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Not Just Lucky

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  589 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Media star Jamila Rizvi’s exploration of the confidence deficit holding women back, the barriers to career success this can create, and how they might be overcome. Accessible and timely, this is essential reading for millennial women.

Australian women are suffering from a crisis of confidence about work, captives to a voice inside their heads that says they’re not good enou
Paperback, 303 pages
Published July 3rd 2017 by Viking
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Have you ever noticed that really successful women are always lucky?’

When I first joined the paid workforce back in 1974, as a shop assistant in a women’s shoe store, my (male) boss was still complaining that equal pay (granted to women in 1969) forced him to pay women more, even though males were physically stronger. This physical strength, he told me, would have enabled a male to carry more boxes of shoes up from the basement store room. When I left the shoe store a few months later to start
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I think the audience that would get the most from Not Just Lucky would probably be young women just entering the workforce. While the information and message is valuable and important, overall there's not any new ideas being presented within this book. I did find some chapters, such as Coping With Setbacks and How To Ask For More, had some affirming insight and practical approaches that would be genuinely useful, and I responded more to the sections of the book that had less mummy-blogger-style ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wish this book had been around at the start of my career, when I was young and reasonably confident, and around five years ago, when my career felt like it was going to hell in a handbasket. But now I've read it I'm going to take advantage of its messages. While the author explains at the beginning that the whole book might not apply to every reader, in my case all but one chapter was highly relevant to my personal experiences in the workplace. I was surprised to know how common my secret lack ...more
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have to admit to struggling with this at first, I wasn’t really in the career headspace (and I had a weird thing against Rizvi because of Mamamia - that sisterhood chapter probably written for me). But I put it aside for a month and suddenly I am thinking about work again and it was very easy to get back into it.

There’s a lot of great insight here but what was really valuable was the practical advice and useful career tips (often a rarity in these types of books), particularly in the chapters
Karen Liang
Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Armed with some pretty dismal statistics and personal advice derived from the author's own very successful career, Not Just Lucky carries an empowering message for young women in the beginnings of their careers. Some parts of the book contain practical advice on how women can adapt to a male dominated and sexist work culture, but overall there are no revelations to be found here. Much of the advice is mostly applicable to both men and women which is fantastic as gender issues should ap
Jocelyn (foxonbooks)
3.5 stars. Rizvi offers some great insights into women in the workplace, how success and hard work are what women mean when they say they got lucky, and how we can avoid pitfalls set in our way.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is like the cross-generational Lean In. Where I found myself tuning out a bit while reading Sheryl Sandberg's manifesto (simply because it seemed like it was a book for women who were in a very different stage of their career to me), Jamila Rizvi's book felt relevant, regardless of where you are on the career ladder. As someone who is just starting out, I found it as useful as someone who perhaps has a few more years on their career plate.

Also the number of times I found myself nodding
Sarah Jones
3.5/5 I actually didn’t know this book was what it was (how did I miss the memo?!) when I bought it- I thought it was a memoir. Anyway- it’s really good, but I have read lots of it before so I found myself skipping sections. So far as I can tell, that’s not the fault of the book (though I guess I did change the rating because of it, but the rating has to be my thoughts on it)- part of it is (I think) that I read it too late so lots of the ideas may have been a bit newer when it first came out. A ...more
Annabel Pizzata
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I thought it would be much less when I first started, it seemed so similar to Annabel Crabb’s Wife Drought except so much more ranty. But as I went on, the book contained more useful advice, even if it was contained in too many ‘X-step approaches’. I am at a weird place in my career so whilst this book didn’t really cover anything I haven’t heard before, it was a good reminder at a good time.
Anna Louise
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is the correct way to write about women in workplace. Too many other books get involved in man hating and man blaming which is not the meaning of equality and feminism. Please read this book!
Kelly Anderson
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Jamila was able to articulate the many challenges women face in the workplace and in navigating relationships to support women in the workforce. I found myself feeling really empowered by the real way in which she has written about both her and other women’s experiences. Recommended reading for all.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for all women but especially those at the start of their careers. Reading it is like you are sitting down with an old friend and chatting about everything and anything to do with being a female in the workforce. Jamila is bloody amazing and this is a powerful reminder that you aren't just lucky! ...more
Hannah Rappell
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the career book every young woman needs to read, especially for those early in their career.

