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4 Stars Out Of 5
Sound Career Advice for Young Professional Women
November 29, 2011
In Work Love Pray, Paddison draws on her experience as a senior executive to outline the problems that Christian women face in the workforce, and to suggest ways to maintain and grow as a Christian. She has a chatty and personable style which makes the book easy to read, and each chapter has real-life examples from Paddison's own life, and from the lives of other Christian women in business. One of her main points is how few churches adequately cater for Christian professionals, especially professional women, as the church still has this (conscious or unconscious) expectation that women Ã¢â¬Ëonly' get tertiary education in order to get a Ã¢â¬ËMrs. Degree'. Readers are encouraged to use the talents God has given them, and challenged to grow spiritually through reading Christian books that make us think.
This would be an excellent book for a young Christian woman starting her career. As someone a little older, I found the problems to be consistent with my own experience, and the advice and suggested solutions to be sound. However, I would suggest women with children also look at other titles (such as Women Who Do Too Much, by Patricia Sprinkle, which was quoted in Work Love Pray).
There are a series of questions at the end of each chapter which challenge the reader to think through their own situation and expectations for career, marriage and family. These would make an excellent basis for a small group discussion, either for young professional women in the early stages of their career, or perhaps for high-school and college-aged students, as the questions might help them determine their own calling and future direction.
While little of the material in Work Love Pray was new to me, I always find it interesting to read how Christian women combine a career with family and church responsibilities. They reinforce that the endless juggling act is normal, that women have to carefully prioritise in order to maintain their relationships with God, family and friends. While this might not exactly seem encouraging, it is in a perverse way, in that you realise your struggles are not unique.
Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
I'm going to toss out there that I think every working woman would benefit from owning a copy of Diane Paddison's, Work, Love, Pray. I wish I had a copy of a book like this 15 years ago to guide me along the way. As a seasoned, high-powered executive, Ms. Paddison shares her experience in the working world, which includes positions as the Chief Operating Officer for two Fortune 500 companies, Trammell Crow (now CB Richard Ellis) and ProLogis. (Paddison is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at the commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley.)
The pages of Work, love, Pray are peppered with practical advice and wisdom on topics specific to women in the workforce. Areas of discussion include Career Builder: how to find the right career given personal strengths and interests; Potential Employers: how to determine if a company is a right fit for you, Professional Development: how to conduct yourself in a manner that wins respect, gets your foot in the door of the "good old boys club" and catches positive attention, Settling Down: the questions to ask before you marry to assist in finding a spouse that will support your career and mobility, Family Planning: how to approach management regarding the issue of family planning and employee benefits; Protecting Family Time: how to set and negotiate boundaries to ensure work does not bleed into family (often), etc. Each chapter focused on a different area of interest specific to women in the workforce and concludes with a few probing questions, which I found very helpful. The author includes many resources designed to assess personality type, areas of strengths/interests and potential careers that match areas of interest. Additionally, Paddison supplies an extensive list of business and professional associations open to women. (As a "resource junkie" I appreciated the inclusion of this material.)
The strength of Work, Love, Pray lies in the author's honesty in sharing not only her personal and professional experiences but those of other professional women as well. Paddison offers up mistakes, celebrates accomplishments, and speaks openly of her ability to rely on God for guidance and strength throughout her career. Paddison's intent is to pass along the wisdom gleaned throughout her high-powered career to younger generations, especially to women just beginning their careers. For this reason, whether the reader is Christian or not makes no difference. Working women encounter the same concerns and struggles regardless of profession. As such Work, Love, Pray is relevant to working women of all ages and professional occupations.