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High-achieving women share their worst mistakes at work—and how learning from them paved the way to success. Named by Fast Company as a "Top 10 Book You Need to Read This Year"   In Mistakes I Made at Work, a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Business Book for Spring 2014, Jessica Bacal interviews twenty-five successful women about their toughest on-the-job moments. These innovators High-achieving women share their worst mistakes at work—and how learning from them paved the way to success. Named by Fast Company as a "Top 10 Book You Need to Read This Year"   In Mistakes I Made at Work, a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Business Book for Spring 2014, Jessica Bacal interviews twenty-five successful women about their toughest on-the-job moments. These innovators across a variety of fields – from the arts to finance to tech – reveal that they’re more thoughtful, purposeful and assertive as leaders because they learned from their mistakes, not because they never made any. Interviewees include: * Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild * Anna Holmes, founding editor of Jezebel.com * Kim Gordon, founding member of the band Sonic Youth * Joanna Barsch, Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company * Carol Dweck, Stanford psychology professor * Ruth Ozeki, New York Times bestselling author of Tale for the Time Being And many more Ideal for millenials just starting their careers, for women seeking to advance at work, or for anyone grappling with issues of perfectionism, Mistakes I Made at Work features fascinating and surprising anecdotes, as well as tips for readers.


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High-achieving women share their worst mistakes at work—and how learning from them paved the way to success. Named by Fast Company as a "Top 10 Book You Need to Read This Year"   In Mistakes I Made at Work, a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Business Book for Spring 2014, Jessica Bacal interviews twenty-five successful women about their toughest on-the-job moments. These innovators High-achieving women share their worst mistakes at work—and how learning from them paved the way to success. Named by Fast Company as a "Top 10 Book You Need to Read This Year"   In Mistakes I Made at Work, a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Business Book for Spring 2014, Jessica Bacal interviews twenty-five successful women about their toughest on-the-job moments. These innovators across a variety of fields – from the arts to finance to tech – reveal that they’re more thoughtful, purposeful and assertive as leaders because they learned from their mistakes, not because they never made any. Interviewees include: * Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild * Anna Holmes, founding editor of Jezebel.com * Kim Gordon, founding member of the band Sonic Youth * Joanna Barsch, Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company * Carol Dweck, Stanford psychology professor * Ruth Ozeki, New York Times bestselling author of Tale for the Time Being And many more Ideal for millenials just starting their careers, for women seeking to advance at work, or for anyone grappling with issues of perfectionism, Mistakes I Made at Work features fascinating and surprising anecdotes, as well as tips for readers.

30 review for Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong

  1. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    A promising concept, but disappointingly flimsy on the ground. I was drawn to the theme and to what I could see of the interviewee list (Ruth Ozeki! Kim Gordon!), but, with rare exceptions, found a lot of the accounts disappointingly insubstantial -- more of a primer/introductory volume for young women just starting out in the workforce than for seasoned professionals. This may be because Bacal is the Director of Smith College's Center for Work and Life, so college-aged women are her usual audie A promising concept, but disappointingly flimsy on the ground. I was drawn to the theme and to what I could see of the interviewee list (Ruth Ozeki! Kim Gordon!), but, with rare exceptions, found a lot of the accounts disappointingly insubstantial -- more of a primer/introductory volume for young women just starting out in the workforce than for seasoned professionals. This may be because Bacal is the Director of Smith College's Center for Work and Life, so college-aged women are her usual audience. Unfortunately, for the same reason, the complete list of interviewees was also a little disappointing. Likely because of Bacal's professional affiliation, most of them were Smith alumnae. While this makes for a fairly distinguished group, it also makes for one that tends to be white, affluent, and Northeastern (and reads like a publication disseminated by the Office of Alumnae Relations). I would've liked to have seen more women of color on this list, and certainly more people from a less-than-middle-class background, because both of these factors dramatically affect one's professional experience. Overall, while there were some gems in here (Ozeki's account being my favorite), t left me feeling a little swindled.

