Review: The Skills by Mishal Husain

I’ve been recommended some amazing books recently and The Skills by journalist and news presenter Mishal Husain was one of them.

Mishal’s book is part autobiography, part handbook aimed at sharing advice, inspiration and encouragement for working women. With the subtitle From First Job to Dream Job’ it’s aimed at all ages regardless of background or situation. New graduates, working mothers or those seeking a career change, I’m pretty sure this book has something for everyone.

I love books like this. I find they sharpen my mind and ambitions and encourage me to keep thinking about who I am, and where I want to be.

I found The Skills interesting because Mishal shared so much about her own life. She explained honestly how she felt lacking in confidence or authority when she first started presenting Today, and also how she’s dealt with handling a demanding career while being a Mum.

For someone who’s not quite there yet, it was interesting to read with one eye on the future.

But the parts on authority, confidence and how to present yourself to maximum effect – both in person and online – really stayed with me.

Each chapter also has a quote to encourage, inspire or challenge you. The chapter on ‘Resilience’ was one of my favourites.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
Professor Stephen Hawking

We can often forget to keep looking up and ahead – often get waylaid from chasing our dreams or lose grip of our ambition. These words are what I’d like to live by.

I really think there’s something in here for every working woman, regardless of the career they’re in – or hoping to be in. Mishal’s own experiences combine with interviews with experts, revealing shocking statistics about female achievement and pay, and words of advice from figures like Malala Yousafzai.

The Skills: From First Job to Dream Job by Mishal Hussain is published by Fourth Estate.

Book borrowed from a friend and colleague!

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