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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Date & Relate > Nicole Williams

Date & Relate
by Sara Hodon

Interview with Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams is the founder and president of WORKS by Nicole Williams, the world’s first media and content company focused solely on young professional women.

Additionally, she is the author of the bestselling books Wildly Sophisticated: A Bold New Attitude for Career Success, and Earn What You’re Worth.   Her most recent book, Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success, looks at the many similarities between personal and professional fulfillment.  It wouldn’t seem as if the two were related, but the connection between our happiness at work and at home is closer than you would imagine.  Next time you feel overlooked or underappreciated at work or at home, dig a little deeper—do those feelings overlap a little more than you’d like to admit?  Are you being taken for granted?   Nicole’s book helps women to stop being observers in their own lives and go after what it is they want, whether it’s the love or the career opportunity of a lifetime.  Nicole was nice enough to answer a few questions about her book, her company, and life in general. . 



Let’s start with the most obvious question—where did the idea for this book come from?
I was going through a divorce and my friends came over with a “get out of your funk” package, which included all the best dating books (The Rules, He’s Just Not That Into You, etc.). I had an “Aha moment” when I realized that these rules could be applied just as well to career, because career success, just like dating success, is based upon human nature.  

Do you have a favorite chapter or piece of advice?
Don’t settle—for the wrong man or the wrong job. When it comes to your job where you spend 70% of your waking hours, it’s worth pursuing the right fit. Have standards—for your boss and the environment—just like you would in a relationship. It sounds risky in this economy, but the more you expect the more you get. Pursue excellence in yourself and the company you work with.

Can you list a few similarities that you found between finding a mate and finding a fulfilling career? 
Business and dating are both all about building relationships. It’s about attracting others to you and what you have to offer. Once you land a deal (or the guy), you’ve got to maintain the spark and keep the fire alive so that your employer/client/supervisor continues to recognize your value. And finally, if what you’re putting in isn’t equal to what you’re getting out of it, cut your losses sooner than later. Don’t waste the pretty on someone who doesn’t believe in you!

What are you hearing from these young women—what do we want, both personally and professionally? 
Young women today believe they can have it all—and they can, but they’ve got to be willing to make compromises. So you want the big paycheck and the corner office? Well, you better be willing to put in long hours and work your tail off. You want a flexible schedule that allows you to pursue other interests? Better not expect to get all the high-priority projects. But bottom line, we all want respect, and we earn that by teaching people how to treat us.  

A big part of your company’s mission, WORKS, is to help empower women to be confident professionals and future leaders.  In your experience, are young women hearing that empowerment message? Are we asking for (and getting) more from bosses and significant others?
Absolutely, we’re headed in the right direction, but I think we’re still lacking in assertiveness. We’re the only ones responsible for the outcome of our careers, and as much as we’d like to think others have our best interests at heart, that’s not always the case. We have to ask for what we want, and we can’t continue to stay in employment situations and relationships that just aren’t right for us.

Self-esteem is a big factor in both personal and professional happiness.  What can we do if our self-esteem isn’t quite there yet?
Follow the Girl on Top rules! Once we set higher standards for ourselves, people begin to treat us differently.

Why is it so hard to leave something that’s clearly not working, whether it’s a job or a relationship?
We gravitate naturally toward what’s comfortable. And whether we’re happy in a job or relationship or not, there’s a certain sense of security that comes from knowing it won’t it will stay relatively the same from here on out. Change is never easy, but it’s always necessary when you’re in the position of complacency.  

Many women don’t have the option of leaving a job, even if they’re really unhappy where they are.  How can we turn it around? 
First, evaluate what’s not making you happy. Is it the work you’re doing? The people around you? The lack of recognition for your work? Often, it’s a bunch of small and annoying, but fixable, things that add up to make us miserable. If you take a more proactive approach and tweak each thing one by one, you’ll be on your way to a happier job, or at least a tolerable one, until you’re able to seek new opportunities.   

Is there a “good” time to end it, whether it’s the relationship or leaving the job I mentioned above?
The best time to end it is when there will be minimal damage to the other party (i.e., not when your company’s in the middle of a make-it-or-break-it project, or when your boyfriend’s grandmother has just passed away). It’s important to try to remain on good terms with exes—you never know when they’ll come back to haunt you!

What message do you hope your readers will get from Girl on Top
One of hope—I’m a firm believer in going after what you want. If you don’t at least try, you’ll never know what could have been. And the worse that can happen is that you’ll be right back where you started.  Take more control and ownership of your career and life direction and give it all you’ve got! Thanks, Nicole! 

For more on Nicole or to get your copy of Girl on Top, visit


Date & Relate is published every Thursday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Sara Hodon. She can be reached at

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