  2. 5 out of 5

    da AL

    No surprise, even successful people make mistakes. Yes surprise, here they reveal some -- so that we can gain inspiration for our own success! Getting 'there' lies in the desire to grow, rather than merely impress. Entertaining, well written as well as audiobook well performed. No surprise, even successful people make mistakes. Yes surprise, here they reveal some -- so that we can gain inspiration for our own success! Getting 'there' lies in the desire to grow, rather than merely impress. Entertaining, well written as well as audiobook well performed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn Day

    Good, but not memorable. Much better books for women in the workplace (Selena Rezvani’s Pushback, for one). It’s refreshing to hear stories about bouncing back from low points, but not all mistakes are created equal. A lot of the women featured equated “mistakes” with “risking potential failure” and they aren’t the same thing. At all.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A revolutionary idea --- talk about mistakes and what you learned from them! And then ask well-known women to contribute! Great premise executed well. I enjoyed reading about the various experiences, backgrounds and professions and could see the commonality of professional women navigating organizational and relational challenges. The chapters that I found most helpful 25 years into my career are the ones about giving oneself time to really understand what will make one happy at work and life -- A revolutionary idea --- talk about mistakes and what you learned from them! And then ask well-known women to contribute! Great premise executed well. I enjoyed reading about the various experiences, backgrounds and professions and could see the commonality of professional women navigating organizational and relational challenges. The chapters that I found most helpful 25 years into my career are the ones about giving oneself time to really understand what will make one happy at work and life -- and that this can be a trial and error process. I give this 3.5 stars because I found it to read exactly like a collection of short essays without much narrative thread or overarching theme besides "tell your story," leaving it feeling a little choppy. Nevertheless, a great set of essays, especially for younger women who are starting their careers. Some very good advice and storytelling in a time that this doesn't happen collectively. Please note that this review is provided as part of the LibraryThing early reviewer program and reflects my honest opinion of the publication.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nina Levison

    I enjoyed this book but many of the essays were from writers so it wasn't representative of many careers-- it was especially low on examples of women in STEM fields. Additionally, almost all of the essay-writers were connected to Smith College in some way and all were college educated. While the book had some valuable lessons, I felt a lot of these women were allowed to take big risks and learn from failures because they had significant safety nets. I enjoyed this book but many of the essays were from writers so it wasn't representative of many careers-- it was especially low on examples of women in STEM fields. Additionally, almost all of the essay-writers were connected to Smith College in some way and all were college educated. While the book had some valuable lessons, I felt a lot of these women were allowed to take big risks and learn from failures because they had significant safety nets.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    My main takeaway from this book was that nobody has it all figured it out. Even people at the very top have had failures. This book includes lots of interesting stories of women at work. It is a pretty quick read. It was indeed useful to read stories of failures. That way I think it is easier to embrace your own failures down the road. That’s important, otherwise it might hold you back and you don't end up doing anything, thus failing before starting. Good piece of advice for passion: "If you don My main takeaway from this book was that nobody has it all figured it out. Even people at the very top have had failures. This book includes lots of interesting stories of women at work. It is a pretty quick read. It was indeed useful to read stories of failures. That way I think it is easier to embrace your own failures down the road. That’s important, otherwise it might hold you back and you don't end up doing anything, thus failing before starting. Good piece of advice for passion: "If you don’t have a passion, there’s nothing wrong with you. I think that life is not so much about following your passion, but about realizing that your journey is a long one. Focus on developing hard skills like problem solving, business writing, and presenting, and soft skills like taking initiative, getting along with others, and engaging in meetings. Get curious about what you enjoy doing (and don’t enjoy), and notice what gives you a lot of energy.” - For a long time I didn't know what my passion was either, but slowly discovered it by trying to do as best as I can. It was great to see that few of the featured women in the book were fellow Smithies (also graduated from my alma mater Smith College). Few of my favorite quotes: "When you have major setbacks, you ironically begin to feel like you can do anything because the worst has already happened and you’re no longer paralyzed by the fear of something not working out." "But each of these risks, whether small or more substantial, built my confidence." "Doing work that you love can inspire others to do the same."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Simi

