Review: Weird in a World That’s Not by Jennifer Romolini
Why: There are two mottos that I live by; “Simple things amuse simple people” and “What fun would the world be if everyone were normal?” Sure The Golden Rule comes into play occasionally and other bits of wisdom are thrown in, but those two sum me up pretty well. When I saw the title Weird in a World That’s Not, I was in. Then I read the jacket description and was even more excited about it being a career guide, given my current state of confusion as to what my own career goals actually are!
If you want it, you can have a totally rewarding career that makes you real money and stays true to the misfit you really are.
Story: The subtitle of this work is: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures. While a bit crude and a smidge harsh, it sets the tone for this book immediately as an irreverent take on what it takes to be successful if you don’t fit the mold of the quote unquote standard professional. Part personal memoir, part comedy and part advice column, Jennifer Romolini walks readers through the career process from high school through upper management. Horrifying yet amusing anecdotes that can be all too relatable are paired with practical tips for navigating an impractical office universe. Ultimately, Romolini reminds us all that there is no sense in being someone we’re not – no matter how different we may seem to be.
Most of the things you worry about happening at work will never actually happen…but there are ways your otherness can get in the way of your success. The most basic, garden-variety stuff involves letting your mind go wild and giving too much attention to ghost problems, issues that are not real or that you’ve created yourself, unnecessarily.
Opinion: I have read [too] many self-help books about being happy, gaining self confidence, etc. Also included on that list are books like How Successful People Think and any number of articles on understanding personalities and improving executive skills. What Weird in a World That’s Not does differently is that it doesn’t tell you how to change your life or become the button-down-shirt-and-khaki-pants-wearing-golf-club-membership-owning professional. It acknowledges that not everyone is that person and that’s ok! Romolini advises on how to navigate the often arcane customs of the workplace without compromising your unique personality.
As someone who is very different than the people she works with, I fully appreciated this book for its honesty and accurate depiction of office life in 2017. (I do find it ironic though that I could relate to so many of the insecurities Romolini identifies, therefore making me much less “weird” and much more “common.”) It is a refreshing read that reminds us not to take work so seriously that we lose our own identities. Most important to this misfit, however, was that it didn’t leave me feeling wholly inadequate with a laundry list of personal traits I need to work on! Easily one of the best career books I’ve read to date.
What “making it” really means is this: it means loving what you do and being true to who you are; it means working hard but setting boundaries for that work so you can live your life too.
Recommendation: This book is for those of us who haven’t found satisfaction in those “other” career guides; they just didn’t seem written for us. Now, Romolini writes this book for women – see her section on wearing a bra in the office – but it’s message is valuable to all those who overthink, over-analyze, and over-hype. Whether you’re in the prime of your career or just starting out, there’s a chapter in here for you. If you don’t mind some foul language and casual sexual references, that is.
It is TOTALLY COOL to be who you are, because this is so much better than trying constantly to be a shiny perfect droid person.
Special thanks to TLC Book Tours for the book in exchange for my honest review!