Monday, 21 September 2009

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

On the subject of book reviews, I have one simple criteria: if it relates to your career, it's relevant here.

The above statement was the only way I could think to start this post because otherwise - as you read on - you might wonder what on earth was happening.

Allow me to explain a little further...

A friend mentioned a career book to me recently but his recommendation was so unusual, I thought he was playing an elaborate joke.

"It's a great book," he said. "Full of advice about making career choices and it doesn't pull any punches either!"

This sounded like a book I had to read.

"Who's it by?" I asked excitedly.

"Dr. Seuss," he said.

When I checked and double checked that he was being serious, I discovered that the book was called 'Oh, The Places You'll Go!' and ordered myself a copy.

Title: Oh, The Places You'll Go! - Author: Dr. Seuss - ISBN: 978-0-00-715852-2 (2003, UK soft cover re-print)

You might still think I'm joking (or that I fell for my friend's joke despite trying to avoid it) but I was amazed at what I read.

It was indeed good, solid advice that focused on decision-making and the variety of situations the world presents us with.

The Author didn't assume that he knew best either. He assumed the opposite in fact. That when it comes to your career, you're always the one in the best place to choose.

Here's one short passage to give you an idea what you'd be getting into by reading this book:

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose"

OK, so this book won't answer all of your career questions in anapestic tetrameter but then again, it doesn't try to.

Instead, all it does is try to equip you with the knowledge that you will face choices, that things will sometimes be tough, that there will be ups, downs and everything in-between.

This book not only fills you with what organisational psychologists might call an increased tolerance for ambiguity, it also puts a smile on your face. Maybe Dr. Seuss knew that this is what you need most when you're, "in a slump" as he puts it.

Maybe Dr. Seuss wrote this book for the adult readers as much as the kids they would read it to/with. But even if you couldn't bring yourself to see this book as deserving of anything other than a pre-schooler's bookshelf, you would have to grudgingly admit that the subject matter of careers looks distinctly more interesting when it is touched by an artist in this way.

On the question of whether you should buy this book or not, allow me to respond by borrowing a little from Dr. Seuss's style:

If you're in two minds then all I can say
Is decide for yourself, today is your day!
(Plus £4.99 is all that you'll pay) :)

All the best for now,



  1. Yes, most definitely a poet :-)


  2. Love the concept! Anything that gets you thinking has to be a good thing indeed.

  3. You're too kind Joanna!

    er, assuming you meant me and not Dr. Seuss that is ;)

  4. I completely agree Barbara,

    It's also a category defying book if ever there was one!

    Thanks for your comment :)