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The Third Shift

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The Third Shift

Managing Hard Choices in Our Careers, Homes, and Lives as Women


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The doubts that plague women in the middle of the night, when work is over and the kids are asleep, are the haunting, negative voices of the third shift.

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Editorial Rating



  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging


Michele Kremen Bolton has achieved what so many other authors of books about women have not - she’s written elegantly, compellingly and sensibly about the dilemmas women face when they choose to work outside the home, run their own businesses or forgo outside work to raise a family. Most importantly, Bolton provides a thorough, intelligent discussion based on solid research and real-life situations. She makes viable suggestions for solutions to many of the dilemmas and challenges that women confront. She shows a keen understanding of what women are really thinking when confronted by guilt, self-doubt and the need to adapt continually to what is still a patriarchal society. getabstract recommends this book not only to women, but to that other half of the population as well. It’s a sure antidote to testosterone poisoning.


The Quiet Hours of the Third Shift

Thirty years have passed since the feminist revolution, and women have more opportunities than their mothers ever dreamed possible. However, if you are a woman, your choices always come with a price, whether you opt for a corporate career, go out on your own as an entrepreneur, or leave your job to pursue the "Mommy Track."

After the first shift working at the office, and the second shift working at home and with their families, women face the third shift: "those quiet hours of contemplation" about the decisions and trade-offs they’ve made. With some practice, you can turn this third shift from a time of guilt and self-doubt into a time to build self-awareness and self-confidence. Women face three important dilemmas:

  1. Expressing your true identity or conforming to the expectations of others.
  2. Focusing on the task at hand or worrying about the feelings of co-workers.
  3. Working on your own goals or serving the needs of others.

Third Shift Dialogues

Effective strategies have helped many women to deal with these dilemmas in the corporate world, in entrepreneurial...

About the Author

Michele Kremen Bolton, Ph.D., is a principle partner and an experienced executive coach with ExecutivEdge of Silicon Valley, Los Gatos, California. She is a former professor of management at the College of Business at San Jose State University, where she was the cofounder and first executive director of the Center to Develop Women Entrepreneurs.

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