Ditching Success?

A Career Ventured; A Life Regained

Non-Fiction - Memoir
192 Pages
Reviewed on 08/14/2021
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Author Biography

Batoul Ajlouni is an architect, entrepreneur, and business executive with thirty years of experience in fifteen of the world’s toughest markets. Co-founded her company at twenty-four, before serving as VP for Business Development at a leading IT firm, helping it grow into a multinational corporation. A prominent businesswoman engaged in activities and public speaking events on design, business, technology, and women and youth empowerment. Also, an active board member at Jordan’s premier Society for the Conservation of Nature. Batoul works from her home in Amman, Jordan where she lives with her husband.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Francis Mont for Readers' Favorite

Ditching Success? A Career Ventured; A Life Regained by Batoul I. Ajlouni is a memoir with an intriguing title. Written from the first-person point of view, it documents the author’s journey from being an ambitious career woman, thriving on challenges and success to ultimate burn-out, disillusionment, and, finally, an honest soul-searching aimed at understanding and redefining herself. The honesty in the thoughts and the writing stands out and rings true to the reader. It is also highly informative about the business world in general and Jordan as a country in particular. Through her extensive travels to “four continents, seventeen countries and forty cities”, she provides insight into different sceneries, cultures, and business practices I had not been familiar with before. Her process of rediscovering her own identity culminated in understanding her deepest inner values and summarized what she found by writing this book.

Writing a memoir is a very intense and often painful experience and can be highly revealing to both author and reader. If it’s not done with total honesty and merciless clarity, it is a wasted effort. Batoul I. Ajlouni does not fail this test and, as a consequence, she has written a compelling testimony about the price one has to pay for ‘success’ as well as the price one has to pay for abandoning it. This is the greatest value of this book – it forces the reader to ask themselves the same tough questions and confront unpleasant doubts about life choices they may have made in the past. It also encourages introspection and critical assessment of the road behind and searches for alternative paths ahead. The writing is clear, easily followed, and the emotional context is infectious to the reader. I can sincerely recommend it to anyone who ever had doubts about the value of success. Ditching Success? A Career Ventured; A Life Regained is well worth considering if this sounds like you.

Trisha Dawn

Batoul I. Ajlouni’s Ditching Success? A Career Ventured; A Life Regained is Ajlouni’s timely memoir which showcases her hard-earned success and her personal experiences during her journey to self-discovery and transformation. One day, despite having reached a successful point in her work life through passion and determination, she suddenly feels like this is not what she wants in life anymore. It took time before she stopped her workaholic self from being pulled back to work again. However, the real challenge was just about to begin. She finally decides to walk away from the busy life she once had. What is she going to do now? What is she meant to do out there? What does she really want to be? Read this inspiring and beautiful memoir and learn a thing or two about the fulfillment you will find after overcoming the dilemmas that life throws at you.

Ditching Success? by Batoul I. Ajlouni is a moving memoir filled with relatable situations. As I read through various situations and problems that Ajlouni encountered, I realized how remarkable the story is. This book showed me the fantastic experience of realizing new dreams, and she taught me that sometimes living life according to what you feel is best for you. I admire Ajlouni because of the passion and hard work she showed throughout her career and personal life. Her insistence on trying something new and her courage to stick to her life-changing choices is something I aspire to have someday. The line that stuck with me the most in this memoir was, “The process of discovering who I really am begins with knowing who I really don’t want to be.” Overall, this book is well-written, and it helped me understand myself more. I feel as though I could realize new dreams by doing what is best for me! Well done!

Vincent Dublado

There are different reasons why people quit their careers, so it’s not a question of whether or not you’ll be happy when you quit your job. In the case of author Batoul I. Ajlouni, it’s rather more about the questions of what she is leaving and what she wants. These are questions that she answers in her concise memoir, Ditching Success: A Career Ventured; A Life Regained. She takes you on a journey of self-discovery, opening her story with questions about choices. She is an entrepreneur, an architect, a graphic designer, a film director, a business executive, but who is she really? Where does she start? Her barrage of questions about meaning and identity takes her to a transformative decision - one that will lead to personal empowerment and discovering what matters most.

Ditching Success? is focused on a personal and philosophical quest, and reading it becomes a study in individual choices. Batoul I. Ajlouni’s voice and presence can be felt on every page, and what we read is a poignant depiction of popular sentiments about career and soul-searching. It’s a real-life situation of what we understand to be inherent in our nature as human beings, that sort of need to find ourselves when we become overwhelmed or buried beneath the pile of success, and yet we still feel empty. In a time where many of us are quitting our office jobs and rethinking priorities brought about by the pandemic, this book is one that you must consider as a model for self-actualization. It will help you consider whether quitting your job is your best option.