By Dr.Sherrie Bourg Carter
Prometheus Books, $18.00, 226 pages
Dr. Carter bases High Octane Women on the premise that career burnout in high-achieving women is unique because high-achieving women are different in the ways they think, work, stress, and also de-stress. The purpose of the book is to offer the reader, presumed to be a high-achieving woman, a method to discover ways to reduce stress and avoid career burnout in her life. Discussion of the history of women’s achievements and challenges in the workplace are detailed. The workplace, societal, technological, and individual stressors that cause career burnout are discussed in length. The solution posed in the final two chapters is simply to take time off and find stress relief that fits one’s high-achieving, high-octane personality. Unfortunately the rampant analogy that likens the high-achieving woman to a high-performance engine that needs high octane fuel (stress relief) to avoid engine (career) burnout is both distracting and disappointing. The book is so completely riddled with racing and engine performance metaphors that one wonders how much more succinct it might be if the author just cut to the chase. Ultimately the overly repetitive analogy masks the fact that while the information on stress relief and career burnout is sound, it is not new.
Reviewed by Catherine McMullen