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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Advice and Humor for Anyone WHo Works, March 30, 2009
By 
This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl is one of the most useful little books you will ever find. Ms. Burns, in the guise of her character, Working Girl, offers up her experience as one who has had "59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities and 4 countries."

While keeping the reader amused with the (true) tales of her many jobs, she shares her simple sage advice for what seems like every situation a person might encounter in daily life on the job, any job.

I say "person" because this book, while directed to women, is just as valuable for men. My husband who is in his 60's and the veteran of more jobs than he can count, picked it up the other day. I had to pry it from his fingers, so I could write this review. Over and over kept muttering, "That is so true," "I have to remember this one, " and "Boy, I wish I had known this when I was younger." He also kept laughing out loud. Now he wants to buy copies for all his co-workers.

Anyway, woven into short, very funny and occasionally horrifying vignettes on her jobs ranging from house cleaner to model, envelope sorter to English teacher you'll find simple, spot-on advice for how to deal with criticism (this alone would be worth the price of the book), perverts, disappointments, office friendships, and more.

You'll learn when it's time to go and when you should hang in there. You'll understand that while you are always working for yourself, it pays to be the best employee you can be (and how to do that). You'll even learn what to wear.

All this is just a glimpse of the valuable information packed in this book. There are fun charts like the Stress-o-Meter, to help you gauge your stress--the lowest level is "you have to fake enthusiasm" to the explosive " you feel your work is actually harming your town, country, the environment, human society, the cosmos." There are Eternal Truths sprinkled throughout, like "Just because you can do a job, doesn't mean you want to do--or should do--that job."

You'll also find Job Survival Tips from a variety of successful working women, tips and commandments, pro and con lists, and plenty of down to earth practical advice.

I don't think there's anyone who is working, has worked, or will someday work that wouldn't benefit from reading this book. It's everything you wish you knew and everything you'd like to tell your teenagers. I'd like to see it in every high school and college library

Oh, did I mention Working Girl is charmingly illustrated throughout with Karen Burns' own wonderful cartoon drawings? Just another cool touch in a fabulous, funny, and smart book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never too late to love your job, March 30, 2009
By 
Mary Casey (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
I wish I'd had this book when I graduated from college with an English degree! I might have pursued my passion, writing, sooner or at least learned how to cope with or maybe even enjoy my "day jobs" on the way to my dream career. I love that the advice in this book ranges from practical to daring because your life work, whatever it is, requires you to be both. I'm buying copies for three nieces graduating from college this year--so happy this book exists for them!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Advice for Any and Everyone, May 6, 2009
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This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
As a college student ready to graduate, but with no real path except to hopefully become a successful writer one day, Karen Burns' The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl really appealed to me. Amid all the questions coming my way--What are your plans after graduation, do you have a job lined up yet?, which unnerve me because I have no answer except for the evasive Get a job, I guess, or I'm still looking--Karen Burns' real life career advice made me much less anxious about my career prospects after college.

After reading about Working Girl's adventures working 59 jobs in 40 years, I no longer feel like I have to start at the bottom of some corporate ladder straight out of college. I don't have to be something specific yet. I have time to find my own path--and I don't feel bad that I will probably start out working in a field far from my fiction-writing focused education. I was reminded that it's more important that you love your job than anything else, not matter what it is.

Karen Burns breaks down the interview process into its essential parts, making it much less daunting in the process. She provides crucial job hunting tips--like the fact that you need a resume to get a job, even though the resume itself will not get you hired, and emphasizes the importance of networking and connecting with people at any job or function, which keeps your options open and can help you hook up with other opportunities down the line.

She also faces the challenge of gaining respect at the workplace and how to deal with less than pleasant co-workers and bosses, things that every person can relate to no matter the job.

One of the things that really appealed to me about this book was that the advice is for anyone--it could be used by a corporate ladder climber, a job-hopping teen, or anyone in between. It hands out universal advice that not everyone is aware of.

All in all, this book took me from clueless to confident to carefree about my job-searching abilities and prospects after college. I no longer feel terrified at the thought of looking for the job--because the job I find after college doesn't have to be the only job I have for the rest of my life. I know a job doesn't have to last forever--it doesn't even have to last a month. The important things are that you succeed and enjoy the job while you do it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for everyone with a career, March 29, 2009
This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
Working girl is one of the best career advice books I've read in a long time. The author reviews all her 59 jobs, distilling a lesson from each one.

The lessons are right on. I would recommend this book to any career changers or anyone in corporate life. You'll even find a few good tips for freelancing.

Some of the best advice:

Talk the way the guys do. Don't become one of the guys, but organize your own conversation to be direct. Remember guys don't ask directions.

Criticism? Don't do anything. Wait. It may not even be about you.

Signs you need to quit your job (and how to do it with class).

You get ahead by managing your boss.

People get hired because the hiring manager likes them, not because they're the most skilled.

Persistence is the key to success.

