The Must-Read Career Book of 2017

The Must-Read Career Book of 2017The Big Life by Ann Shoket
Published by Rodale on March 14th 2017
Genres: Business & Economics, Personal Growth, Personal Success, Self-Help, Success
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Buy on Amazon

Millennial women are changing what it means to be powerful and successful in the world--for everyone. Forever. You want The Big Life--that delicious cocktail of passion, career, work, ambition, respect, money and a monumental relationship. And you want it on your own terms. Forget climbing some corporate ladder, you want a career with twists and turns and adventure. For you, success only matters if it's meaningful. Ann Shoket knows the evolving values of young women more than anyone. She's the voice behind the popular Badass Babes community, a sisterhood of young, hungry, ambitious women who are helping each other through the most complex issues around becoming who you're meant to be. As the trailblazing editor-in-chief of Seventeen for the better part of a decade, Shoket lead provocative conversations that helped young women navigate the tricky terrain of adolescence and become smart, confident, self-assured young women. Now that they are adding muscle to the framework of their lives, she's continuing the conversation with The Big Life. The Big Life is packed with actionable guidance combined with personal advice from high-profile millennial women who have already achieved tremendous success, plus intimate conversations with a cast of compelling characters and Shoket's own stories on her quest for The Big Life. You'll learn to tackle all of the issues on heavy rotation in your mind such as:How to craft a career that's also a passion.How to get respect from a boss who thinks you're a lazy, entitled, and self-obsessed millennialWhy you need a "squad" of people who support you as you build your Big LifeHow a side hustle will make you smarter, hotter, and more in control of your destiny.Why work/life balance is a sham and your need to embrace the mess.How to find a partner whose eyes light up when you talk about your ambition.Written in Shoket's friendly and authoritative style, The Big Life will help you recognize your power, tap into your ambition, and create your own version of The Big Life.

I remember reading about The Big Life by Ann Shoket in a Her Agenda newsletter earlier this year. I took a screenshot of the cover because the premise sounded interesting and I wanted to check it out.
Fast forward a couple months, I purchased the book a few weeks ago, and it was one of the best book purchases I have made in a while.

Whether we’re fresh out of college, contemplating a career change, or figuring out how to balance it all; we all have a vision of what our Big Life looks like.

Ann Shoket digs deep into the premise of The Big Life; discussing personal and professional relationships, work ethic, and being the badass woman we all desire to be.

I read this book over the course of two days and there is so much yellow highlighter in the book, the pages may seem worn through. This was the book that I absolutely needed to read at this particular time in my life, it was the book I had no idea I needed until I started to read it.


Shoket drops a lot of gems in this book, here are my favorites:

“Your dreams are worth achieving and you are worth your dreams.” (p.8)

“Let go of the anxiety about when or how, and focus on honoring your ambition, dreaming big, and building the Big Life you know you deserve.” (p.11)


Comparison is the thief of joy

We all know that comparing ourselves to others gets us nowhere. It only heightens our anxiety and sends us on a spiral. We love to compare our real lives to someone’s highlight reel. We know this, yet we still do it. We have to get out of the comparison mindset if we truly want to succeed. Comparison and trying to keep up with the Joneses is a waste of time for two reasons: 1) We don’t know what the Joneses had to do to get and keep what they have, and 2) While they are seemingly moving on, we will be stuck in the same place because we’re too busy comparing what they have to what we do (or don’t).

“There will always be someone with a bigger job or a more glamorous vacation or working at a hotter nonprofit that is saving the world (not to mention, we all know those shiny Instagram posts rarely reflect reality – please! And so the world turns.” (p.34)

You need a side hustle

“Your side hustle isn’t about actually conquering the world. It’s about honoring the fact that you want to do something bigger and giving yourself a shot. “ (p.68)

Build Your Tribe

Your squad/tribe isn’t necessarily your best friends who you spill your guts to about your boyfriend drama. These are the people who understand you and your lofty ambitions. Shoket has a wonderful list of necessary people that are needed in your squad. After reviewing the list of must-haves, I definitely need to add a few members to my squad ASAP if I truly want to move to the next level.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Your Mess

Work-life balance is a myth, a fallacy; stop believing it. You can have everything you want, just not all at once. Trying to be perfect and create this preconceived notion of balance will only enhance your anxiety. Embrace your flaws, embrace your mess; and live life.

“The more you suppress your dream, the louder she’s going to bang – and the bigger your mess is going to be.” (p.119)

It’s not so much about the destination, it’s about the journey.


There’s no such thing as perfect – let it go.

“Perfection is the enemy of distraction.” (p.194)


The biggest lesson, however, that I’ve learned from reading this book? “You have a choice, to feel diminished or to be inspired.” (p. 198)

Either be the change you seek to become, or let change consume and happen to you.

Living The Big Life is hard and messy work, but if we are committed to the dream and to living the highest expression of ourselves, we must be willing to embrace the mess, the ups and downs, and the hard work to get the life we dream of.

These are only a small handful of the important lessons Shoket shares in this book. Without a doubt, The Big Life is the must-read career book of 2017. Stop what you’re doing right now, and go and purchase a copy of this book. Trust me, you won’t regret it.


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