Ambition Redefined

Ambition Redefined is a timely alternative to current women’s business books that define professional ambition and success as climbing the corporate ladder. In fact, the corporate ladder is not a path that all women want or should feel pressured to follow. The book’s focus is on the more critical and widespread workplace issue for everyday women—to always work in a way that fits their lives alongside their two major caregiving roles: for children and aging parents.

Ambition Redefined is right for you if...
You’re smart and talented but not aiming to be CEO...
You’ll learn how to develop your own brand of ambition & success; “lean in-between” with six non-traditional flexwork options; make a professional pitch for flexibility in your current job—or find truly family-friendly employers.
You feel conflicted about work vs. family...
You’ll get a handle on the professional & financial cost of a hiatus to care for children or elderly parents; how even a moderate salary builds financial security; and why the cost of childcare is not a good reason to stay home.
You think your professional ship has sailed...
You’ll see that age is now an asset—if you’ve been out of the workforce or you’re nearing retirement age and think you’re “too old” for reinvention—and you’ll learn the industries & job functions that welcome older workers.
You need to face financial realities...
You’ll see how your consistent earnings ease life surprises; why you need to save more for a long retirement and out-of-pocket healthcare/ eldercare costs; and how flexwork can keep you & your family financially secure and safe.

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Praise for Ambition Redefined

In Ambition Redefined Kathryn Sollmann says the unsayable:  it’s not mere power that we need to help women achieve at work, it’s the power to engage in consistent workplace participation. Kathryn points out that companies truly embracing flexwork are ushering in a new type of feminism; one that allows for women to truly protect themselves financially, engage in meaningful work AND tend to the relationships (be they with children or aging parents) that make life worth living. So forget trying to figure out whether to “lean in” or “lean out.” Instead read Ambition Redefined and learn how to sway, how to flex your career, so you can blend money and meaning together in the proportions that create the life you really want to live.

—Manisha Thakor; Founder of & Author, On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance

Ambition Redefined hits the nail on the head! Women, especially those who are caregivers, don’t need to view their careers in terms of two stark choices: either opt out entirely or aim for the C-suite. Flexible and remote work options are growing to help women stay professionally active and financially on-track before, during, and after caregiving years. In my experience in the flexible job market over more than a decade, I’ve seen firsthand exactly what Kathryn Sollmann is recommending. Professional, high-quality flexible jobs do exist for every age and stage, and this book shares fantastic information and advice for women to find them.

—Sara Sutton Fell, CEO, FlexJobs

Balance is bunk! But creating greater harmony among the different domains of life is possible. Sollmann’s Ambition Redefined, which offers a clear path to realizing how you can make flexwork a real and enriching part of your life, is an essential guide for getting there.

—Stew Friedman; Founder, Wharton Work/Life Integration Project; Author, Total Leadership

Finally! A smart guide for women who want to balance meaningful work and caretaking obligations—without sacrificing their long-term financial security. Chock-full of practical advice, tested strategies and vetted resources, Ambition Redefined is a must-read that will guide your work-life choices at pivotal moments throughout your career.

—Nancy Collamer; Founder,; Author, Second-Act Careers

As Kathryn Sollmann wisely advises in Ambition Redefined, when it comes to work it’s not about leaning in or out but leaning in the direction of financial security. Combine this with myriad other suggestions for how you can redefine how you work and how much you earn and you’ll find yourself on a path that leads to a fulfilling and stable future on your terms. It’s a great read for women of all ages and career stages.

—Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.; Author, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office; Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich; and Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It

Kathryn Sollmann doesn’t pull punches in her provocative new book, Ambition Redefined. It’s a must read for women of all ages, as they navigate their careers and make crucial choices about what kind of work fits their life stage. For many women, the corner office and smashing glass ceilings is honestly not what really matters. What is important is the ability to earn money. Sollmann’s bottom-line plain and simple advice resonates. Earning a paycheck is your power. Never give that up. This smart guide is a wake-up call that underscores the fact that being in control of your financial life is non-negotiable. She says that the ability to generate an income is as important as insuring your life against illness or your home against fire—and she’s spot-on.

—Kerry Hannon; Columnist, New York Times; Career and Personal Finance Expert; Author, Money Confidence: Really Smart Financial Moves for Newly Single Women and Great Jobs for Everyone 50+

Life is more complex than the usual arguments about women and work make it out to be. Ambition Redefined challenges assumptions: both that it’s impossible to do challenging work while raising a family and that if you’re not gunning for the C-suite, you’re letting down the sisterhood. Sollmann is reassuring that work need not be all or nothing, but she’s also advancing this radical notion that will change women’s lives: earning money is part of caring for a family. We serve our families by fitting some sort of paid work into our lives, every step of the way.

—Laura Vanderkam; Author, I Know How She Does It and Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done

In Ambition Redefined, Kathryn Sollmann makes a compelling case for women to remain in the workforce despite their variable seasons of caregiving. It’s a reminder that the first purpose of employment is to provide a livelihood and secure our financial future and that it’s difficult to change the world when our personal corner of it is fraught with financial uncertainty. Sollmann advocates that we ‘lean in’ to what she aptly labels one’s own personal measure of success, rather than a monolithic vision of the ideal career, an effort which assuredly does not require that every woman aspires to the C suite, or even to uninterrupted full-time employment.

—Whitney Johnson, Critically-Acclaimed Author, Build an A Team and Disrupt Yourself, Thinkers50 Management Thinkers

Kathryn Sollmann has a way of sharing the facts about the deep financial need for women to keep a foot in the workplace, but also giving ‘been there, done that’ advice on how to make it work when managing a family. Ambition Redefined is the playbook for how to get flexibility in your career. I can’t think of a mom who wouldn’t benefit from having this smart book on her bookshelf.

—Molly Beck; Author of REACH OUT and Founder of

In Ambition Redefined, Kathryn shares her extensive knowledge and incredible hands-on experience as a woman entrepreneur and flex activist! Her goal is to boost women’s confidence to choose paths that combine work and other life activities in positive ways. If you want to understand, explore, and pursue new models of working, this book is a must for you!

—Sophie Wade, Workforce Innovation Specialist, Flexcel Network, Speaker, and Author, Embracing Progress

The most valuable career advice for women is not to lean in, but to stay in. In Ambition Redefined Sollmann explains how women who stay in the workforce, even in part-time positions with lower pay, make big contributions to the long-term financial security of their families. She discusses different ways women can find flexwork to pursue their own versions of success, pursuing fulfilling work that better fits their lives. This is an important topic and I applaud Sollmann for having the courage to advocate for a new type of feminism.  

—Beth Cabrera, Ph.D., Author, Beyond Happy: Women, Work, and Well-Being

Ambition Redefined is a great resource—a comprehensive book that provides essential, must know information for women of all ages who want straightforward answers about different flexwork options, the repercussions of gap years, financial issues surrounding elder and childcare roles, and how to plan long-term for future financial challenges. Sollmann’s approach helps women find their own unique answers and solutions.

M. Cindy Hounsell, President, Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)

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