ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Succeed at Work Without Sidetracking Your Faith

7 Lessons of Career Excellence for Women

Foreword Review

“As working women, I think our biggest challenge is standing up for what is right, even when we think it might hurt our business.” Thus the author begins teaching Christian women that faith is not a roadblock to success; rather, true success always depends upon living out one’s faith with integrity.

Formerly a Human Resources executive for Dell, Baker now works as a speaker and consultant, providing career development instruction. She draws her insights on success in business and life from more than twenty years of experience in the working world, doling out a healthy portion of solid career advice. In the first chapter, she admonishes her readers to “own” their careers by sizing up their strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and dislikes. Then Baker encourages them to consider how they should change their careers: whether they should aspire to a promotion, a lateral move, a change in employers, or a change in field. No matter what type of change is in order, however, Baker suggests proceeding with integrity: “Leaving a job with our bridges intact, not burned by our own defensiveness or bitterness, is one of the best ways to move into a new career search with a positive outlook and assurance that we did what we could to make things right.”

Not satisfied to simply instruct women in how to climb the proverbial workplace ladder, Baker also entreats her readers to pursue a vocation that will provide personal satisfaction, even if it doesn’t ensure prestige or wealth. She profiles one woman who has poured her passion for sharing her Christian faith into her job as a fast food worker—with immensely satisfying results. As Baker attests, “She is proof positive that you don’t have to have a fancy title or high falutin’ job to have an impact for Christ.” The quest for fulfillment at work, she says, is not a self-centered one; it leads Baker to recommend that her readers find a position that will allow them to serve God to the fullest extent.

Working women, especially those who share Baker’s Christian faith, will find this book helpful. It will inspire many a reader to pursue the career she is meant for, rather than the one she finds most convenient. Baker profiles several women, making their stories into effective testimonies to her principles for success. In addition, she includes practical questions and exercises at the end of each chapter, which makes the book suitable for group study.

Some qualities of Baker’s writing—such as her occasional use of awkward phrasing and her too-frequent restatements of her own achievements—may disturb some readers. Her relentless positivity, however, and call for moral uprightness present a challenge that many will find irresistible.