Monday, May 24, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Ivanka Trump's The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life

Title: The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life
Author: Ivanka Trump
How I learned about this book? At the library in the “new releases” section.
How long did it take to read it? Five months (I was suffering "Readers Block")
Was it a hard read? Very easy read.

Ivanka Trump is the daughter of the famous Donald and Ivana Trump (now divorce). With Ivanka and I being similar in age (I think she is maybe one or two years older than me), I have always been intrigued by her and kept up with what she was doing. She is not like the many heirs who seek celebrity by using her famous last name (i.e. Paris Hilton).

The book is a career advice guide with a little autobiography (nothing juicy though) in the mix. Just like any wealthy child, Ivanka lived a unique life. One instance that stood out was Michael Jackson coming to one of her dance recitals. Traveling around the world and interacting with the most amazing and influential people was a normal occurrence for her. Despite this lifestyle, Ivanka remained a somewhat normal individual (at least it’s the imaged that she portrays and she is doing a good job of it). She avoided falling into the traps of other children from wealthy/well known families. She created an image of success of her own by becoming an entrepreneur (jewelry collection) and with becoming vice president of the Trump Organization.

She started the book with a quote from my “shero” Oprah: “If you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”

Just like me, Ivanka had an ultimate goal for her life, joining her family business. This is where the bulk of the book comes from. Now an executive in her father’s business, Ivanka offers career advice to, in my opinion, young adults entering the corporate world.

This is where it became hard for me to stay interested in the book. I have been in the “corporate” world for over five years now and this is an excellent book for individuals who have been in the corporate world for LESS than five years. Nevertheless I continued to read the book because there could be (and there was) advice that I could be helpful.

I also find it hard to believe that at the age of 25 she was promoted to VP in the company. In the book, Ivanka likes to explains (a lot) that she got the position, not because her daddy is the boss, but because she was qualified and had the experience for the position. However, the only other job(s) she discusses is her modeling career in her teens and the job she took (which she stayed for only two years) before coming to Trump Organization. I don’t want to take away from the fact that she is very intelligent, well adjusted, is willing and able to put in the long and hard hours needed. I just wonder if it was not for her having the last name that she has and the father that she has, would she really have the position.

Despite what I mention above, she provided very good advice. What I took from the book was the following:

  1. Networking. I loved her advice about keeping a list of individuals/companies that you admire and when something significant occurs, send them a letter/email of congrats. You will be surprise who will answer back and its an excellent way of opening the door of communication.

  2. Travel. Exploring and navigating your way in different places.

  3. Continuous education. If you know that your skills and experience is not up to par, taking night and online classes should be in your plans.

The book’s last chapter discusses her latest venture, “Ivanka Trump Collection”. I was disappointed with how she ended the book. In my opinion, the last chapter was nothing but an advertisement for her new venture.

Would I buy it? Sure, but only for females graduating from college or technical institutions and/or females with less than five years in corporate America.
Is it library worthy? Most definitely.

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