The Book
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The Unspoken Rules

“A blueprint for anyone starting their career, entering a new role, or wanting to get unstuck.” -Arianna Huffington

No one tells you how to navigate your first day in a new role. No one tells you how to take ownership, manage expectations, or handle workplace politics. No one tells you how to get promoted.


The answers to these professional unknowns lie in the unspoken rules—the certain ways of doing things that managers expect but don’t explain and that top performers do but don’t realize.


The problem is, these rules aren’t taught in school. Instead, they get passed down over the dinner table or from mentor to mentee, making for an unlevel playing field, with the insiders getting ahead and the outsiders stumbling along through trial and error.


Until now.


In this practical guide, Gorick Ng, a first-generation college student and Harvard career adviser, demystifies the unspoken rules of work. Ng distills the wisdom he’s gathered from over five hundred interviews with professionals across industries and job types about the biggest mistakes people make at work. Loaded with frameworks, checklists, and talking points, the book provides concrete strategies you can apply immediately to your own situation and will help you navigate inevitable questions, such as:


  • How do I manage my time in the face of conflicting priorities?
  • How do I build relationships when I’m working remotely?
  • How do I ask for help without looking incompetent or lazy?


The Unspoken Rules is the only book you need to perform your best, stand out from your peers, and set yourself up for a fulfilling career.

Now Available! Order your copy today


Download the first 25 pages of The Unspoken Rules

In this book, you’ll learn how to:

The Three Cs: What your managers and coworkers are thinking when they meet you and what you can do to show up as your best self


Think, “Let’s Give This a Shot!”: How to build a mindset that will help you unlock opportunities, even when it seems like you’re in a dead-end role


Show Up Like a High Performer: How to prepare for your first day in a new role so you look and sound like an experienced hand from day one


Be Proactive: How to set yourself up for success in a new role or project, even if your coworkers are too busy to show you around or teach you the rules


Know How to Tell Your Story: How to make the most of a new job and introduce yourself in a way that gets you what you want out of the role


Manage Your Appearance: How to dress and present yourself so you “fit in” with your coworkers while still remaining authentically yourself


Send the Right Signals: How to avoid sending mixed signals that prompt coworkers to second guess your competence and commitment


Take Ownership: How to “manage up” so you show you can think for yourself and are ready for more important responsibilities


Manage Your Workload: How to prioritize your work, draw boundaries, and say “no” without coming across as lazy or uncommitted


Read Between the People: How to read your coworkers so you avoid stepping on anyone’s toes and know who to go to for help


Spark Relationships: How to turn strangers into acquaintances into allies into mentors into champions, even if you can’t relate to your coworkers


Master Meetings: How to go from overcoming your imposter syndrome of speaking up to leading productive meetings of your own


Manage Feedback: How to make the most of manager one-on-ones and better read your manager if you aren’t getting enough feedback


Manage Conflicts: How to deal with difficult managers, decide when to leave your job, and quit without burning bridges


Show Your Potential: How to get promoted, even if you’re in a dead-end job, and renegotiate your salary without looking entitled

Thoughtfully designed to be read before your first day and referenced over and over when you’re on the job.

A Look Inside the Book


Talking Points


Endorsed by Titans of Industry

Reviewed by Early Career Professionals, Managers, HR Leaders, and Executives

“Gorick’s book is the perfect combination of anecdotes, specific to-do’s, checklists, talking points and email templates that he has sourced from extensive interviews with professionals across geographies, industries, and job types. What better way to learn than from people who have been through it themselves?”


Jessica L.

“As someone midway in their career, some of the anecdotes in this book were all too real! I really appreciate the use of real stories to illustrate important lessons. They’re sometimes downright funny, which is a refreshing change from stuffy business books. I do wish I had read this book as a student…”


Alison L.

“… Like an encouraging older brother, Ng conspiratorially reveals the “unspoken rules” of professionalism. Each chapter empowers young people to “take ownership” of their career by learning the rules and then making informed decisions on when to follow the rules and when to break them”


Paige B.

“For employers and managers – this is the toolkit you should be gifting your teams for”productivity hack” of the year. For interns, trainees and new hires – the career coach in a book; learn how to make an impact and achieve your goals from day 1.”


Chris R.

“As someone midway in their career, some of the anecdotes in this book were all too real! I really appreciate the use of real stories to illustrate important lessons. They’re sometimes downright funny, which is a refreshing change from stuffy business books. I do wish I had read this book as a student…”


Sudheer P.

“I’m a former leader in the energy business and the founder of a non profit for first generation college students. Gorick masterfully presents the behaviors that are critical differentiators between top performers and the rest of the pack in corporate America. He created a comprehensive guide to early success in the workplace. His real life examples from diverse, first generation graduates are powerful, enlightening, and easily understood. Unspoken Rules is a must read for any young person starting their career, especially those from an underrepresented background! …”


Paul P.