Kate White on Leaving Cosmo, Bitch Envy, and Her Favorite Sex Tips

Kate White spills her career secrets.After 14 years of running one of the biggest women's magazines in the world, Cosmopolitan's editor-in-chief Kate White was ready for a change.

"I already had a contract to write another psychological thriller -- that's due next year. And I'm promoting this book," she told Yahoo! Shine (her latest book, "I Shouldn't Be Telling You This," came out on Tuesday). "I realized I was all in at my job at Cosmo, but I was not all in as a writer. And I could not take on another book if I wasn't going to be all in."

In January, she told David Carey, the president of Hearst Magazines, that she was thinking of leaving Cosmo, The New York Times reported. She officially stepped down on September 10, but will act as a consultant for Carey through the end of the year. "When you get to leave of your own accord, it has a halo effect for you," she says. Though she still has an office in the Hearst building -- it's on the "Popular Mechanics" floor -- she plans to concentrate on a few digital projects, motivational speaking, writing her books, and cutting back on her hours at the office. "I'm hoping that'll take me to the 55 hour week that I'm looking for," she jokes.

In her newest book, "I Shouldn't Be Telling You This," White gives candid advice about being successful in your career, whether you're just starting out or trying to take things to the next level. She took some time to chat with Yahoo! Shine about relationships, bitch envy, and the secrets to her success.

Now that you've left Cosmo, tell us: Are there any stories or topics you wanted to feature over the years, but weren't able to? 

Certainly, there are topics that, as an editor that I didn't run in Cosmo. It was true with who you put on the cover, too. There are certain people on the cover that are poison that you might love. Sometimes it was a little bit of a mystery. This is going way back, but Sharon Stone never sold on covers. I think it was because she's the type of woman you think would steal your husband if you were out of the room for 15 minutes. But there are other people, there's not enough intrigue in their stories. And I think you have to figure out, "Is this someone who makes me really curious AND I wouldn't mind driving cross country with her?" 

We have to ask: What are the most-interesting sex tips Cosmo offered while you were at the helm? 

There were a couple that we ran over time that I think were interesting because they had a life of their own. We once ran one about putting a scrunchy around a guy's penis because just a little bit of tension was exciting for him. I saw it lately on a website attributed as one of Helen Gurley Brown's greatest tips. But it actually ran under me, because they didn't do things quite as explicit when Helen was here. 

There was another one about a glazed doughnut… that ended up in one of Tom Wolfe's books in a disparaging way. The thing about that is that certain tips were really intriguing and exciting because ultimately what happens in a sexual relationship is that you have to keep reintroducing some degree of novelty.

Are there any similarities between identifying a dead-end job and a dead-end relationship? 

I think with both of them you start to have a sense of lethargy and joylessness. You may be blaming something else, and that's where you have to ask yourself questions. … Maybe you're bored or restless, or maybe you're too comfy. Because that's the time, before you lose your energy, that you have to do a job search. There are windows in your career where if you don't do it then, it's going to be too late. 

Is that why you decided to leave Cosmo after 14 years? Was the window opening? 

At 13 years, I found myself getting grouchy. I would have to fight the urge to complain about a layout. I finally realized that I was grouchy because I was done with it. My mom once told me when I was a little baby that, right before I did any new move, like roll over for the first time or stand up for the first time, I would always have two days of being really cranky. And so, I started to think, "Oh my gosh, maybe I'm just the same as I was at 9 months old, that I get cranky before it's time to do something else!" 

I think we have to look for our own "tells" and become familiar with them. 

When is a good time to start a new job search? 

When your friend asks, "How do you like your job?" and you go, "God I love it." That should be your sign. You don't have to leave that second, but start figuring out what are the new skills that are going to scare you. Because the moment your job doesn't scare you, you need to start addressing that. Because once it gets too far gone, it's hard to summon the energy to do the search and the skill development and all of that. 

The same thing happened to me, I realize, with covers. Whenever I was on a real roll with some covers, the tendency is to think, "Well, I'll keep doing this." But in hindsight, I realize that was really the time to sort of tweak it, and surprise them. 

What advice would you tell your 20-something self about your career? 

I wish in my 20s that I had talked to more women a few years older than me when I met them at events and parties, to help me shape my longer-range goals. … Also, I didn't do more than what I was supposed to do, some of the times. I wasn't thinking long term of my career -- almost as if thinking of instant gratification. 

Women are taught to be nice and cooperative, but in your book you talk about bitch envy. What is that, and can you use it to your advantage? 

It's that awful feeling when you hate someone who just got a promotion or a new job. When you feel that emotion, what you need to do is say, "What's it telling me about me? Is it because she got something I want, or a variation on it?" I don't think you should push [feelings of envy] aside. I think you should turn it around and let it shine a light on you. 

Do you ever worry about being perceived as bitchy? 

First of all, it's really important to understand that not everyone is going to like you. And if you can let go of the need to please and the need to be liked by everyone, maybe you can realize that it's like certain guys you've dated -- it's just chemistry. There's nothing you can do. It's really a relief to let that go.

I think you have to be straight with people, but I've just never believed you have to be a bitch. I'm sure there might be a few people over time who would say that I sounded bitchy in a moment, but I would say that 98 percent of people I have worked with would not describe me that way. But that 2 percent, though… Can I apologize to them right now? Let them know that they just caught me at a moment when I had a weak newsstand sale."