Of course, you can talk back to some of the advice. For instance, Burns warns not to expect praise. True. But if you take the initiative to do something like paint the employees' breakroom (which she did), the problem isn't about not getting the praise you deserve. It's, "Why spend time on something that won't get appreciated, unless you get some personal or business benefit?"

So why four stars and not five? I was trying to imagine giving this book to someone. Because of the author's own jobs - the premise of the book - and most examples, the book seems targeted to readers in lower-tier jobs. Could I give this book to someone with an MBA, law degree or PhD? Would they feel insulted? Would they be willing to be seen reading a book called "Working Girl" in public?

Some examples actually would be more plausible in a higher-level setting. For instance, Burns gave an example of a server who's asked to re-purpose the dinner rolls for a new diner. That's against the law. But I can't imagine a restaurant owner responding to her suggestions for tactful comments: "You are asking me to serve these rolls again..."

From what I know of the restaurant business, servers can be considered interchangeable and disposable in many settings. Regardless, if you are asked to do something illegal, you need to get legal advice or get out. I've heard horror stories of people who were held responsible for "just doing what they were told."

Generally, though, this book makes a great guidebook for both men and women facing all sorts of contemporary career challenge. Unfortunately, like many current career books, this one is targeted explicitly to women, beginning with the cover color scheme. Hopefully others won't be turned off by the fluffy packaging and get to the solid core inside.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get This Book!, April 14, 2009
This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
As a former corporate recruiter now running an interview and job search coaching business, I found that there was not a single piece of information in this book that did not ring true. Karen is self-effacing yet wise, sensible yet creative, and a talented artist. You will root for her while learning (or relearning) very important job-related tips and strategies. After reading this book, I feel very proud of Karen for job #60 - Published Author!

Get this book for bite-sized bits of very practical information to navigate through the most challenging work situations. Get this book for the young workers in your life and tell them, "This is what I wished I knew when I was your age." Get this book for an amusing, slightly uncomfortable view into one woman's work journey. Get this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable advice for working "girls and boys" of all ages, April 27, 2009
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This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
This is a book that lives up to its title: her adventures really are amazing, and the career advice is truly valuable. I love the style of the book: a very funny or poignant anecdote about one of the author's real job experiences, followed by a lesson learned, and how you can apply it to your work life. It's super readable.

I recommend this book for both genders and all ages. Her experiences are universal. My 15 year old son, who is looking for his first summer job, cracked up when I read him a few passages, and asked me to read more.

Whether you're just starting out in the world of work, or have been around the job block a time or two, this book will challenge you to think about your work and your goals, and it will inspire you to be the best person that you can be, both on the job and off.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One amazing book!, April 21, 2009
By 
Tim Tyrell-Smith (Mission Viejo, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
After 59 jobs and some wonderful anecdotal stories, Karen Burns has created a fun and practical book for career management. Easy to read and full of great advice!

Although the book is written for women (especially women in their 20's and 30's), it is really full of great advice for anyone trying to figure out how to piece together a career. Each chapter tells a story from one of her 59 jobs and then offers related advice. I think I was one of the first to buy the book here on Amazon and I've enjoyed jumping in and out of different chapters as time allows!

Probably my favorite chapter starts on page 87. It is called "Weaving Your Web". In this chapter, Working Girl talks about her philosophy on networking while offering great practical advice on how to get started.

Her eternal truth on networking?

"Make friends before you need them." Great advice.

So, if you'd like to crack open a good, old-fashioned hard cover book and you are in job search mode (or thinking you might be soon), Karen's book would be a smart purchase for you. It might also be a great birthday or holiday present for someone special.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book really, honestly, made me richer!, March 24, 2009
By 
This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
Simply put, this book is a terrific, fun read - but it also contains advice that actually *works*. Can't ask for more than that.
Having read and loved the personal anecdotes in the book, I was pitching for a freelance job when I remembered the advice to think of a fee and then double it. While I lost my nerve at the actual doubling, I still raised the price by 60% above my original quote - and the client accepted, no question! I should have trusted Working Girl and gone the full 100%. This advice works precisely because it's come from hard-won experience. I find I dip in and out of this book whenever I'm having a career "challenge", and it never fails to help. Thanks, Working Girl!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing Book and Smart Advise, May 24, 2009
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This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
This book has taught me how to get a job, and taught me how to deal with co-workers and customers. It uses the experiences of working girl to teach people ways to deal with many different working experiences, and how to get the most fulfillment out of your job whether you like it or not. Some of the jobs with working girl are freelance jobs and she talks about the best way to work in freelance jobs.

She writes this book in a educational and entertaining. This book is good for preteens to adult women who are looking for job, re-entering the workforce, or changing jobs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, March 29, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use (Hardcover)
This book is 100% great, a must read for all women who have ever had a job, especially good for younger women who could use some sound advice and really, everyone can use some of that. It's well organized. The author connects her past jobs with some useful knowledge gained from her experience. She's always positive, often funny, careful not to talk too much, and can communicatec clearly and concisely some REALLY important life information. I can think of ten more people I want to read this book!
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