Penelope Trunk at Brazen Careerist spoke at the recent BlogHer conference in Chicago. The room was packed, and she was ready to set some bloggers straight about writing, making money as a blogger, and self-branding. It was the most refreshing session of the conference — if not the most controversial — because people left the room and were pissed off.
Penelope picks up flack for being out of sync with today’s workforce. Some accuse her of being too bold, too mouthy, and hyper-focused on the individual’s career and not the larger team effort. There are others who think that her advice isn’t worth much — she’s too flippant and callous, and in the case of the BlogHer conference, she didn’t nurture the personal development of women writers in the room.
Penelope’s post on women in the workforce is brilliant and right on the money. She isn’t afraid to write with an honest voice. The article on women in today’s workforce gets it right: woman need to tone down their work ethic, develop productivity skills, and get along with people. It may not be the advice that most women want to hear, but it’s 100% accurate.
What I appreciate most about Penelope is how her advice is so practical and realistic. She says the things that most CEOs and SVPs of Human Resources want to say about their workforce but are too constrained by the lawyers to do it. Her article on how to manage twenty-somethings is a sharp, focused piece of writing. It should be a primer for leaders in the field of IT and Audit — two areas of Corporate America that are flooded with recent college graduates.
What makes me love Penelope the most is that she can take down an army of Debbie Downers with one quip. I know the first person I will call when I’m running some big, bloated Human Resources department at an equally big, bloated corporation.