This book met all of my expectations for hilarity—there were birth stories, a chapter entitled ‘Humping Justin Timberlake’, and a picture of 80’s prom girl Amy. What I wasn’t quite expecting, though, was to learn so much from Amy’s career trajectory. In fact, I’m starting to think of engineering and comedy as sister careers (just hear me out). Greatness in both careers requires creativity, determination, and a lot of late nights eating terrible food.
Both an engineer and a comedian can spend months (or years) working to create something that is THEIR baby, only to have it brutally torn apart by others; a successful comedianeer learns how to pick herself and make the next product even better. Also, let’s talk about how both fields are so dude heavy: female engineers and comedians are both used to being the only woman in the room, and sometimes it can be hard to not conform to doing things the same way as men. What I love about Amy’s career is that she has pushed herself to show that it’s better to be yourself. (Side note: Let’s face it: your engineering design team would be so much more fun if Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were part of it.)
Amy offers some great life advice in her book as well as career advice. When combined together, the titles of the three sections of her book could make a great life motto:
1. Say whatever you want
2. Do whatever you like
3. Be whoever you are
Some of my favorite take-aways from her fabulous book…
- If Amy can write a sketch about a pregnant woman while 9 months pregnant and then star in that sketch less than a week before giving birth, then I shouldn’t worry one second longer about when the right time is for me to have children.
- Sometimes the best ideas come out of complete and utter chaos.
- It’s never too late to admit you were wrong and try to make it up to someone you are terrified might hate you.
- Name-dropping can only ever help. (Just kidding. There was too much name-dropping in this book.)
- Treat your career like a bad boyfriend. (This one is a teaser! You’ll have to read her book to know what this means, unless you are psychic.)
One of my other favorite aspects is the one-liner pieces of advice throughout the book that are printed like motivational posters (One reason it might be a good idea to buy this book in print and not on your Kindle!) My favorite is, ‘Calling people sweetheart makes most people enraged’. Remember that, folks. No one wants to be a sweetheart.
Maybe it’s all of her years of doing improv and sketch comedy, or maybe there’s something in the suburban Boston water, but Amy is a boss in the best sense of the word. She looks after her own interests in a way that could be construed as selfish, but that I admire greatly. Many of her stories focus on her going after exactly what she wants in a given stage of life, and although it doesn’t always lead to wild success, it only takes a few times for that ambition to pay off. It's awesome to see a woman who took a lot of career risks end up on top.