I recently read a couple of books that I could identify with, but not for obvious reasons.
The first book, The Knockoff, is about Imogen Tate, a 42-year-old editor of a popular fashion magazine. When she returns from medical leave, she finds that her former assistant has returned with an MBA and plans to wreak havoc for her and her magazine. The book combines fashion and social media with a great story of jealously and ruthlessness, with a little technophobia thrown in.
The second book, A Window Opens, is about Alice Pearce, who has a pretty great life. She has a loving family and works part-time as a magazine editor. When her family’s financial situation takes a drastic turn, Alice finds that she needs to step up to the plate and contribute more, and she finds this comes at a cost.
I am not an editor, nor do I work for a hip start-up. However, I am a forty-something (actually closer to fifty-something) wife, mother, volunteer, friend, and marketing assistant. Years ago I was the hip young thing who knew basic HTML when the internet was brand new. In the days before Microsoft Access, I was a whiz at Filemaker Pro. But then life happened. I moved, got married, had a baby, changed jobs, and finally worked from home to focus on being a mom. I was worried that I would no longer be employable and that I was out of the loop. What kind of job could I possibly get once my son got older?
I did spend a lot of time on my computer and did some accounting work from home, so I kept my skills fresh. Meanwhile I kept hearing about Facebook and Twitter and that “everyone was using it.” So I figured, “Why not?” Thankfully I was able to transfer these skills to my current job. However, knowledge of trendy, hot technology is not the most important aspect of my job. I need to be able to think quickly, multi-task, troubleshoot, and prioritize. All these skills are necessary as a wife and mother. Additionally, I am able to bring maturity and wisdom to many situations that less seasoned employees may not think about.
Reading these two books was insightful in that I saw that we may not always be able to tackle a situation head-on. But if we step back and look at it from different angles, we might actually get a better result in the end. Regardless of your age, I highly recommend these two books to gain a better - and entertaining - perspective of mature, skilled women in the workplace. - Rosanna (Downtown)