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The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube Paperback – Bargain Price, January 18, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (January 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580051863
  • ASIN: B005CDU3Y8
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,010,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Snappy and practical, this guide to quitting your job at the "e-mail-saturated, meeting-happy cube farm" will prove indispensable to any young professional itching to strike out on her own. Goodman, a successful freelance writer, aims her book at women between 25 and 35, but young men will likely find her advice (always send a thank you note after an informational interview; play it cool if you snort coffee out your nose) just as relevant. From "sussing out the gigs" to guidance on taxes and health insurance to battling "the inertia that binds one's derriere to the sofa like a tongue to a frozen flagpole," Goodman covers all the aspects of going solo. A "Show Me the Money" section at the end of each chapter gives readers money-saving tips (eat all the food in your fridge before it "liquefies or grows spores"), and checklists covering steps readers must take before becoming self-employed. Goodman's advice is applicable to a broad range of careers, though the non-profit and international travel chapters are useful primarily for pointing to other, more in-depth sources. Goodman's tone is realistic-taking into account the obstacles facing a generation burdened early by debt-but she retains a sense of humor, making this information-dense guide an encouraging, buoyant lifesaver.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In a practical guide for young women who are ready to abandon their cubicles and carve out their own dreams, Goodman offers tools and tips for joining the DIY career club. Echoing many career-advice books, Goodman focuses on defining what your passion is and then mapping out a series of transition plans to get from cubicle to dream job. The book is most appropriate for women early in their careers who have not invested much time or energy on a serious career path. Her recommendations for freelancing, temping, part-time work, and lots of career exploration speak to a woman who has not yet found her calling. How-to sections on networking, deciding about additional schooling, resume preparation, and information interviewing are most appropriate for the younger worker still figuring out her career path. Gail Whitcomb
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

Thank you for a great book, with great topics!
C. Bold
Michelle did a lot of research and I'm looking forward to finding a few more books and websites she recommends.
The book is an easy read and is well organized.
Elaine Vigneault

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Goodman has created a helpful guide, extremely well-written with frankness and humor. She takes readers through the steps of feeling frustrated with life in a cube to considering alternative escape routes. Of course her own story will inspire readers, as she herself went from cube to freelance status, while managing to live comfortably and even make mortgage payments.

The best part of the book is the section on living the freelance life. She gives down-to-earth advice on organizing the ridiculous amount of paperwork that goes with the freelance life. (I got some good ideas I can use right awway!)

I also liked the section on interviewing for information. She's listed steps from dazzle (write a nice simple request) to prepare to saying thanks. I couldn't agree more.

Additionally, Goodman has some excellent resources in the back of the book. Any career-changer would benefit from readings the books she recommends.

This book will be most helpful to thirty-somethings - those who have worked for five to ten years and are now asking, "How can I express my creativity in the world?" The Anti Guide makes a great companion to a book that's similarly targeted, This Time I Dance, by Tama Kieves. Kieves focused more on the emotional and psychological elements,while Goodman deals with practical implementation.

My own career clients tend to be 45-60. While they'd benefit from some elements of this book, I find that senior executives and experiened professionals need to choose different networking approaches.

I have just three quibbles about the book's content.

First, career consultants often encourage clients to shadow someone who's in a career they're considering.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Bold on August 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found this book at just the right time. I was beginning to give up on my dream of leaving my job, and doing something that I really love. People change. (How can we expect to stay in the same job we chose in our early 20's?) I began reading the book and doing the suggested exercises. I have to say that I had more in common with the way the author wrote, than other "follow your dream" books. Right when I would begin to doubt my plan, the author, Michelle Goodman had an answer! Thank you for a great book, with great topics! If you are aching to live a purposeful life and your current job is not part of that purpose, check out this book. Find out how you can begin living your dream today!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie V 1210 on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Lots and lots of helpful info for newbies and oldies like me, making their way back to freelance living, after falling off the wagon for corporate America's perceived charms (like regular paychecks). The best of reading this book was getting up to date networking ideas, legitimizing spending part of your work life doing something "safer", for example, working half-time in a "cube farm." I have not only come to appreciate that mind-numbingly boring part of my work week more, but also to take secret pleasure in watching others suffer, that is, those who have yet to reach (look toward reaching) the higher plain on which I now live--with plenty of time for my creative side business. And the bills do get paid.

The worst of reading this book was the sing-song-y, forced hip talk that does make for faster reading, if you know what she's talking about, without constantly having to stop and think about it. True, this book is clearly aimed at 20 and 30 somethings, so this old goat just had to plod along at times--often very tiring. Also not all the advice is all that appropriate to the older set, but then we're wise enough to adapt what we can and disregard the rest.

So overall a good read, full of helpful ideas and tips. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This book was kind of fun to read. I liked the author's frankness and humor. But I wasn't particularly impressed with how the title of the book was matched to its content. The book totes itself as a supposedly helpful career guide for young women just out of high school or maybe college who work in a cubical in an office environment. And it explains how young women can do some investigating and networking to learn about opportunities outside of a cube. But many of the opportunities discussed in this book were 9 to 5 JOBS. And the title says it is against such career moves.

I would have liked the book much better if it had stuck to explaining how to get out of a cube and make the transition into self-employment. Or if the title were changed, I would have like the book much better if it had only explained how to escape a cube into a more meaningful and lucrative job with an office or a company car. Of course, I wouldn't have pulled this book from the bookstore shelf if it was about the latter because I pretty much just review books that relate to my volunteering for SCORE, the small business coaching nonprofit.

The part of the book that I enjoyed the most was the author's story of how she had found herself stuck in a cube at age 24 and not doing what she wanted to do with her life - which was to do freelance writing. She decided to quit her job and start her own freelancing small business. And she found she couldn't make money at it at first - but she was resourceful and started temping in order to pay her bills while she got her business off the ground. Of course, I would have liked her story better if she were to have said she got her business WELL off the ground within a year or two.
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More About the Author

I'm a freelance writer who fled the cube in 1992 and has yet to look back. My books -- "My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube" -- offer an irreverent twist on the traditional career guidebook. I write a weekly career column for and the work/life balance blog "Nine to Thrive" for the Seattle Times. My reported pieces about alternative careers, personal finance, and human mating rituals have been published by the New York Times, Salon,, Entrepreneur, BUST, Bitch, The Bark, Yahoo, AOL, and more. My essays appear in several anthologies, including "P.S. What I Didn't Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends" and "Single State of the Union: Single Women Speak Out on Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness." I live in Seattle with Buddy, my 80-pound lapdog. For more advice and dirt on the freelance life, visit me at