Five career gems for Millennials from Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’

Michelle Obama's memoir 'Becoming' is filled with gems — especially for millennials trying to find their way professionally.

Michelle Obama’s memoir ‘Becoming’ sold 2 million copies in two weeks and is now the bestselling book of 2018! Along with getting a glimpse into the upbringing of our former first lady, the memoir is filled with gems — especially for millennials trying to find their way professionally.


SPOILER ALERT: Here are five career gems we learned from Michelle Obama’s book— about becoming who you’re destined to be:

  1. You can defy low expectations by believing in yourself
    “When a young Michelle Robinson encountered a guidance counselor who told her she wasn’t Princeton material— instead of quitting, she was determined to prove her wrong- and when that acceptance letter came, she did.” 
  2. A safe and respected career path doesn’t automatically make you happy
    After Princeton, Michelle Obama scored a job at the prestigious law firm Sidley and Austin. She had money, prestige, and a box wine subscription— but she was missing purpose. She writes: “this may be the fundamental problem with caring about what others think. It can put you on the established path- the my isn’t that impressive path— and keep you there for a long time.”Michelle Obama would stay at the firm and eventually meet her future husband— and the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. But destiny would call her to other things.
  3. Trust your instincts to make moves + do your research
    When Michelle Obama was ready to leave her job and made a list of all the issues she cared about from education to black self-esteem— then she wrote letters and send them to people around Chicago. She writes “I put myself in front of anyone I thought might be able to give me advice. The point was less to find a new job than to widen my understanding of what was possible and how others had gone about it.”

  4. Don’t be afraid to take less money— at least for a little
    Michelle Obama took a massive pay cut to take a job in Chicago’s city hall— but that’s where she met Valerie Jarret— the intelligent and fierce political advisor who would be so important to her and Barack Obama’s careers.
  5. Your happiness is your responsibility
    At one point Mrs. Obama, with two young children, a job, felt overwhelmed by having so much on her plate— and resented her political husband being away. But through therapy and more communication— she shifted her priorities— working out more, and setting a solid schedule. She writes “If once id even someone who threw herself completely into every task, I was now more protective of my time— knowing I had to maintain enough energy.”

Now we know Michelle Obama is not only an incredible First Lady but also a boss woman— who shaped her own path with courage— and made the world better.