Thursday, 3 October 2013

Find Your Feet

Find Your Feet by Rebecca Sparrow (University of Queensland Press)
PB RRP $14.95
ISBN 978 0 7022 4926 4
Reviewed by Jo Antareau

The author, Rebecca Sparrow, has had an enviable career as a travel writer, marketing executive, television scriptwriter, novelist and newspaper columnist. She’s interviewed celebrities and admits to loving her job. And why not – she’s described every girls’ dream career.  Yet Sparrow is the first to admit that her secondary school results were hardly spectacular and she won no awards during her uni years. In this book, Sparrow offers no-nonsense career and life advice to girls – the type of stuff she wishes somebody told her while she was at school.

Sub-titled The Eight Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Left High School, this slim book is part career-planning manual, part etiquette handbook with a good dose of self-empowerment thrown in. Sparrow writes passionately about the benefits of humility and eagerness to learn when starting out in the workplace, balanced with information about warning signs of harassment and abuse.

The book includes articles by Mia Freedman, Jessica Rudd, Sacha Drake, Leigh Sales and Caroline Overington on topics as diverse as the benefits of work experience, job interview tips, the importance of doing something that you love, dealing with humiliation and the importance of keeping one’s eyes on the road whilst driving.

Written in a light manner that avoids lecturing, Sparrow comes across as an agony aunt with a sense of humour. My only criticism is that it was written about twenty years too late – I could have benefitted from it as a youngster!

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