“The Pressure Cooker: Lessons from a Woman at Work” is a book written by Nkiru Olumide-Ojo. This book is published by Narrative Landscape Press in 2017 and has nine chapters and 111 pages.

The author gives advice to women on how to climb the corporate ladder as well as combining work with marriage and motherhood. The author shares her personal experiences of being a working single woman and then a working mum and how she started out in her career and climbed the corporate ladder to an executive position in the corporate communications sector. She writes on how to balance work and raising children as a working mum, her transitioning from a degree in biological sciences to advertising, the power of networking and mentoring, balancing work and marriage, tips on how to get a job and how to relate with your boss.

I totally agree with the author in chapter 1 on the need for a working mum to have a support system and also that 3 months maternity leave is too short. Reading this book encouraged me that it is possible to transition from one career field to the other. However, it takes a great deal of work which she discussed in chapter 2.

I could relate with the first paragraph of chapter 3 where the author mentioned how women are made to feel they are women and do not need money as much as men do. I shared my experience in a blog post titled, “DO YOU NEED A HUSBAND OR A JOB?”  You can read it by clicking here. But in summary, it was an experience where a man implied that I didn’t need to bother about getting a job but instead should pray for a husband. We live in a society where some people think men need jobs more than women do. Women need money and a job. We have needs to take care of. We have bills to pay. And even if a woman is married, not every woman enjoys totally depending on her husband financially. So basically, chapter 3 talks about being a woman in a “Boys Club” – how to handle such statements that make you feel as though you don’t need a job or money as much as men do. The chapter also discussed how to deal with and react to subtle sexism; how to protect yourself and speak up against men in your workplace.

The beginning of chapter 4 was amazing. The author addressed the question, “Can a woman have it all – a great career, a great marriage and being able to raise wonderful children?” I loved how the author addressed this question. Still in chapter 4, the author highlighted some questions for women to ask themselves and their spouse-to-be before getting married. It’s best to agree on and decide what work and family ought to be before marriage. That’s why I would recommend this book to men as well even though it’s primarily for women because in some ways, it could help them relate better with their wives and future wives for those that are unmarried now.

Chapter 5 was another amazing chapter on how to climb the corporate ladder. It was a detailed chapter with many practical lessons. Chapter 7 is another chapter that will benefit both men and women – how to get a job. She doesn’t just dish out tips but goes the extra mile to share a personal experience on how she got a job in the aviation sector, and worked for an airline which was her dream job at that time. The final chapter are lessons the author learnt from failing.

For me as a single woman, chapters 5, 6 and 7 and 8 are the chapters I really need to ponder on. I hope to keep going back to the notes I wrote while reading the book and to the book itself to remind myself of the lessons.

I loved everything about this book – from the cover page to the print, interior look and design, how the books felt in my hands and the fresh smell of the pages. I loved that the author used her personal experiences to enlighten other women.

I recommend this book to every woman interested in having an active career, climbing to the peak of her career and also interested in balancing career with marriage and motherhood. The book is available at Rovingheights Bookshop at the price of 3,500 naira.

Please contact Rovingheights bookshop: www.rhbooks.com.ng to place your order. They do door to door delivery.