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Undecided: How to Ditch the Endless Quest for Perfect and Find the Career—and Life—That's Right for You Paperback – April 26, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Thoroughly dissects an idea: unlimited opportunity means unlimited choices [and] burdens the chooser with responsibility, leav[ing] many women frozen or frantically job, city, and relationship-hopping in search of perfection --Jenna Goudreau, Forbes

A helpful new book... exhaustively researched. Undecided is not an academic career counselor's guidebook with testing or educational advice, but a compendium of on-the-ground stories of actual career choices. --Joyce Lain Kennedy, Chicago Tribune

... looks at the choices today's women have thanks to the success of the Women's Movement--and the unintended consequences... contextualizing it with stories of hundreds of women who call themselves undecided. --Santa Barbara Independent

From the Back Cover

"Undecided sheds light on the complexity of options for women today and the burden our culture places on women who 'settle'. If ever there was a call to arms for women's choice and a road map to better understand ourselves, it can be found in this impressive guidebook."
--Susan Shapiro Barash, author of You're Grounded Forever

"Job or career? Biker or banker? Paper, plastic, or recycled, reusable tote? Sane, sensible and funny, Undecided uncovers the many ways having too many choices can mess with a gal's head--with insightful tips for not only getting where you want to go but actually enjoying the ride."  --Jenna McCarthy, author of The Parent Trip and the forthcoming If It Was Easy, They'd Call the Whole Damn Thing A Honeymoon
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580053416
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580053419
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,317,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It was refreshing to find a "stuck in the rut; what do I do with my life" book that didn't come with a pat answer. There were no personality or job skills assessments. Instead the Kelleys shared stories from both professional and non professional women, married and single, happy and unhappy. They did not present any one secret for success, but I believe their goal was summed up in the first discussion question at the end of the book - which woman's life resonated with you the most and why?
I'm 33 years old, and this book spoke directly to my demographic.
I highly recommend this book to any woman who would rather fail by doing something than live with regret for doing nothing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first two chapters were very good at defining the problem I have (and why I bought this book): Why do I feel like a failure even with success? Why am I so petrified at this stage of my late-thirties trying to choose a new direction.

After that, I was suddenly reading a chatty feminist manifesto (and I'm a feminist) constantly informing me that I was about to be REALLY pissed off by an astounding array of facts -- but hey, we'll get to that later. Seriously. They used some variation of that phrase every five pages: Here's a topic. But we're going to talk about that later.

Hi, already informed about pay inequities and the inability to have it all. Got to page 170 and STILL didn't find out "How to ditch the endless quest for perfect and find the career -- and life -- that's right for [me]." It does not pay off the subtitle. Or maybe it will in a follow-up book. I don't know... I stopped reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bravo! Excellent book! Despite feeling a little left out as a man, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. The interspersed interviews along with the citations to various studies provided credibility as well as a nice feeling of up-to-the-minute reality.

I found the conclusion to be very powerful. Of course, everyone reads through his or her own lenses, and here's what my tainted lenses focused on: The frustrations and fears discussed, though not entirely unique to women, are clearly most prevalent among young, educated women. However, I have experienced and witnessed much of the same analysis paralysis, grass is greener syndrome, etc., among men. Whether in men or women, I have often found that these factors as well as approval-seeking (or bigshot-itis) are common precursors to the fall into addiction. I have heard these complaints innumerable times in various 12-Step meetings.

I have to say that the idea of finding your true or inner-self is what many people consider to be their spiritual journey. Meditation and prayer are essentially what the authors describe as quiet time. Whether we believe in some new-agey way that we are Gods, or we recognize that the reason we can't have it all is that we are not God, this inner voice holds the key to happiness, or at least contentment and serenity. Many of the thousands of people who have actually worked the 12-Steps have come to experience that insight. I had a gambling-addiction therapist who claimed that he would have sent every one of his patients (one-at-a-time) to an isolated cabin in the Olympic Mountains for two weeks to get away from all the noise and to learn to listen to that inner voice. Of course, we could never find an insurance plan that would cover such treatment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful, insightful book that really helped me, as a 64 year old women, to understand the angst of my 40 year old daughter in her endless search for the perfect job, the perfect man and the perfect life. Having grown up in the generation where women's choices seemed so much more limited (I became a teacher), I have had a hard time understanding the inability to find satisfaction with all the endless choices women today. This book gave me a much better understanding of the "grass is always greener syndrome" faced with today's women. I loved all the stories from the different generations and look forward to spending time with my daughter discussing the book. A must read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Undecided is a well-researched combination of fascinating case studies, academic research, history, and humor. What could have been a dry recitation is, instead, interesting, funny, throught-provoking and a true page-turner. This book is pertinent to all women struggling to identify what they want in life and/or wondering whether the fact that they don't know the answer to that question means there is something wrong with them. Even if you don't struggle with this issue, you likely have a daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, or direct report who does. Undecided provides insight, encouragement, and entertainment and it is worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
This is a typical self help book, where the author claims they have the answer to your "problem", proceeds to show off that they have time and research on this topic by pontificating on the "what" and "why" (by reading a bunch of mainstream psychology and self help books, which I could easily do) by writing a couple hundred pages of filler, trying to hide the fact that it's filler by splattering paragraphs with what they deem interesting sound bites and or facts, obligatory or obsequious name dropping, and not offering much else other than repetitious dull spew. There, that was a long sentence, perhaps I should also become a self help writer.

There is no clear steps or instruction offered, they need to ditch the title.

I would like to find something practical that's somewhere between wordy, clinical and dry academia and bubbly, empty-headed HR-type happy garbage.
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