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Bridget Jones’s Diary was my Lean In
I started my professional career in the year 2000. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but when I think back, things were so different. I didn’t even have a cell phone, and the internet was still kind of new. Amazon existed, but Amazon Prime did not. And as a woman in the workplace, there were no widely read books like Lean In to help us navigate the issues women face.
What should I do when the president of the organization hits on me (in the same breath he told a bartender I was under 21, ugh), when should I tell my colleagues I was pregnant, should I ask for a raise or find a new job? I had no guide other than hurried talks at lunch with my girl friends who may or may not have been out to take my job. As is my way, I turned to books.
When I first found Bridget Jones’s Diary, a British novel loosely based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I felt like I finally had the guide I needed. Bridget had the same worries and issues I had. Her boss was too busy commenting on the size of her skirt to take her seriously, and her friends all gave her terrible advice. Bridget had to find her own way to a better job and a satisfying love life in her own way. Much to the delight of myself, and millions of other readers, she did it in a hysterical way with diary entries.
I eventually found my way too. I’m closing in on forty now, and I eventually found a job that suited me. I owe it all in large part to Bridget Jones, my year 2000 role model. As Bridget herself said, “It is proved by surveys that happiness does not come from love, wealth, or power but the pursuit of attainable goals.”
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