Book Review: Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire

I really enjoyed reading the book “Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Fair” by Mireille Guiliano.  She is also the author of the very popular book “French Women Don’t Get Fat.”

This book talks about professionalism for women in the workplace.  Mireille is so classy. She holds herself to a very high standard and finds that balance between success, power, niceness and enjoying life.  She is also extremely successful.  She combines everything I am looking for in my own professional career, with a kick of girly fun and charm. Oh, one can dream.

Here are some of the strongest takeaways I grasped onto from reading this book.  My personal anecdotes are in italics after each tip:

  • There is no such thing as a work-life balance- You are the same person whether you are at work or at home.  Don’t wait for the weekend to enjoy your home life and vice versa. You are not two people. You are one person who does many things.  This inspiration alone helps me plug away at this blog.  Can I say that this blog has helped work to feel less like “work” and more of an adventure… so cool!
  • Take Risks- What is the worst that can happen? Dare to dream and to be different. I have dreams and lots of plans in store for my career.  My ideas are different and it does take courage, but is it ever exciting!
  • Find a Mentor- Find someone who is on their way up in the field you aspire to grow in. Build trust and show your talents. Learn from those who have come before you.  I have met so many wonderful people in the past year who have helped me grow as a professional and a person. I am never above learning. I can learn from everyone and by reaching out to start that relationship, you just never know what might happen!
  • Find Your Passions- Your passions will change as your life changes into new episodes or stages. Nurture your passions as your life evolves and you will be fulfilled. Know what drives you and makes you tick. Passion is huge for me. That is why I am teaching an entire graduate course on another great book The Element, Where Passion Meets Talent by Ken Robinson. I think we all have something special to contribute to the world, it’s just a matter of finding it and knowing the best ways to share it. It’s that feeling of “I cant’ get enough”.. time doesn’t matter. That is passion.
  • Work Harder Then Everyone Else- Work to play to your strengths, by doing this you will make your own luck. People aren’t just lucky, they make their own luck.  Yes. I know about this. I think it’s true. If you work hard, it will pay off. I also believe in working SMART, because I do want that time to enjoy every aspect of my life.
  • Be Ready When the Timing is Right- She suggests preparing yourself for any opportunity that may come your way, and then when the timing is right, you will know when to jump on that perfect opportunity. I love this idea. I am constantly preparing myself for things I do not yet know may come my way.  It takes a lot of trust and faith to work hard for a mystery experience, however, I know opportunities will come and I will be ready.
  • Cultivate your Personal Image-Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Buy classy pieces and carry yourself with poise everywhere you go. I love this tip and I do try to do this.  I think image does matter, as much as no one wants to admit it. When the whole package comes together, something magical can happen.
  • Dont’ Promise More Then you can Deliver- Aim to meet and exceed all work expectations, however, don’t get in so deep that you can’t live up to your own expectation. This is a hard one, but so true. I am constantly on the cusp of doing too much, just enough to drive me, but not too much to overwhelm me. When you get it right, it’s such an exciting place to be.

This type of reading is so motivating to me, because I like the aspect of working in all areas of your life to find the best balance you can between all of the hats you wear. I also think, as she said, you can merge the professional and personal side of yourself. I truly do this with my blog… and I am loving every second of it.

What tip stood out to you the most?

PS. Want to see who won the giveaway for the Crayola Classpack? Click here to find out!

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Jackie

    Thanks for posting this information! I love hearing about good books and I will definitely going to pick this one up. I agree that there isn’t a difference between my “work” and my “life”…I am an artist, where ever I am, in the classroom or out.

  • Potic Mireille

    Bonjour c Mireille ta suis tombé par hasard sur ton site et je suis heureuse de voir que tu vas bien et que tu es devenue un grand ne pense pas que tu reviendras un jour à rombas mais je tenais à te faire un petit coucou.