Cheryl Pollock Stober

By Cheryl Pollock Stober, Busy Since Birth Blog:

In June I attended a panel discussion on “Lean In” where I met Jodi Ecker Detjen, who told me about a book she and two colleagues had just written, “The Orange Line: A Woman’s Guide to Integrating Career, Family and Life.” Jodi asked if I might review it on Busy Since Birth, and it took until now to find enough hours for me to string the time together to do so, but I’m really glad that I did.

The book came out two months after “Lean In,” and even includes a reference to Sandberg’s idea that women should not “leave before they leave,” but other than that, I thought “The Orange Line” was a much better read and left me with more concrete advice, rather than a feeling of unease.

“The Orange Line” refers to Detjen, Waters and Watson’s idea that there is a life to be lived where work and family can take on equal importance (as opposed to a career-dominant Green Line and a family-dominant Red Line). The book explains this concept and follows it up with a discussion of “The Feminine Filter,” ideas that come together to create the ideal woman. This filter influences the decisions women make as they strive to “do it all, look good and be nice.” Trying to maintain this ideal can cause women to sabotage their lives through self-sacrifice, lowered career expectations, and the avoidance of asking for what they need. The authors used both interviews and extensive research to see the filter at work, and then applied their re-framing techniques to various career phases: the “Green Start,” Approaching Burnout, Family Matters, The Sabbatical, and Re-entry.

The book is designed so that you can read the chapter that is most applicable to your current career, but I read them all. For me, I didn’t have too long in “The Green Start” phase, so I think I’ve had to combine that with the “Family Matters” section. I know there have been moments when I’ve approached burnout, too. The Sabbatical section had information I found relevant to my blogging pursuits, and the Re-entry was interesting for anyone who is looking for a new job, not just those who have been away from work for a while. Continue Reading…

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