Book Review: Mistakes I Made at Work

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

I tentatively began reading this book expecting to feel chastised and shamed for the silly things I had done throughout my working life (either intentionally or unintentionally).


I was pleasantly surprised. Each chapter introduces a different influential woman and what she got wrong at work and what she learned from it. The format of the book made it easily digestible and I found myself underlining the parts that really resonated with me. Now the book is surrounded by a halo of yellow post-it notes and it's become a book that I refer back to when I need a reminder that mistakes aren’t final. The old adage “Never judge a book by its cover” applied more to this book than any I’ve read before - I was empowered and inspired by reading this book and found myself wanting more when it ended.


My favourite quote from the book:


I also came to understand more about the workings of ignorance. We often blame our ignorance for our mistakes, but if you think of ignorance not as a passive condition but rather as an active choice, then it is actually quite empowering. Ignorance is an act of will, and so is knowledge. We can just as easily choose not to be ignorant. We can choose not to ignore the conditions of the world. We can take responsibility for our mistakes, rather than avoiding them, engage with our remorse, and stop living in fear and denial.

(Ruth Ozeki on Learning Resilience in Part IV of ‘Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting it Wrong’, Edited by Jessica Bacal).




Title: Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting it Wrong.

Author: Edited by Jessica Bacal

Publisher: A Plume Book published by the Penguin Group

ISBN: 9780142180570

21 views1 comment