Book Review: Amazing Adventures of Working Girl

This self help book is also an autobiography written and illustrated by Karen Burns. Let me just say that the illustrations are so adorable. I love how this book was written and how it was formatted.

Burns discusses all 59 of the jobs she’s worked over 40 years in 22 cities and 4 countries. I know what you’re thinking. That is A LOT of jobs. Burns organizes this book in two different ways: each chapter is a job she’s worked and what she learned from each job. The entire book is separated into 3 different sections: Clueless, Confident, and Carefree.

This book was a super quick read and I love that it wasn’t written in a timeline format of the jobs she’s worked. It’s a super interactive self-help book and I really recommend reading it.

I. CLUELESS

Burns discusses the jobs where she had no idea what she was doing or why she was doing it. Sometimes money is always hard to come by and it’s difficult not to turn down a job. This section teaches you when it’s time to quit your job, how to get the respect you deserve as an employee, and much more. I found this first section to be a wake up call because there are life lessons that can be learned without learning them the hard way. Here are some things I got out of this section:

“Do not rely on praise from others” (35).

“Respect is not something you can pursue. […] Respect from other people is a result of your good character” (38).

“Taking chances is essential to growth and fulfillment and happiness and life” (46).

II. CONFIDENT

This section teaches you the importance of a good resume and first impression, how to job hunt successfully, how to handle colleagues and bosses, and more. Burns teaches you how to build your confidence during an interview and how to overcome your shyness at a new job through her own personal experiences. My favorite parts of this section would be when Burns tells readers we need to work hard in order to get to where we want to be. However, there are always people in the way of your success and you need to have the persistence not to quit believing in yourself.

“The cure to job burnout is to discover what work you were meant to do and then do it in a way that suits your personality and life” (128).

“Persistence is the key to living an exceptional life” (174).

“Obstacles are how you know you’re making progress” (174).

III. CAREFREE

This section helped me realize that taking risks is what life should be about. I’m not talking about extreme risks, but I learned that you shouldn’t be afraid to start over or move to another city to pursue your passion if it’s something you really want. Burns helps you figure our your mission statement in life and how to discover when you’ve finally found success.

“Learn to recognize successes. Learn to bounce back from failures” (178).

“You achieve happiness by being more of who you are, not less” (187).

“It’s never too late to be the person you were meant to be” (265).

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