    Mistakes I made at Work is a must-read. Not only is the author's voice (in the preview sections of each of the four parts) really accessible and down-to-earth, the essays themselves are priceless. They are easy to digest and end with "tips" which are great take-away messages. I book-marked and highlighted at least a third of the book to return to (for myself or my students whom I mentor). The book itself is a collection of essays by 25 really successful women. Part 1 is about telling your own sto Mistakes I made at Work is a must-read. Not only is the author's voice (in the preview sections of each of the four parts) really accessible and down-to-earth, the essays themselves are priceless. They are easy to digest and end with "tips" which are great take-away messages. I book-marked and highlighted at least a third of the book to return to (for myself or my students whom I mentor). The book itself is a collection of essays by 25 really successful women. Part 1 is about telling your own story, Part 2 is about asking, Part 3 is about saying no, and Part 4 is about resilience. I loved part 3 and 4 the best. Part 1 was less relevant to me, but I see its value for those who are beginning their careers. Even so, every section of the book had some real gems by luminously amazing women like Cheryl Strayed, Danielle Ofri, Luma Mufleh, and my three personal absolute favorites (people I want to meet and have a long drink with and pick their brains forever): Carla Harris, Rinku Sen, and Shirley Malcom. If you've ever stepped on someone's toes, brokered a terrible deal, beleagueredly said yes when you really meant no, doubted yourself or career/educational choices, or did something that makes you want to hide under a rock for the rest of your career- then this is a book for you.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anna (lion_reads)

    I wanted so badly to love this book, but I just didn't. The idea behind it was really strong but the execution wasn't. For one, there was a lack of narrative throughout. This is non-fiction, of course, but instead of building on each other, the essays just sat side by side loosely gathered by each part title. Even within each woman's story, there was a certain lack of depth and detail. I wish each woman's voice came out alongside Bacal's. Instead, they all sounded the same. It was hard to keep re I wanted so badly to love this book, but I just didn't. The idea behind it was really strong but the execution wasn't. For one, there was a lack of narrative throughout. This is non-fiction, of course, but instead of building on each other, the essays just sat side by side loosely gathered by each part title. Even within each woman's story, there was a certain lack of depth and detail. I wish each woman's voice came out alongside Bacal's. Instead, they all sounded the same. It was hard to keep reading or to be truly inspired. Maybe if the number of women was cut down and those given bigger sections to develop their lesson. Another thing I noticed was that some of the essays fell into the very trap Bacal criticized in the introduction. "Mistake" seems to be a very subjective term for a few of these women. That is, some of the mistakes don't seem like mistakes. They were also dealt with from a place of distance—not many of the women acknowledged how scary or disruptive their mistakes were to them—which made it seem like because these women were so successful means they can handle slip-ups with ease and grace. This undermines the whole goal this book set out to accomplish. I didn't feel inspired, I felt detached. Their tips didn't hit the mark for me even though in general these were sound advice. This isn't the best book on the subject. Can't say I recommend it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was such an excellent book. I actually found myself taking notes! I would recommend this book to every person I know...regardless of gender...seriously. A quick, entertaining read with a wealth of knowledge to boot! I'd like to own this book. This was such an excellent book. I actually found myself taking notes! I would recommend this book to every person I know...regardless of gender...seriously. A quick, entertaining read with a wealth of knowledge to boot! I'd like to own this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Wh

    This book hit me at the right time. I really enjoyed reading of other women's experiences in the working world and how they choose to navigate issues as they arose. This book hit me at the right time. I really enjoyed reading of other women's experiences in the working world and how they choose to navigate issues as they arose.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This was the right book at the right time and I found it extremely useful 10 years into my career. Highly recommend

