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Book review: Advice for younger souls venturing into future

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Jakarta | Thu, November 24, 2016 | 01:59 pm
Book review: Advice for younger souls venturing into future

Just as reading Starting an Ebay Business for Dummies was an important moment in Amoruso’s life, #GIRLBOSS might be that pivotal book for someone drowning in self-doubt. (Shutterstock/File)

When Lean In, penned by Facebook chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg, was published in 2013, the book quickly shot up bestseller lists.

While discussions surrounding women in the workplace had long preceded both Lean In and Sandberg, the book helped to highlight some of the key issues, and no doubt turned up the volume on such discussions.

At that same time, another book came onto the scene: one that was similar in its focus and subject matter, but quite different in its approach. I’m talking about Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS — which doesn’t set out to challenge the points made in Lean In but tackles them from a very different perspective.

While Sandberg counts Harvard as her alma mater, Amoruso spent most of her young adult years living on the edge: dumpster diving, hitchhiking and stealing. While some may find it difficult to relate to Sandberg’s corporate affiliations, Amoruso makes her personal brand of rock 'n' roll business infinitely more approachable and grounded, with what most of us consider “real life”.

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Amoruso, now the CEO of popular fashion retailer Nasty Gal (which she founded), recounts everything from her rebellious younger years to the pivotal moments that changed her life, combined with honest advice on entrepreneurship. She makes it clear from the beginning that she has no interest in being labeled a role model and that writing #GIRLBOSS was simply a way of sharing what she knew.

Throughout the book, Amoruso takes an authoritative tone as she talks about how terrible jobs and shoplifting saved her life, along with her problem with the concept of “luck” and her insights into being fired and firing people. There is also practical advice for those about to enter the workforce, such as how to write good job applications, ace job interviews, and draw the line with people at work (“your boss is not your friend”).

Yes, some of the advice may come off as being a bit clichéd, but for younger souls looking for something to grasp onto as they venture into the uncertainty of the future, Amoruso’s narrative could come at just the right time.

Just as reading Starting an Ebay Business for Dummies was an important moment in Amoruso’s life, #GIRLBOSS might be that pivotal book for someone drowning in self-doubt. (kes)

Click here to read #GIRLBOSS online.

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Category: Nonfiction

Author: Sophia Amoruso

Publisher: Portfolio

Published: 2014

ISBN: 039916927X

Reviewer: Christabelle Adeline Palar

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.

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