I purchased The Pressure Cooker at a time I thought it would be a good idea to splurge on books, and the hype Roving Heights gave to this book was oppressing me.
After purchasing it at 3800 Naira, when I picked it up, I thought, ‘Is this all? It’s so small.’ It’s about 110 pages with medium font size. However, when I read this book, I was reminded that judging a book by its looks isn’t always the best thing.
The Pressure Cooker by Nkiru Olumide-Ojo centres on women at work. It helps us understand a bit more, the pressure that is still in existence for women who want to ‘have it all’. It brings to light the beauty of collaboration over competition and why and when it could be absolutely fine for me to openly and blatantly support a woman because she is a woman.
The words here helped me rethink the question;
‘Can women have it all?’
Why aren’t men asked the same?
It is assumed that they do, period.
Why is this question even in existence? It conditions us to think that there is a straightforward ‘Yes or No’ answer, but there isn’t.
Then, what if I don’t want ‘it’ all?
What if I don’t want to get married? What if I choose to be a stay-at-home mum?
What if I decide to get help to take care of my children while my husband and I are working?
You make yourself who you are, you decide what you want.
I learnt from this book to decide for myself what matters and stick to that.
Make what matters to you is your ‘all’ and let no one shame you for it!
When I become a working mother, I know that I would have to prioritize and decide what to take on and what to let go.
If you need help and it is not being served to you on a silver platter (or even at all), ask for it! You don’t need to always be Wonderwoman.
Assess yourself and Collaborate.
No one is perfect, and even though you have all the degrees, are hardworking and smart, you may not be making it as fast as you think you should.
Let us not fall into the pride trap. This is where we think we are doing all things right and we are always being victimized.
We all need to sit down, take time out and look within.
What is your strength? What do you need help with? What are your goals? What literally makes you tick?
We need to be as specific as possible. Begin with the end in mind and be as extra as you need to be. They are your dreams, after all.
I have always thought that I want to be successful, I don’t want mediocrity, but when I ask myself, ‘Desire, how do you want to achieve this?’ I come up with, ‘I’ll do anything it takes’ but I have learnt that in the world we live in today, we need to know what we want and be as detailed as possible about it.
In today’s time, anything= nothing.
It serves as a guide to knowing exactly whom to work with, what skills to acquire and how to achieve a general improvement in yourself.
This may be because you are not using the right methodology. Being right isn’t all there is to it. You are working with people, so you have to collaborate and work with them so they see all the greatness you see in yourself.
Sexism Versus Women Supporting Women
It causes me pain to hear of women who kick against the movement of other women because they are afraid that ‘she will take my place’. Why? Just why?
As if we don’t have enough sexism coming from men saying,’ Just look at him, shouting like a woman.’
There is still a ton of sexism toward women in the workplace from clients and co-workers, both male and female, so I have found myself trying to prove that I do not want to be treated any differently because I am female, and I will not treat others any different either.
Prior to reading this, I felt like I should keep my support for women hidden, so I am not labelled sexist.
However, now, I will support qualified, hardworking women to the best of my ability, openly and blatantly because there really is no shame in it.
We know what it feels like to live as women today and we need to uplift each other and rise together to the top, and why not?
No matter how much sugar-coating we apply, we are under-represented and, to be honest, a major way to nullify this is to uplift each other consciously.
How about instead of pitting ourselves against each other, we work to increase the number of able women in power in politics, education, sciences, arts and every other sector?
I say women in this context because it would come to play where we are not duly represented or given the credit we deserve.
Keep Your End, Network and Be Proud of Your ‘Own’ Self.
When we are at work, let us always remember to actually do our work. Keep your end of the bargain! What is your job description? Do that, and then some!
Be that person that can be relied on to do the best, not because you are necessarily the most talented, but because you are determined to be the best.
You may think no one cares (and maybe they don’t), but the personal growth you’d obtain is something no one can ever take away from you.
The words in this book led me to finally join the Bookstagram community. I love books, and in enjoy reading thoughts and reviews about books,but I had a huge fear that no one would want to hear anything I had to say. Then, I read that I should be proud of myself, speak up about what I do and network!
I am telling you (and myself, really) the same. You may just be one person away from getting what you need! Speak up for yourself, you never know who is listening.
I have not read a lot of ‘women in the workplace’ sort of books but the insight present within the words of this book are superb when it comes to this topic. I think I have finally realized that I shouldn’t think too much when I buy books, because to me, it is an investment, and this book was a good one.
Thank you so much for reading!
Have you read this book? What are you currently reading? Got any book recommendations for me?
Tell us in the comments!
VENI, VIDI, AMAVI.
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