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on 24 August 2006
This is an excellent book and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to feel more enthusiastic about getting up on a weekday morning.

It starts from the unusual but not unreasonable idea that to find a job that fits you properly you have to have a clear and realistic idea of what you are like, what you do (and don't) like, what it is you want from a job and what you are prepared to put up with - or do without - to find yourself a contented square peg in a square hole.

The book does this largely through exercises designed to help the reader form a conscious picture of their values, attitudes and priorities. It also uses the well-established idea of psychological type, where people are measured along scales which look at for example, how sociable and outgoing they are, whether they prefer concrete detail or a bigger picture, careful timetables or a last minute adrenalin rush, how much they need to take the human factor into account.

Finding Square Holes is thought provoking and sometimes quite challenging, but kindly written, with a light touch. I enjoyed reading it and found the exercises helpful. And at last I understand why I was such a disaster in what I thought was going to be a great job - and why I like the one I've got.

Definitely worth buying.
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on 4 October 2007
Anita Houghton. Finding Square Holes. Carmarthen United Kingdom: Crownhouse Publishing, 2005. 238 pages.

The book is full of tips, practical examples and exercises to "clear your brain" from unnecessary and negative thoughts. But though it is a kind of "workbook" it is very entertaining and easy to read and it provides the reader with an excellent structure for self-reflection and helps him to set realistic goals.

In the introduction of the book Anita explains that she is not one of the "sun tanned writers of self-help books who started from nothing and finally came out as international stars" but admits that one of her qualifications is that she had "the odd problem with work" herself. That was the point when I thought "she knows what she is writing about". Great! I am going to read this book.

The book focuses on happiness and fulfilment at work and not on the western concept of success defined by status and money. "What is important to you in life?" and "What is important about you?" were my favourite chapters. They contain very useful exercises to facilitate structured thinking. After having done the exercises I knew my values and my strength very well and I could work with the knowledge about it. For me that was a fantastic improvement.

My favourite exercise in her book is "Casting yourself in a role". You choose one important thing you want to do in your life which would make you feel that your life has been worthwhile. You start to imagine yourself doing this in a set of situations by asking questions in order to find out what it really means to do it. Practising this exercise gives you a feeling to live "your dream or vision". I use this exercise regularly now to make decisions. It works great! The exercise gives you more confidence in your decisions because you spent time reflecting it and you felt, heard and saw what it will be like to do it.

I would recommend the book to everybody who needs ideas and advice how to improve his/her work-life-balance. Finally I would like to mention that I had the opportunity to work with Anita in six face-to-face coaching sessions from which I benefited very much. Both, the book and the coaching sessions with her changed my way of thinking completely.

Anita, thank you very much again for your support.
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on 27 August 2007
Finding Square Holes is inspiring and thorough. It helps explain why past jobs have been the wrong jobs, maybe even disasters! It clarifies personal strengths and where an individual's personality and personal values and preferences influence the direction they should take. Well thought out and provides impetus for moving ahead, giving clear, concise advice for lost souls. At least now I know why I didn't fit with some jobs in the past. The book does as the title says. Thanks so much Anita.
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on 28 February 2006
I've just finished this book and I now realise how amazing I am and what great skills and experience I have! I can rule the world!!
I loved the time-line work, so empowering. And I loved matching the MBTI personality preferences to past jobs. It really explained so much and made me much clearer about how I assess the jobs I go for in future. Really good stuff!
I'm now going to start looking seriously for work, and I do feel very confident that I will get what I want. This book has unleashed something within me.
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on 12 October 2009
This is the first time I have ever written a review on anything, and here I am. I have to say, hand on heart, that this book is amazing! So good I read it twice over...and that is a first too!

The author clearly knows what she is talking about, when she explores work, the reason for work, our personality types and how it affects our performance/emotions/behaviour in our "chosen" career path. For me, there was no stone left unturned, I learnt about my strengths and weaknesses, about strategies/understandings to explore my career from here forwards.

Unlike some other books of similar genre, the author didn't stop with the facts and knowledge. She included tips to get motivated and how to do the all important last step which is action. Therefore I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about himself, and of the work he do. Good luck!
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on 25 October 2009
I have read a few books trying to answer the age old question what should i do with my life and this book actually had the answer or at least helped me find it.
It helps you reflect on your past work experience and discover those things that motivated you and those that didn't and remember the things you enjoyed and valued in jobs. It offers a scientific psychological test to find your personality and what motivates and drives you.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a bit lost of the career path.
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on 10 February 2015
Amazing. Exactly what I needed to see my way out of a job I feel no enthusiasm for. It doesn't assume everyone wants the same out of life, but helps you decide your own priorities and identify the ways you feel most fulfilled that you can then use to determine if a job would suit you or not and if it will fit with your priorities. Absolutely invaluable, I would recommend to anyone at any stage of their career.
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on 19 March 2008
This book is great and makes you really think about your situation in perspective.

There are many stories which I am sure many of us can empathise with and apply to our own situations as well as those of others family, friends and colleagues.

I strongly recommend this book if you feel like you are stuck in a black hole in your career or job or are experiencing difficulties at work and don't know why.
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on 4 August 2009
This book may be useful for many people, so this is really just a warning for anyone with a fairly developed sense of self awareness and understanding. 99% of the text really just states the very basics of work and career choices and includes such uninspiring 'gems' such as "it's worth remembering that work is not the only part of your life". Thanks Anita. If you've never thought about life, self-purpose, significance etc, then I'm sure this will get you thinking. For anyone who's looking for ideas above these stations, then rest assured, this will not provide any help to you. Any thinkers out there...you have been warned!
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on 3 July 2012
A really interesting view...not the usual rubbish. I have kept this as one of my all time top books as it really helped me to see why I was always being pushed aside at work.
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