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[[ Free ePUB ]] The Ambition Decisions Author Hana Schank – Wildlives.co

25 years after graduating from Northwestern, the authors decide to interview their sorority sisters and look at what paths they chose after college They saw parallels emerging from their sisters vastly different life choices high achieving women who prioritized career over family, women who chose to opt out of careers and those who split time between home and work withflexible schedules.Each woman chose, and continues to choose, what is best for her in her particular life stage We all make choices of what and how we will achieve our goals and dreams and how we will prioritize the rest of our lives around those things It is comforting and encouraging to read about the choices these women made and to see that nothing is set in stone We can change our direction and set a new course anytime along the way The authors do a good job discussing how the distribution of chores at home is not alway easy and the emotional labor women tend to carry for their families regardless of their jobs outsider the home The book is an analysis of what women have been told about having it all and balancing everything, Lean In and Drop the Ball, and showing us that we have options Life doesn t have to look just one way, or stay that way forever. Here is my disclaimer I don t like self help books and this felt like one So, if you enjoy those types of books, you may really enjoy this one For me, I felt like this book didn t contain any information that anyone who has graduated from college and lived a life into her 40s doesn t already have There was simply nothing useful to me in this book, and I felt like I wasted my time by reading it I would have stopped 50 pages in if it wasn t a book club book. Anecdotal sociology framed in a self help y rubric This has all the rigor of an Atlantic think piece, but I found it interesting to hear what a variety women in their mid 40s have to say about the working parenting life. My interview with Hana Schank IN 2012, HANA SCHANK and Elizabeth Wallace were 20 years out of college, but both found themselves at a crossroads in their careers Both women, friends from their time together at Northwestern University, were successful and happily married with children but wondered why they didn t feelfulfilled.They recalled a conversation they d had in college with a group of their sorority sisters about their lofty ambitions dreaming about becoming Cabinet secretaries, high powered lawyers and opera stars and wondered how those women s lives had shaken out Eventually, they talked to nearly all of the women in their sorority s graduating class for a series of essays in The Atlantic that eventually became The Ambition Decisions What Women Know About Work, Family and the Path to Building a Life Schank recently spoke with U.S News about the choices women make Excerpts We traditionally think of ambition as wanting to achieve the traditional measures of success the desire to climb the corporate ladder, or acquire money, power or fame but you suggest it should bebroadly defined What did you find ambition means for the women you interviewed There s this very traditional view of ambition in society, which is that you re ambitious in your career, period, end of story, and that if you do not have this very fancy looking career, you must not be an ambitious person What we learned in interviewing our friends was that there are actually many, many different ways to direct ambition.We spoke with people who might be stay at home moms or might have either scaled back careers or careers where they have stayed in one spot for a period of time and chosen not to move up because they wanted to direct their ambition in other ways They might be interested in being a really ambitious parent and being really hands on and making great lunches for their kids and being there at 3 o clock to meet the school bus We had one friend who is a teacher so she could have the summers off because she loves birds and she volunteers for the National Park Service to count birds You might want to direct your ambition into hiking, or living in a great place, or volunteering in an animal shelter.There is this classic definition of ambition being something that is publicly recognized You get that in your career When you move up, you re getting that public recognition that you did something, the yay for you that you really don t get that in the other areas, but that doesn t make you not ambitious.Part of the premise of the book is that all of the women you spoke with were obviously deeply ambitious in college, but not all of them went on to have high powered careers Were the women as likely to be satisfied with their lives if they had succeeded in getting those traditional ambitions than those who ended up staying at home with kids We found our friends falling into three trajectories we called the High Achievers, the Opt Outers, and the other was this group that we labeled the Flex Lifers Of those three groups, the High Achievers came across as the least conflicted They had chosen to channel all their ambition into their career, and they had arranged the other pieces of their lives to allow them to do that Whether they were not married, didn t have children or were married to someone who stayed at home, their work was a primary focus, and that primary focus gave them a lot of satisfaction because they were rewarded at work, they were promoted, they were financially rewarded, they had people at work saying, Good job, we like you, and that really provided them with a good sense of self.For the others, if you stay at home or if you have chosen to plateau your career so you can do other things, by the very definition of those paths, you rescattered and have other things going on, so you re sort ofscattered instead of getting this positive feedback loop, so that wasof a challenge for people.Even though women have come a long way toward achieving equality in American society, women who prioritize their careers over their families still get criticized How did the High Achievers in your group handle that I think we went into this expecting it to find that, because that s the trope you see in the movies in the media, that if you have this superstar career but you never get to see your kids, you re actually a terrible mother but we didn t find that at all.The High Achievers who had demanding careers felt like what they were doing was very important for their children They felt like they were providing for their families, they felt like they were being good role models and even though they might have less hands on time with their kids, they felt that the time that they had, they were 100 percent focused on their kids Of course they miss things and they felt guilt over missing things, but we all miss things, whatever we re doing They were also very good at establishing boundaries, and were able to say, Realistically, here are the ways I can be a parent By setting