“For a long time,” Jennifer Romolini writes, “I was pretty sure I would never make it in the world, that I would never become ‘successful.'” The reason: she was just too weird, too sensitive, too far outside the realm of mainstream office culture.
But the former editor of HelloGiggles and Yahoo Shine did eventually succeed, and in her new book, Weird in a World That’s Not, she offers several tips to help fellow misfits climb the corporate ladder.
If you’re socially awkward, she writes, try over-preparing for even the most mundane workplace situations — rehearsing compliments for small talk with co-workers, for example, or writing scripts for major meetings.
Romolini also advises turning weirdness into an asset, as she did: when yoga became a fad in New York City, she drew upon her unusual new-age upbringing to corner the beat as a freelancer, which soon landed her a full-time job. “If you are a card-carrying weirdo,” she writes, “[it’s] not a detriment, it’s an asset.”
This appears in the June 19, 2017 issue of TIME.