Elevate Difference

The Anti 9-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube

Offering variations on the theme of independence + passion + thrift = making it, Goodman combines personal experiences, interviews with women doing it their way, statistics and strategies to inspire and prepare us for better living outside the cube, or inside, if that’s where we currently happen to be.

Themes include devoting more time to a pet project, getting a more flexible work schedule, working abroad, finding your dream career, breaking into your dream industry, learning to build a house, fight wildfires and do other unladylike (ahem!), non-secretarial things for a living. Working from home, being your own boss and stitching up the seams of your patchwork paycheck and used clothing are covered somewhere between asking for Friday off and jumping out of the plane.

As a consolation, an appendix called "A Temp’s Survival Guide" reassures us it’s OK to take a normal job some of the time, and provides details on how to do it with dignity and flexibility and how to get your feet off the ground one lunch break, subway ride or underemployed year at a time.

I recommend this book to women and men for recognizing pitfalls and potentials in time management, shoestring budgeting and fundraising. I’ll keep it for the bibliography, references, free accounting and legal services for beginning businesses and NGOs and glossary of legalese. I used the “No-Fear Negotiation” advice to muster more out of my first “What do you require?” talk.

The bonus for women goes beyond the atypical use of “she” as the default pronoun. If this is a woman’s book, it is not through a degradation of men or even praise of women. It does, however, dedicate a substantial chapter to women’s personal experiences and advice on entering and thriving in predominately male fields. An astronaut, fire jumper, construction worker, fisherwoman, ranger and pastor relate their experiences of being a female rookie, discrimination, job demands, job satisfaction and talking to their families about what they do. Other chapters challenge boring roles in ordinary workplaces. It is still more normal for women than men to be in mediocre cube or front desk jobs. This book offers a variety of break-out-of-job-jail strategies, most safer than fire jumping, but thrilling nonetheless. Anyone changing careers or looking to siphon more time, energy or funds into a project they feel passionate about could apply the advice and inspiration in this employment improvement how-to guide.

Written by: Heather Irvine, June 20th 2007

Very cool, I am going to get this book. Nice review and nice writing.And this sentence has to be the coolest in the history of reviews:Working from home, being your own boss and stitching up the seams of your patchwork paycheck and used clothing are covered somewhere between asking for Friday off and jumping out of the plane.

This is a great review and has inspired to add the book to my list of must reads. Thanks.

I feel reassured by knowing this book exists and that I can receive pratical advice from others on making life work while still paying bills. I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the review. --Lacey D.

Would you recommend this book for students/recent graduates? To rephrase, is it something I should read, as a professor, to better advise my students, or can I just say, "there's a good book that might help you" when they ask what kind of job they can get with a liberal arts degree (such as a major in Women's & Gender Studies!)?

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