Friday, March 11, 2016

Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano

Since I've just entered job hunting season (I even had an all-day event today), I thought this would be a good book to read (who am I kidding, I was reading job hunting books even before the season. Even before I entered university, probably). Plus, it actually kept my attention past the first chapter in a "my Scribd membership is expiring and I have too many books to read" sort of reading death match, where everything that did not catch my interest by the first chapter got filed for "when I'm back in Singapore".

Anyway, Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire is meant to be a handbook to women just starting out, to help them navigate the tightrope that is work and life. It's basically full of anecdotes from the author, about her career in the wine business, and what they can mean for the reader.

Personally, I liked the book. I found it engaging, and I liked the author's tone. A lot of what she says makes sense, especially about goal setting and priorities. In particular, the line

"Your heart should be in your work, but that doesn't mean your work has to be something you have always loved."
caught my attention, because a teacher once said something similar. Actually, what my teacher said was "your ideal industry is almost always different from what you think it is, so don't stick to it so closely". I think I like this way of putting it better than my teacher. I mean, I love reading, writing, piano, but I'm not at all of that (i.e. piano), and in fact, what I'm hoping to do in the future is something related to Industry 4.0/Industrial Internet. That's actually pretty broad, so I'm hoping I can find a job that interests me.

Towards the end, she talks about things like the differences between men and women in work, and well, I'm not so sure about that. Other parts of the book, like wining and dining in business, may not be as useful to me, since Japan has a fairly unique dining culture. Although I think with globalisation, what she says is probably going to make sense sooner or later.

Overall, I think this was a good book for me to read at the start of the job hunting season. It managed to calm me down, and remind me to be more selective when picking which events that I want to go to.

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