Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians
By Jane Hyun
You're educated and ambitious. Sure, the hours are long and corporate politics are a bane, but you focus on getting the job done, confident that you will be rewarded in the long run. Yet, somehow, your hard work isn't paying off, and you watch from the sidelines as your colleagues get promoted. Those who make it to management positions in this intensely competitive corporate environment seem to understand an unwritten code for marketing and aligning themselves politically. Furthermore, your strong work ethic and raw intelligence were sufficient when you started at the firm, but now they're expecting you to be a rainmaker who can "bring in clients" and "exert influence" on others. The top of the career ladder seems beyond your reach. Perhaps you've hit the bamboo ceiling.
For the last decade, Asian Americans have been the fastest growing population in the United States. Asians comprise the largest college graduate population in America, and are often referred to as the "Model Minority" but they continue to lag in the American workplace. If qualified Asians are entering the workforce with the right credentials, why aren't they making it to the corner offices and corporate boardrooms?
Career coach Jane Hyun explains that Asians have not been able to break the "bamboo ceiling" because many are unable to effectively manage the cultural influences shaping their individual characteristics and workplace behavior factors that are often at odds with the competencies needed to succeed at work. Traditional Asian cultural values can conflict with dominant corporate culture on many levels, resulting in a costly gap that individuals and companies need to bridge. The subtle, unconscious behavioral differences exhibited by Asian employees are often misinterpreted by their non-Asian counterparts, resulting in lost career opportunities and untapped talent.
Never before has this dichotomy been so thoroughly explored, and in this insightful book, Hyun uses case studies, interviews and anecdotes to identify the issues and provide strategies for Asian Americans to succeed in corporate America. Managers will learn how to support the Asian members of their teams to realize their full potential and to maintain their competitive edge in today's multicultural workplace."
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