expectations for themselves and also for their children, they didn t disappoint anyone and they didn t feel guilt or didn t feel overwhelming guilt at the things that they were missing.We have one person who is very senior at a bank and also managed to coach her children s math team, so I don t think she felt guilt, because I think she felt she was doing pretty good We also had somebody who is a pediatrician who actually was a part time pediatrician but felt a lot of guilt around that she would go to drop off and she didn t really know the mothers, and they would all hang out together and she didn t know them.Read the rest of the interview here. This islike a 2.5 for me but I m rounding up. A really interesting, fast paced book about women, work, and how ambition works its way through one s life It takes a narrow cross section of the population, so I would have loved to see a wider lens, but it still felt relevant to me personally and so was definitely worth a read. At this point, this small study, that reads easy as if multiple similar biographies, was largely validating, confirming ideas I have come to after reflection, study, and thought however, I would highly recommend this to college women and women considering heterosexual marriage and or children i.e mostly helpful and insightful to the under 30 35 crowd That said, validation is ok, too, if the reality is not utterly disappointing and discouraging While there are now.groups that help women. statistics remain bleak on the prospects for middle aged women finding those money jobs in today s workforce Middle aged women s resumes are overlooked based on age alonewith women over fifty accounting for half of the long term unemployed However, There is a power conferred on women in their forties, a liberation upon realizing that, in ways both large and small, your life is your own to live, and that you can get divorced, get a job, or get a tattoo, and the world will not fall apart Not so long ago, especially still in the 70s, but even into the 80s and to the present, it has been hard, as a woman, to not follow someone else s rules e.g parent pleasers , or social pressures relationships Also, the discussion surrounding passion vs economics vs your gifts was compelling the satisfaction of a job well done vs some deep rooted passion While not discussed in terms of cultural societal changes, women have, and continue to have, difficult decisions and consequences surrounding the career marriage parenting trifecta Untilmen realize women can t earn the money and care for them and the family effectively and employers and society support those men and women raising children, I expect the struggle will continue. Listened via friend s audible I was told by two friends I must read this book As a mother balancing her own business and being a mom, this book was exactly what I needed to hear But you know what I also needed to hear this book when I was just working after college And then I needed to hear it again when I became a full time mom And I will probably need to hear it again in a few years when I will be who knows where If you need to be convinced, read the last chapter of this book first The authors lay it all out for you There is no judgement in this book no this person is better than another This is just about us women who constantly struggle with doing the best we can do and becoming the best people we can become regardless of what that means.I do hope the authors a follow up on their friends in another 10 years because I would love to know how things change and b start speaking outabout this I personally would love to sit down with them and discussbut first my book club will be discussing in a few weeks I can t wait Conclusion A must read for any woman who is between the years of graduating college and retirement Moms, non moms, working, non working everyone should hear the things said in this book. Learned of this book while listening to one of my favorite personal finance podcasts and really wanted to like it While the authors do a decent job of highlighting the work life balance issues posed by the modern day working world, the book speaks only to a small set of very privileged women This makes sense, as their data pool consisted only of their Northwestern sorority sisters, most of whom graduated in the 1990s, before the dating world imploded Unfortunately, the book almost entirely ignores the existence of single parents and single women generally In addition, the authors seem to forget that people without spouses or children also struggle with work life balance, as the working world sometimes seems to demand evenof these individuals Despite their privilege, the women profiled in the book appear ever dissatisfied with their abundant lives, and compulsively strive Truth be told, the women are rock stars, but many have lost perspective, forgetting the plight of most people The authors also appear to frown upon any woman who does not place career at No 1, and on women who have not been successful in obtaining greater involvement from their spouses Authors, consider that such demands might have gone unheard If you are a busy, female, Ivy League adjacent grad with a supportive spouse and the need to be the best, this book is for you If not, perhaps we should wait for the second edition. A Big Idea Self Help Book About The Decisions That Shape Women S Lives, In The Vein Of Designing Your LifeWhat Happens To Women S Ambition In The Years After College The Essays Which Were The Catalyst For This Book Began As A Series For The Atlantic, A Project Between Two Friends Who Had Attended Northwestern University Together In The Early S What Became Of All The Brilliant, Hardworking Women From Their College Days, They Wondered As They Shared Work And Family Woes And Triumphs Over A Glass Of Wine One Evening What Did Life Look Like For Other Midcareer, Midlife Women The Data Schank And Wallace Culled From The Group Of Women They Interviewed Over Forty Of Them In All Revealed A Surprisingly Clear Road Map, With Consistencies And Pitfalls The Authors Hadn T Expected To Find The Women Fell Into One Of Three Categories High Achievers, Those Who Were Scaling Back, And Those Who D Opted Out But, Most Important, No One Woman Stuck To A Single Track In The Twenty Five Years Since Graduation Our Culture And The Popular Media Might Seek To Pin Women Into Boxes, But Real Life Is In Fact Fluid Those Common Moments Of Transition, Crisis, And Achievement Reaped Rich Insights And Strategies Tackling Topics Like The Changing Meaning Of Ambition, The Near Lethal Combination Of Modern Parenting And A Work Culture, And What Sexism In The Workplace Does And Doesn T Look Like, The Issues Here Are Perennially Topical A Love Letter To A New Generation Of Working Women Or Anyone At A Crossroads, From Women Who Set Out To Rule The World And Stumbled Into Various Permutations Of Their Best Lives, The Ambition Decisions Pinpoints The Variables That Push Women Toward Making Big Decisions, And Make Those Decisions Easier