Sunday, February 7, 2010

Book Review: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl

The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, by Karen Burns, earned a slam-dunk of 17x5-star ratings out of 19 on

The two low scorers though, both gave 4-star ratings to Karen's debut book. Of which, only one gave a reason for her low review: She felt the real life career advice you can actually use was more suited for lower-tier careers and not for someone with an MBA or PhD. She was also concerned that most readers might feel inhibited about reading a book in public titled "Working Girl."

Fortunately, I have no such inhibitions and I'm siding with the 5-star reviewers on Amazon. In fact, the book, which is illustrated by the author, is more "girly" than risque in appearance.

While the saga of Working Girl is geared for women in the workforce (as opposed to the mini skirt and stiletto heels-attired working girls), it contains career advice anyone can use--even guys.

Okay, maybe getting "...your bras fitted by a professional..." (illustration, pg 120), doesn't apply to men--or most of them anyway--but just about everything else does.

Karen's warm, witty and uplifting prose, highlights what she's learned in each of the 59 jobs she's held before becoming an author. Despite the girly appearance, this book is not just a fluff piece of amusing anecdotes. Although many of predicaments Karen (aka Working Girl) found herself in, were funny, Working Girl addresses issues like stress, unethical bosses and even sexual harassment. In each situation Working Girl recommends how best to resolve the issue with grace, charm, aplomb--and if necessary--filing a grievance or initiating litigation. (Document everything!)

While the chronicle of Working Girl's amazing adventures came out in April last year, she continues to dispense sound career advice from her website:

But if getting job counselling from such a girly-looking website is too effeminate for your taste, then try the more manly US News and World Report Money Section, where Working Girl is a contributing writer:

Okay, so how do I know so much about Working Girl, instead of the stiletto-heeled working girls?

Well, I met Ms. Burns at last year's Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) Summer Conference. Her seminar, "Building a Platform from Nothing" was the first workshop I attended.

(Click on PNWA 09 Author Workshop Review under the Studio Contents Section and scroll down to the bottom to "Workshop with Working Girl," 7 August 2009).

I was impressed with her seminar and learned a lot about making my presence known on the web, without making a nuisance of myself (I hope). A standing-room only crowd also learned a lot that day too. In fact, her workshop drew more people than Deborah Schneider's and Chris Humphrey's "Writing Sex Scenes" seminar.

Seven months later, I'm still wondering which attendees had the better set of priorities...


Working Girl said...

The nice thing about Google Alerts is that it alerts me to nice stuff like this!

Thanks, Ted, for the intelligent and thoughtful review. It's always nice to know that males find something useful in TAAOWG--of course, career advice is career advice no matter who you are but the pinkness and Working Girl cartoons do make it all look rather female.

You've got some great stuff here in your blog. Fascinating! Thanks again for making my book a part of it.

Stern Rake Studio said...

Working Girl:

You're welcome! I enjoyed your seminar last year and hope you'll be doing more with PNWA.

I am, of course, teasing about the feminine look of your book and blog (the latter I follow regularly). Both are adorable.

Thank you for your comments about my blog.

Take care.