Penelope Trunk is the co-founder of Brazen Careerist, a career management tool for next-generation professionals. Penelope also has an outstanding website/blog (penelopetrunk.com) where she gives all kinds of valuable advice; she explains why old advice – like pay your dues, climb the ladder, and don’t have gaps in your resume – is outdated and irrelevant in today’s workplace. She has a reputation for giving advice that is counterintuitive but effective, like take long lunches, ignore people who steal your ideas, and stop vying for a promotion.
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Trunk is known for test-driving her advice before spewing it. Her own career choices have been featured by TIME magazine and the London Guardian as examples of the new issues people face at work today. Both the New York Times and Business Week cited Trunk’s writing as especially in tune with this new workplace. In her personal life, Trunk routinely (often awkwardly) demonstrates buzzwords before they buzz, like the quarterlife crisis, portfolio career, and shared-care parenting.
She is the author of three books Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success, The New American Dream: A Blueprint for a New Path to Success, & The Power of Mentors: The Guide to Finding and Learning from Your Ideal Mentor.
Trunk spent ten years as a marketing executive in the software industry and then she founded two companies of her own. She has endured an IPO, a merger and a bankruptcy. Prior to that she was a professional beach volleyball player.
Trunk started writing business advice when Fortune magazine published an open call for a woman to write about her own life as an executive. Trunk auditioned with a piece about her brother’s stupid Internet ideas, and a piece about her boss’s appeal, and she won the job. Today, she is a columnist at Yahoo Finance and the Boston Globe, and her syndicated column runs in more than 200 publications worldwide.
Trunk has spent roughly ten years each in Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and New York City. Recently, taking her own advice about how to leverage scientific data to choose a job and a place to live, she landed in Madison, Wisconsin. The first word her baby learned in Wisconsin was cow.
Trunk is also a popular public speaker. This is true, but not massively true. For example, where she has spoken, she has been popular, but she does not speak all the time. That said, as a career advisor, Trunk realizes that a bio is not so much factual as aspirational, and she feels compelled to put an aspirational paragraph in her own bio. Otherwise, how can she advise other people on setting goals for themselves that are a bit of a reach?
She is dedicated to helping people find success at the intersection of work and life, because that’s what she wants for herself. She thinks of career advice as a group effort – the movement for her generation ‘ so please email her. Or at least check out her blog, where she posts daily tips for making work life and personal life one happy, synchronized adventure.