Jamila Rizvi’s book is more than just another book discussing the sexist nature of the workforce. Of course, she examines the current research about how gender operates in the workplace (think of an abridged version of Crabb’s The Wife Drought with a more Mamamia tempo), but then provides really practical strategies for navigating this space as an ambitious woman. At times, she falls into the list
I saw Jamila in action at a recent conference and she was brilliant. Amongst the women, and men, who are speaking up on gender diversity Jamila is one of the brightest, smartest of them all. Despite this I hesitated to read this book at first. There are only so many diversity books one can read in a year without becoming totally despondent. BUT, do it. Read this one. I have a teenage daughter and this is the one I will recommend she reads first. Jamila's 'voice' is devoid of patronising tone. Sh ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a good read.
Full of great explanations as to why we behave the way we do. While some maybe obvious after Jamila points them out, they do explain a great deal about the way we are programmed to think and behave, as women.
We are a product of experiences as we go through life, but this book does more than highlight that. This book shows that we are not exceptions to these feelings but we are in great company of others who have faced similar challenges and how they overcame them.
As som
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Something I have always admired about Jamila Rizvi's writing is how clear and accessible it is – she never gets bogged down with academic obfuscation (I say, obfuscating) when discussing complex social issues. And that's important in a book that you should buy for every woman you know in the workforce, especially if they're 14 and have landed their first job at Hoyts. Not Just Lucky has all the facts and footnotes (there are 26 pages of endnotes) a gal determined to debate that rude bro in the b ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd read Jamila's shopping list, listen to her interview a snail and watch her mow her lawn. I think she is utterly rad and this book is an absolute testimony to that. It's a great book, well written, funny, throughout provoking and filled with astounding facts and depressing anecdotes BUT it wasn't depressing, boring or soul shattering. Instead it is a positive, light filled novel for the modern day feminist. Let's not be angry, but let's get even with the males in society- purely through shatt ...more
Kym Hamer
Rizvi writes about her experiences Down Under but she could be writing about a lot of other places too. It's a frank and engaging accounting of Rizvi's wins, losses and mis-steps and she admonishes us to examine how much we underplay what it actually takes i.e. what we've done, to make it, win, succeed. Someone once said to me the harder you work the luckier you get - Rizvi's book encourages us to think about how we communicate our successes not just to each other but also to the next generation ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not Just Lucky is better than, and a more modern version of, Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, with a lot more discussion, and a lot less "telling". I would recommend reading this book with a positive mindset. Every time the storyline heads down what could be a depressive path, it flips into positive action. I loved how it didn't leave you in the gloomy depths of how unfair life can be, but inspires positive action in making the working world a better place for everyone.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Should be a much quicker read than I took - but lots of interruptions in life for the reading of this particular book.
I attended the book launch where Jamila spoke passionately about women today and the structures of life and work that get in the way - as well as the pretty thorough internal voices that many women possess - and impact their attempts let alone their successes.
I enjoyed it. More like 3.5*s than 3.
Plenty of plain speaking examples, and citations of data quoted.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
3 1/2 stars from a reader whose perspective is that of somebody who has been around half a century and who has lived a lot of what Jamila writes about in her book. It is an easy read but as another reviewer commented it is a book for a younger generation. For young women about to embark on a career there is a lot of good advice - hence my 5 stars. I will encourage my teenage daughters to read this.
Nadia Baldassi-Winderlich
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Maybe it's just because I'm struggling with my workplace right now, but this book was phenomenal.

Read it for the clear explanations of the societal forces which shape our attitudes at work. Read it for the lightbulb realisations that other women are struggling with the same issues you're crippled by. Read it for Rizvi's conversational tone and funny anecdotes.

Honestly, this is like a very long chat with a wise sister or cool older cousin. I wish I'd read it a year ago.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has changed my world. A must read for women at all stages of their careers which provides insightful guidance and advice. It's written in a conversational, friendly style that never feels lecturing or preachy, all props go to Jamila Rizvi for this. I feel like this book will become my bible of sorts throughout career and personal challenges, love it! ...more
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great tips, especially for those in early career. It explains those phenomenons at work that can be really confusing and confronting. If you can't quite figure out why your best isn't getting you recognised, this offers practical tips and good reminders for those of us well on in our careers as well. ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A clear appraisal of the challenges women face in the workforce, looking at both the large-scale legislative and societal changes needed and how we as individuals can navigate the system and improve the situation for ourselves and others. Reads like a conversation with a warm, wise and witty friend who isn't afraid to share her own mistakes. Will be highly recommending to my female friends. ...more
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fantastic! I'm a bit of a latecomer to this book, but I've recently become more familiar with Rizvi's work as a commentator and was pleasantly surprised by this book. A concise, thorough analysis of the confidence deficit that many women experience. Plenty of gems that most could takeaway from its reading. ...more
Beliz Ozturk
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was an empowering read for someone who has recently entered the workforce as a young professional! Maybe a tad too aggressively feminist in some parts, but some of the later chapters about getting ahead and feeling confident and worthy in the workplace are definitely a worthwhile read. Have already recommended to some girlfriends :)
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is the sort of book that resonates with a range of different people for a range of different reasons.

I found the use of research, facts and history extremely insightful and affirming.

It is engaging, witty and something I highly recommend.
Bree Bacon
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was beautifully refreshing to read something that not only pointed out the bad, but also highlighted the good. Jamila offers solutions and advice that everyone (women, men, and everyone in between) can learn from.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this book informative, refreshing and inspiring. As someone who struggles with confidence, this book explored themes that I have commonly found in my working life.

This book made me feel empowered to take charge and when reading the conclusion, I got goosebumps.
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