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tor

    As a Career Counselor, I am often talking to my students about the value of mistakes. Each time this conversation comes up, they have a hard time seeing that sometimes getting it wrong is the best thing that can happen. For example, an internship you hate can show you which path NOT to go down and solve so many future problems. The point of this book was pointing out that everyone, even influential women, make mistakes and can learn from them, which I appreciated. I enjoyed the “bite sized piece As a Career Counselor, I am often talking to my students about the value of mistakes. Each time this conversation comes up, they have a hard time seeing that sometimes getting it wrong is the best thing that can happen. For example, an internship you hate can show you which path NOT to go down and solve so many future problems. The point of this book was pointing out that everyone, even influential women, make mistakes and can learn from them, which I appreciated. I enjoyed the “bite sized pieces” as each chapter was a different story and person. I read this as I was applying for a promotion and it inspired me. I picked this book up at the DOLLAR TREE and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katsiaryna Mauchanava

    Idea is very good. But the book missing pictures of the women, and some stories require a little bit more of editing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abeer Hoque

    “Mistakes I Made At Work” is an excellent book, a collection of essays by some truly extraordinary and accomplished women, who do something utterly refreshing and ultimately revolutionary - they speak about what they did wrong and what that meant to them. “Any bias you face is complicated by being female.” Dr. Shirley Malcom The essayists are writers and politicians, rockstars and activists, entrepreneurs and scientists, mothers and executives, all dedicated to what one of them calls the “growth “Mistakes I Made At Work” is an excellent book, a collection of essays by some truly extraordinary and accomplished women, who do something utterly refreshing and ultimately revolutionary - they speak about what they did wrong and what that meant to them. “Any bias you face is complicated by being female.” Dr. Shirley Malcom The essayists are writers and politicians, rockstars and activists, entrepreneurs and scientists, mothers and executives, all dedicated to what one of them calls the “growth mindset” - a psychological concept where you value learning over smarts. “Failure is part of innovation.” Corinna Lathan “Fail fast, fail hard, and fail often.” Reshma Saujani “Failing is sometimes the only way forward.” Selena Rezvani “Rarely is a mistake fatal.” Carla Harris MIMAW is organized into 4 sections: Learning to take charge of your own narrative; Learning to ask; Learning to say no; and Learning resilience. Each section and essay is thoughtfully introduced by Jessica Bacal (full disclosure - she’s a friend, and a fabulous writer and thinker herself). “I would encourage every young woman to find at least one beautifully mucky place in which you’re not the expert - and then to wade in.” Lisa Lutz It doesn’t matter that some of the ideas get repeated, or that some of the essays are less fluent and compelling than others, because the end game is so important: making mistakes is not the end of the world, and it could in fact mean the beginning. And sometimes you cannot get to the right place without visiting the wrong one, maybe a few times. “If you make a big public mistake, then own it in a big public way.” Carla Harris This claim is especially critical for women who are raised to not just be perfect but look the part too. The idea that you could expose yourself as flawed or a seeming fraud runs counter to everything both men and women are taught. This exposing appears to be especially debilitating to women who feel they cannot get ahead if they fall flat or even leave open that possibility. “You’re almost never alone at the helm of a ship, or anywhere else, for that matter.” Danielle Ofri But essay after essay, these ambitious thoughtful women they talk about how you have to take risks, you have to be hungry, and most importantly, you have to learn from everything you say and do, most especially the mistakes. “When you have major setbacks, you ironically begin to feel like you can do anything, because the worst has already happened, and you’re no longer paralyzed by the fear of something not working out.” Reshma Saujani “You and your bad decision are two separate things.” Danielle Ofri “When it comes to public speaking, the most important thing to remember is that people don’t come to watch you fail.” Lisa Lutz I know when I worked at a startup in the late 90s, it took me so long to realise that the times we leapfrogged to another level was when we had failed, sometimes spectacularly, sometimes less so. And that getting it right the first time was not nearly as instructive as getting it wrong. When something works well, you might not even know why, but when something doesn’t work, you usually know exactly why, and you’ll probably remember that lesson longer. “You should only call mistakes failures if you don’t learn.” Joanna Barsh None of this is easy, of course, and the anecdotes if revelatory were often painful and frustrating, unfair and ego busting. It remains that we have to be brave and honest and open, and that messing up is part and parcel of changing the world. I highly recommend this book. “Every novel or painting is like this: perfect in the maker’s mind, but imperfectly realised.” Ruth Ozeki

