Friday, September 4, 2015

Currently Read: Lean In

"There is no perfect fit when you're looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn in the most important quality a leader can have."

I had put off reading Lean In when it first became popular because at the time I had no job and no prospect of leading anything. I was already depressed and directionless and figured the book would just add to my pile of self pity. I'm glad I waited to read Lean In because I was able to appreciate all of the interesting facts and advice even more now.

Honestly, I was expecting this book to be inapplicable to my life and my career (or lack there of) even at this point in time. I don't currently work in an office job or even have a full time career. I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a part time job at my local library. I figured a book about leading a business would have nothing to offer a woman who didn't even know what kind of business she wanted to be a part of. Boy, was I wrong. I finished the book feeling more hopeful for my future than I have felt in quite some time. I didn't feel discouraged or behind, I felt empowered to lean in. I was no longer on the bottom rung of the ladder but on a jungle gym; anywhere I go from here will be a step in the right direction.

Lean In seems to be both loved and hated by many. A large portion of the books criticism evolve around it's narrowed audience but I thought the book did a great job of giving advice for all women (and men) in the business world. Sure there were parts that didn't directly apply to my situation, but I could imagine her advice being useful in the future. I also agree that the book was filled with facts and advice many people have probably heard before. Some of the studies mentioned were straight out of my college courses, but not everyone sees how unbalanced the world is when it comes to gender. It's easy to ignore or deny the biases and contradictions when no one calls attention to them. Even when you do know about them, it's not always easy to change your own way of thinking.

Lean In should be read by everyone in or out of the business world. The knowledge in this book needs to be shared. If we don't call attention to gender inequalities we will never be equal.

- S

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