate lifers, Ben and Mark team up to teach you (the reader, the MBA graduate, the intrapreneur) the skill of competing. Rather than succumbing to 9-to-5-cube-farm complacency, this book encourages you to be an independent thinker, a maverick, a unicorn. With brutally honest insight and unapologetic satire, this is your go-to guide to boosting your career without any corporate brainwashing.
For Pleasure, check out these film masterpieces:
- Office Space (1999)
- 9 to 5 (1980)
- Corporate (Comedy Central, 2018)
- Sorry to Bother You (2018)
- The Office (NBC, 2005-2013)
- Mad Men (AMC, 2007-2015)