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    I found this book very inspirational and motivational. "It never occurred to me to try to write a perfect book, or one that was better than another writer's book. I just thought, 'I'm going to write a book,' and I knew it would be one that no one else could write, because no one else is me." - Lisa Lutz "I've since learned that taking a 'screw that' attitude doesn't allow for growth. These days, if a criticism upsets me, I'll ask for a break. For example, I might say, "I'm really feeling what you'v I found this book very inspirational and motivational. "It never occurred to me to try to write a perfect book, or one that was better than another writer's book. I just thought, 'I'm going to write a book,' and I knew it would be one that no one else could write, because no one else is me." - Lisa Lutz "I've since learned that taking a 'screw that' attitude doesn't allow for growth. These days, if a criticism upsets me, I'll ask for a break. For example, I might say, "I'm really feeling what you've just put in front of me, and I would like to take a minute to process it. Could we talk again in a half hour?" We often think everything has to happen right now, especially when we're unsettled emotionally, but it doesn't." - Rinku Sen "Procrastination is not a great strategy for coping with your perfectionism. Procrastination will prevent you from fully living your life; instead learn to appreciate your mistakes." - Ruth Ozeki "The act of bringing anything into the world, of taking an idea and making it real, means bringing it from the state of absolute perfection in your mind into a state of relative imperfection in reality. Every novel or painting is like this: perfect in the maker's mind, but imperfectly realized. you can look at this as a mistake or simply as an opportunity to engage - because it's through the making of mistakes that we are able to live creative lives." - Ruth Ozeki

