Recommended Book Review: Finding Square Holes

Finding square holes was an accident. I’d never noticed the box before, it was labelled ‘Self-Development’ and it belonged to my Dad. Inside was a piano of titles, all cliché along the lines of ’Success and Cvs’ and ’Jobhunting for the dumb’ but one caught my eye and it was this.

‘Finding Square Holes; Discover who you really are and find the perfect career.’ and that’s Career. Not job.

Anita Houghton is not a psychologist of any sort. Nore is she a shiny celebrity. She didn’t even win the apprentice. She’s just a woman with an honest voice, an open mind and an open admission to having ‘had the odd problem with work myself’.

I liked Anita from the introduction. She cut to the heart of things, something I fail at as a writer myself, and her approach to careers and self-development was methodical, humorous at times and easy-to-follow; reflecting her nature as a trained doctor. It was different. And I was hooked.

What Makes This Book Different From The Others?

For me, it was the fact that Anita herself was different. She was not writing to merely retell the story of how someone, somewhere got to the top but more to provide a philosophical argument presented to you, the square hole, as that someone. With the potential to learn from her mistakes and successes, and from your own.

Houghton argues three main points:

1) That surviving, is not living.

2) That although work isn’t everything, it’s a large chunk of your day that should help with both the surviving and the living part.

3) The idea that success isn’t money or fame, but happiness and fulfilment in day to day life (and not just at the weekend!)

(All of these beliefs, you’ll notice, are close to my own in the Discovery section!)

The content within the book is very varied. Each chapter is unique and consists of a combination of case-studies, anecdotes and exercises that help the reader turn to the final pages as a person grown in confidence and ability. Bold enough now to not just accept things, but to understand and settle for nothing less than perfect for us.

So, How Is This Executed?

The answer is simple. It is executed, through you.

It raises questions to us as an individual (again like those in Discovery) asking you to question who they you, and through that self-reflection and self-discovery, whether you are currently happy and fulfilled in your day to day life. Because we all have a unique package and whether we are aware of it or not we can all bring to the world something that nobody else can.

Many books fall for me here. The exercises focus on pinpointing a disposition and listing jobs that match. But this book challenges how we can possibly pinpoint a disposition? Or a lifestyle even? And focuses on the idea that we shouldn’t adapt ourselves to fit somewhere but find the place where we would be most fulfilled and using our skills. Because according to Houghton only you know what you want and only this can bring you happiness which is a vital element for the self-developer because ‘Success follows happiness as night follows day’.

In Conclusion

I recommend this book to anyone who is starting out in the world of work or wanting to re-focus but needs to generate the confidence to do so.

And if your young, don’t think this book is a bit too intense for you. It’s not! I’m young and there were many exercises that made me think and were beneficial to someone who is at an age where they are still discovering who they are (finding their foundations) and who they’d like to be.

Work can be your ‘making or your undoing’ and although it isn’t everything in life it helps to be developing yourself during the working day. After all your time, money and energy is yours and it’s a precious currency.

Have you read this book? Comment below and tell us what you think.

Wrote by Aimee Hall