The Big Life by Ann Shoket

the big lifeAuthor: Ann Shoket, American magazine writer and editor

Publisher: Rodale Books

Publication Date: March 2017

Pages: 256

Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help, Female Empowerment (hell, yes!)

The Big Life was recommended on The Work Edit by Capital Hill Style, which I strongly recommend following especially if you are a fellow Washingtonian, fashionista, literate Homo sapien. I immediately purchased The Big Life off Amazon (an expensive habit I am halfheartedly working to tame) and devoured chapter after chapter over a three day span. As someone who is all about self-help books, I cannot believe I’ve made it this far in life without reading female-focused-career-advice literature.

I highly recommend this book to you and yours. You don’t have to be a career focused, badass boss to gain something from this read. I would argue that this text is more inspirational then it is action oriented. One of my top (paraphrased) takeaway is: there is no such thing as work-like balance, it’s just work. As fairly new to the workforce, the catch phrase work-life balance is something I have given too much influence in my decision-making thought process.

Last year I sat down with a handful of prominent D.C. figures for informational interviews. Do you have a work-life-balance? was a questions I asked to which they all awkwardly smiled, modestly blushed and said something along the lines of, “I’d like to think so,” followed by immediately justifying their long hours and/or complimenting their wife’s commitment to maintaining the family unit. At first, upon hearing this, I felt deflated. Do I work hard and commit myself to a career or do I pursue a lighthearted, nine to five that will allow me to be a supportive spouse and active parent? Whoa, was I over thinking it (a common theme in my daily life)!

After reading The Big Life my outlook on life has significantly changed. In a world featuring infinite shades of grey, There is no such thing as work-life balance is a black and white statement I can find solace in. This absolute statement slapped me in the face and woke me up. Hello, Taylor! Stop entertaining career paths based on their perceived work-life balance and just work, work, work; right now!

Do you need a slap in the face to bring you to the present moment and make you realize that your life, hours in the day, daily commitments, relationships, hobbies, ambition, etc. are not divided into work and life, but a big cluster f*@k of all encompassing LIFE? Even if this is your current theory, read The Big Life.


Read it,


Images: Ann Shoket; Book Cover

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