Yes I know, people read the title and think that it's telling you to spend your LIFE as a workaholic - but if you read the book, it says quite the opposite. It's about balance, and being okay with it.
There will be times in your life when you really need to step back - and ironically, most of the chapters are about that.
There will be other times when you don't need to step back, you can jump in - and the sad thing is, the chapters about those times spend most of the time making the case that you can't be afraid of those times. People will tell you that you're a workaholic and the stress will kill you and your family is neglected or you'll never have a family but you'll totally want one because 100% of women do and there are those photos in magazines of overworked mothers and scary scary scary.
Well I worked really hard in my 20s. and today I'm thrilled about that. I had a job that gave me opportunities to pour myself into projects - and I learned so much.
I also got a masters degree.
And I volunteered.
Sometimes I did all of those at ONCE - in fact 2005 was that year. I would get to work early, headphones on to crank out drawing revisions, then I'd stop in at the campaign office where I was volunteering to make a few phone calls, then I'd eat in my car on the way to night school where I was taking 6 hours of graduate-level engineering a semester, then I'd go BACK to work (yes) because the second shift guys had the best avionics techs and room to work on the airplane and troubleshoot and I could really see what needed fixed - it was hectic, crazy, I was exhausted... and I loved it.
and then I needed a break so I stopped volunteering, graduated, met a guy and got married and had some kids and now I am not doing all that extra stuff. I am just working. And it's hard, and I have to be very productive with my time because I don't want to work tons of extra hours. But I've got people like Sandberg claiming that SHE is home for dinner at 5:30 every night. So I will be too! Well, marc will tell you I'm not 100%. But I'm a good percent. and I'm proud of that.
And because I worked hard in my 20s I'm in a really rewarding position right now, one that keeps me very challenged, and involves leading people and connecting with more parts of the company and - my favorite part - helping new engineers who work for me in their journey to get to be great engineers.
I was devastated for Sandberg when she lost her husband recently in a tragic accident, because I just see so much of myself in her writing and ambition, and I have such a great supportive husband that I can't imagine losing, it really got to me, all the news.
But even in her mournful posts, I still see those same elements of that same story about "there is a time for everything". A time to love your family because you might not have them forever. A time to love your job because it grounds you. A time to help everyone around you, or a time to accept help because you can't survive without it.
That's why I love that book, and that's why I read all books, for wise mentorship from the ranks of the experienced.