There are many ways to describe this book but I’ll call The Pressure Cooker a self-help manual. Targeted at young, ambitious and clueless career women (aka moi) in desperate need of guidance, the author shares nuggets of wisdom on everything from dealing with sexism at work, difficult bosses, mentorship to being a mum at work.
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity, but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”
I first became aware of the author when I got an email inviting me to a Lighthouse Network conference in May 2017. The Lighthouse Network is the brainchild of Nkiru Olumide-Ojo; a platform she created to give mentoring opportunities for young women by veterans in their various fields.
” … I believe it is important to continue learning from others and to teach others…”
This invitation came just as I decided to pursue a career that had absolutely no correlation with my degree and I still believe God was talking to me at that moment. To say I was disappointed when I didn’t get picked at the event is an understatement and there was a short, albeit intense moment where I was cursing out the organisers (in my mind, of course) for “wasting my time”.
Fast forward exactly a year later, and I have finessed my way into a new career path just by practising the one message I took away from that event: “Your mentors don’t need to know they are your mentors before they make an impact in your life”. I had high expectations when I picked up this book and there were no disappointments.
Straight to the point without trying too hard to inspire, reading “The Pressure Cooker” at this stage of my life was a reality check. And at the risk of sounding delusional, it looked like a blueprint for my career. I mean, I kinda feel like Nkiru Olumide-Ojo and I are walking the same path – in different times and with opposite personalities.
Essential. Easy to read. Motivational.
I hope to officially meet Nkiru Olumide-Ojo at the Lighthouse Network conference later this month. (There’s a whole story of how I attended a book meet with 3 of my role models and left without talking to anyone… I have issues.) Hopefully, she’ll adopt me.
The Pressure Cooker (Lessons from a Woman at Work) by Nkiru Olumide-Ojo
Publisher: Narrative Landscape Press
Release Date: 2017
Find It: Roving Heights
“Don’t you know you are a girl?”
Nkiru Olumide-Ojo sets out, in this book, to respond to that question, and in the process, subvert its hidden “restraining” intent. In nine short and eminently readable chapters, The Pressure Cooker offers advice to women in the workplace. Advice that comes from Nkiru’s lived experience — of motherhood, workplace sensibilities, and climbing up that corporate ladder.