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 1990s 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 24 7 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.


10 thoughts on “The Ambition Decisions

  1. Dayna Solomon Dayna Solomon says:

    I am finding this book to be one of the thought provoking books I ve read in a long while It s both validating AND inspiring, allowing me to feel good about where my ambition has brought me thus far, yet also bringing to light where some of my ambition has waned along the way and how I can fix that This book illuminates how you truly can tweak your path to fit your life at any moment and it doesn t have to mean a major life over haul If you ve had shifting visions of what you ...


  2. Crista Colvin Crista Colvin says:

    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 even of these individuals Despite their privilege, the women profiled in the book appear ever dissatisfied with their abundant lives, and compulsive...


  3. Mythili Mythili says:

    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.


  4. Gabbi Levy Gabbi Levy says:

    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 feel fulfilled.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 be broadly 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...


  5. EJ EJ says:

    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...


  6. Kristin Kristin says:

    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.


  7. Sara O& Sara O& says:

    This is like a 2.5 for me but I m rounding up.


  8. Stacy Stacy says:

    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 con...


  9. Adrienne Adrienne says:

    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 i...


  10. Kristiana Kristiana says:

    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 with flexible 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 al...