christinawilder

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Hangsaman
Shirley Jackson, Francine Prose
No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs
Naomi Klein
Progress: 158/528 pages
"I want to perform an unnatural act."

- Lenny Bruce



"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative. I don't like anything in the mainstream and they don't like me."

- Bill Hicks



"I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant."

-George Carlin



"The more I see, the less I know for sure."

- John Lennon

New Girl On the Job: Advice from the Trenches - Hannah Seligson Here's a review of the book I wrote years ago, still holds true today:New Girl on the Job, a nonfiction book by Hannah Seligson, is a guide for young women entering the workforce that gives advice on attitude, hardships, and the expectations for Gen Y women seeking a career. Seligson, a young freelance journalist, shares her own experience of being fired from her first job and the lessons she's learned from it. Seligson interviewed both successful careerwomen and young women just beginning their career and also researched statistics to pinpoint the mind-set of twenty-something women, and found studies that showcase their strengths and weaknesses.Seligson explores common workplace themes (sexual harrassment, professional demeanor, dealing with a difficult boss, etc.), but also addresses approaches that will lead to improvement in a young woman's career. The first thing Seligson focuses on is finding the right job. On the first page of New Girl on the Job, she cites data from 2001 proving that twenty-something workers rarely stay at a job for more than little over a year."Most young people take the first job that's offered to them, even if it's not the best match," she writes, "because they feel like having a job is more important than having the right job. Sound familiar?" She goes on to describe how finding a job in a field the worker enjoys will lead to the worker putting in more of an effort and having a better chance at a developing career.While the book covers common sense approaches to work ettiquette, including dressing and acting professionally, it also focuses on the struggles unique to young women. Chapter two lists tips on "developing a thick skin", i.e., being able to take professional criticism without making it personal, and being more direct with questions and observations rather than using "touchy-feely" language, such as eliminating the "I feel"s from statements and focusing on the topic at hand. ("Instead of:"I just feel that..."Try this:"I think..." or "It has come to my attention that..."), [pgs18-19])Feminine wiles are an issue tackled in chapter three, in a section titles "How Much 'X' Should I Bring to Work?", citing articles that focus on women's sexuality in the workplace. Flirting is dubbed a "short-term strategy" by former president of the National Organization for Women Patricia Ireland. Seligson sums up the section's viewpoint on page fifty-nine, stating that sexuality can be used to a young woman's advantage for leverage, but should not be the guiding force for her career. "Oprah Winfrey certainly didn't get where she is today because she used her sexuality, and she's not the only one," Seligson states.The rest of the book has tips on finding a mentor and dealing with a difficult boss, but it also focuses on problems specific to young women and women in general. In chapter six there is a section titled "Crying at Work" with personal accounts from young careerwomen and women professionals, and chapter seven begins with the difficulties women have with working with other women.It goes on to describe how to successfully confront other women rather than gossip about them, and also includes "red flags for office friendships" ("You spend more time socializing than working" and "You constantly feel hurt, offended, and sidestepped by your female co-workers" are two examples on pages 133 and 134). Another challenge young women face is getting "assistant-ized", or finding themselves saddled with administrative tasks rather than more executive roles, described in chapter eight in the sections "The Work Martyr Syndrome" and "How Not to Get Assistant-ized".New Girl on the Job ends with a call for a "second revolution in the workforce" (page 182), focusing on finding empowerment and freedom in the workplace. Seligson calls it the "opt-in revolution", summarizing its possibilities on page 185:"...Just imagine how different the workplace would be if young women thought about building careers instead of finding jobs, negotiated more aggressively for raises and salaries, tried to stay off the doormat track, built teams of mentors, and made a concerted effort to squelch all the catfights and competition with their female co-workers."