Book Review: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

This was the book I finished right before all this went down. It’s a substantive read told in a light and engaging way and is recommended reading for young women just starting out in their careers or those interested in an inside glimpse at the Obama White House.

A topic I’m v. interested in is Work. Not being a workaholic, but more like career strategies. I love learning about the specific choices and lessons learned over the course of a professional life – regardless of occupation. From those in the arts to entrepreneurs or, in this case, a political career. The book is written by Alyssa Mastromonaco who served as assistant to President Obama and deputy chief of staff for operations, and is full of wonderful anecdotes in which is woven sound, practical advice about how to approach your work.

Having been a professional for over 30 years now, I have seen many people lacking in what I consider some basic skills. Here’s one: be prepared. Forreal. A couple weeks ago a friend wanted to introduce me to someone who is accomplished in his field. This is what I did: I googled him and read up on him so that when I met him I’d be able to ask questions about his projects. Alyssa writes about interviewing someone who clearly had no idea who she had worked for. Is that a crime? No. But definitely shows lack of initiative and preparedness and attention. Guess who isn’t getting the job.

 My favorite parts are the quick glimpses of Obama. Not how brilliant or competent he is…but his kindness. Like in a very personal and thoughtful way. He is also low-key funny without trying to be. I miss him so.

 Anyway, recommended quick read since we are all stuck at home anyway.

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