Monday, August 13, 2018
The Anti 9 to 5 Guide
I remember seeing Michelle Goodman's The Anti 9 to 5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube at the library many years ago. I picked up a copy of it (as well as Goodman's My So-Called Freelance Life) because it seemed like the type of book I should read but I wasn't interested in reading it right then and there. And so it has languished on my bookshelf for YEARS (I would bet around ten at this point). I don't even know why exactly I decided to read it now; I guess I just had a vague sense that I really should just read the thing already.
The Anti 9 to 5 Guide is a book full of career advice for women who want to forge their own path, whether through self-employment, flex time or telecommuting at their current job, or working at a traditionally male job. Each chapter tackles a different avenue to explore, and ends with a list of actionable items you can do right now and in the future to get you on your way towards making a career change.
As I was reading The Anti 9 to 5 Guide over the last few days, I had this sense that I really should have read the book much sooner. For one thing, I would guess that it was much more ground breaking when it was first published, but it feels rather dated now (there were a number of references to having a Rolodex. Plus Goodman talks about the internet like it's a new thing, probably because using it for finding jobs WAS a new thing back in 2006 when the book was published). But not only that, I found that the advice itself just wasn't new to me; it pretty much all seemed like obvious stuff I've read many times before (possibly in Pushback, The Art of Selling Yourself, or even all the way back to Networking for People who Hate Networking). I almost stopped reading the book halfway through because I felt like I was kind of wasting my time; I got stubborn and finished it because I've held onto this book for so long. I did glean a few interesting tidbits (and enjoyed the discussion on negotiating as well as the chapter on working abroad, even though I'm not really interested in living abroad at this point in my life). But overall I kind of felt like this was a slog to get through.
But that doesn't mean that it is. If you're fresh out of college and considering starting a career, or you want to change careers but haven't a clue where to start, The Anti 9 to 5 Guide is full of great advice for you. It just wasn't the book for me.