If you’re a women – or know a woman – who is still early in her career and is struggling to advocate for herself, or has to deal with the rampant sexism and misogyny that is still — pause for a sigh — everywhere, then I wholeheartedly recommend Not Just Lucky.
Written by Jamila Rizvi, a young woman with an awe-inspiring career, this book is part analysis, part memoir, and part self-help book. If that last part turns you off, I get it – but this reads more like your best friend giving you solid career advice than some dudebro with lifehacks and scary amounts of energy.
It’s exactly that combination of Rizvi’s accomplishments and down-to-earth approach that makes this such a good and helpful read. She shares both her successes and her failures, and turns those into steps you can take to fight for recognition. Her advice is practical, insightful and funny. She relates a lot of anecdotes, and uses her own experience to talk about overcoming the pay gap, having difficult conversations, how to deal with setbacks, how to manage up and down, the frustrations of sexism, and everything else to do with women in the workplace.
I went into this book thinking it would leave me feeling inspired and bursting with energy, champing at the bit to claim my rightful place at work – but instead I felt something else, something even better: I was content, because I don’t need this advice. I work for an amazing, inclusive company where I do work that draws on my strengths and that earns me a lot of respect. I am lucky to have gotten to this place – I’ve earned it, but it’s also a place that not all women can get to. If you too are lucky enough to be in a place like that, I’d still recommend this book, as Rizvi also gives a lot of advice on how to make the workplace more equitable for women that come after you.
It’s a shame that Rizvi is an Australian writer with a somewhat limited reach. This book, while full of references to Australian politics and culture, is almost universally applicable and deserves to be read by young women everywhere.