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I'm in a reading group in law school where we read about and discuss gender equality in the legal professional and business world, so I've been reading a lot of these types of books lately and this one didn't initially stand out to me. By the end though, I found myself really enjoying the essays and finding all kinds of life tips for the future. I read a digital galley, but I'll be buying a hard copy to keep on my shelf as soon as it comes ou I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I'm in a reading group in law school where we read about and discuss gender equality in the legal professional and business world, so I've been reading a lot of these types of books lately and this one didn't initially stand out to me. By the end though, I found myself really enjoying the essays and finding all kinds of life tips for the future. I read a digital galley, but I'll be buying a hard copy to keep on my shelf as soon as it comes out. The women in Mistakes I Made at Work come from a variety of walks of life and have amazing careers in all kinds of fields, and each chapter has a short summary of some of their accomplishments followed by a first-person narrative of some of the mistakes they've made and lessons they've learned from making them. I found their stories to be relatable, full of insights and moments that made me go "hey, that sounds like me!" I received an advance digital galley of this book through Penguin's First to Read program.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    I have a problem with internalizing my mistakes and telling myself that I am horrible at being a college English teacher. Despite the fact that I have had several people observe me in the last three years and tell me that I "am meant to be in the classroom," I am a perfectionist only in regards to teaching because I care so much about it. However, by internalizing a single class period gone wrong I do not learn from these class periods or see how I could have approached them differently. I origi I have a problem with internalizing my mistakes and telling myself that I am horrible at being a college English teacher. Despite the fact that I have had several people observe me in the last three years and tell me that I "am meant to be in the classroom," I am a perfectionist only in regards to teaching because I care so much about it. However, by internalizing a single class period gone wrong I do not learn from these class periods or see how I could have approached them differently. I originally found this book by listening to a How Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast about perfectionism, and I immediately ordered it online and read it within a few days. It is okay to make mistakes, and these women and their stories showed me this in several different ways. I wish our society was more comfortable with discussing our mistakes vs. only our successes. This book is a welcome step in the direction to starting this discussion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    This is a wonderful book. It even has a chapter in it for public speakers everywhere. The book showcases twenty-five successful women, giving them a forum to talk about the mistakes they’ve made, especially early on in their careers. I guess these are smart, successful women so they made fewer mistakes as they went on. I’m envious; I seem to keep making mistakes. What’s great about the book is that the women telling stories in it actually do talk about their mistakes, instead of the usual, oh isn This is a wonderful book. It even has a chapter in it for public speakers everywhere. The book showcases twenty-five successful women, giving them a forum to talk about the mistakes they’ve made, especially early on in their careers. I guess these are smart, successful women so they made fewer mistakes as they went on. I’m envious; I seem to keep making mistakes. What’s great about the book is that the women telling stories in it actually do talk about their mistakes, instead of the usual, oh isn’t wonderful how that apparent mistake of mine turned out to be a genius move in disguise! There’s a lot to learn here, including the important idea that if you’re nervous giving a speech, “the most important thing to remember is that people don’t come to watch you fail. Care more about the subject than your ego.” Brilliant!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    A quick read that probably won't solve your work-related problems but may resonate. It's divided into four sections: Taking Charge of Your Narrative, Learning to Ask, Learning to Say No and Learning Resilience. The hardest lesson for me is Learning to Ask. Women interviewed for this book include Ruth Reichl, Ruth Ozeki and Cheryl Strayed. But also included were top businesswomen such as Joanna Barsh; attorneys such as Lani Guinier; and engineers such as Cori Latham. These women discuss shame, in A quick read that probably won't solve your work-related problems but may resonate. It's divided into four sections: Taking Charge of Your Narrative, Learning to Ask, Learning to Say No and Learning Resilience. The hardest lesson for me is Learning to Ask. Women interviewed for this book include Ruth Reichl, Ruth Ozeki and Cheryl Strayed. But also included were top businesswomen such as Joanna Barsh; attorneys such as Lani Guinier; and engineers such as Cori Latham. These women discuss shame, integrity, intuition, guilt, regret, validation, anxiety. I liked this book enough that I found myself scribbling down sections I didn't want to forget. Possible downside? The editor, Jessica Bacal, works at Smith College and the majority of the women interviewed have some tie to Smith College. I wonder what a book on this topic for men would read like?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Linda Tapp

    This book was recommended to me by another friend who also works in a male-dominated industry. I like that there were many different opinions and stories shared by many different women as opposed to listening to only one or two women describe their mistakes and what they learned from them. There is a lot of good advice and I feel it would be beneficial for someone starting their first job (or even while still in college or even High School) but I also found many sections to highlight myself and This book was recommended to me by another friend who also works in a male-dominated industry. I like that there were many different opinions and stories shared by many different women as opposed to listening to only one or two women describe their mistakes and what they learned from them. There is a lot of good advice and I feel it would be beneficial for someone starting their first job (or even while still in college or even High School) but I also found many sections to highlight myself and I have been working 27 years. Many of the women interviewed in the book have written books of their own and I made notes to check out many of them. I recommend this book to anyone.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I thought this was a great book. It reads well, and I felt jam-packed with valuable lessons, with no part that dragged on or lost my attention. I found myself thinking about work situations and my own aspirations and thinking of ways to apply the lessons to my own life. I like the format, and while I was a bit disappointed that not all of the contributors really laid out a mistake they'd made, every chapter certainly had an impact. I have also compiled a long list of books, articles, and website I thought this was a great book. It reads well, and I felt jam-packed with valuable lessons, with no part that dragged on or lost my attention. I found myself thinking about work situations and my own aspirations and thinking of ways to apply the lessons to my own life. I like the format, and while I was a bit disappointed that not all of the contributors really laid out a mistake they'd made, every chapter certainly had an impact. I have also compiled a long list of books, articles, and websites to look at. I would recommend this to any woman in the workplace.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    This book is so important. I think every young woman should read it but I also think MEN need to read this and hear from a female's perspective in the workplace. If we've been reading books by and for men forever they can start doing the same. I actually sent this book to my old boss (a white man) because I think he can benefit from it. There's so many nuggets of wisdom from these inspiring, dedicated, hard-working women. And the author did a good job getting a diversity of women too. Highly reco This book is so important. I think every young woman should read it but I also think MEN need to read this and hear from a female's perspective in the workplace. If we've been reading books by and for men forever they can start doing the same. I actually sent this book to my old boss (a white man) because I think he can benefit from it. There's so many nuggets of wisdom from these inspiring, dedicated, hard-working women. And the author did a good job getting a diversity of women too. Highly recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pug

    What a boring book. The title (and even the cover) made it look like a collection of humorous anecdotes: people who screwed up royally at work (I can relate!), funny enough to share with others, with some how-to advice thrown in. But instead, each was a long drawn-out story of these women's career path... nothing humorous, or even interesting, about that!!!? A career path is what it is... it's not a "mistake you make at work." What a boring book. The title (and even the cover) made it look like a collection of humorous anecdotes: people who screwed up royally at work (I can relate!), funny enough to share with others, with some how-to advice thrown in. But instead, each was a long drawn-out story of these women's career path... nothing humorous, or even interesting, about that!!!? A career path is what it is... it's not a "mistake you make at work."

  24. 5 out of 5

    April Fong

    If you ever feel paralyzed by your fear of making a mistake, don't. That's one of the best lessons in Jessica Bacal's book. The 25 stories are divided into four parts - Learning to take charge of your own narrative, Learning to ask, Learning to say no, and Learning resilience. Many great career lessons for women in this book. If you ever feel paralyzed by your fear of making a mistake, don't. That's one of the best lessons in Jessica Bacal's book. The 25 stories are divided into four parts - Learning to take charge of your own narrative, Learning to ask, Learning to say no, and Learning resilience. Many great career lessons for women in this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Anne

    This was a really motivating read for me during post-grad school unemployment. I'd recommend it to any of my young professional lady friends. Great commentaries on real life challenges in the work place and the contributors bring up important issues of race, class, and privilege. This was a really motivating read for me during post-grad school unemployment. I'd recommend it to any of my young professional lady friends. Great commentaries on real life challenges in the work place and the contributors bring up important issues of race, class, and privilege.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Ooten

    The book deserves the praise it's been getting. Especially important for those of us who work closely with college women and want to think more about how to engage them around showing resiliency and challenging perfectionism. A timely and engaging read. The book deserves the praise it's been getting. Especially important for those of us who work closely with college women and want to think more about how to engage them around showing resiliency and challenging perfectionism. A timely and engaging read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    This book is amazing. I think all women should read it. I think sometimes we brush over our mistakes rather than to really look at them and learn from them. The women interviewed in this book really gave some great advice. I'll have to buy this one to remind me from time to time to go for it. This book is amazing. I think all women should read it. I think sometimes we brush over our mistakes rather than to really look at them and learn from them. The women interviewed in this book really gave some great advice. I'll have to buy this one to remind me from time to time to go for it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Meadow

    The mistakes themselves were not such a big deal, I just liked hearing from other women and have them own up to mistakes. Makes me feel human in a sea of humans Note: the narrator on the audiobook was not great

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ayeesha Kanji

    An amazing book that all women should read to know how to put learning and mistakes in perspective when working as an entrepreneur. These stories change the way you think, change how you value yourself and inspire you to want more in life.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Miss.lilly

    Let's be honest: most of the 25 women did not talk about mistakes but about bad jobs, poor decisions or times of doubt. That's unfortunate because the 2 or 3 women who do are really interesting. Nevertheless I did enjoy the essays because of the remarkable women talking about their career. Let's be honest: most of the 25 women did not talk about mistakes but about bad jobs, poor decisions or times of doubt. That's unfortunate because the 2 or 3 women who do are really interesting. Nevertheless I did enjoy the essays because of the remarkable women talking about their career.

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