Review: It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.

You may have seen this book lying around in Urban Outiftters, topshop or in the self-help, careermove sort of areas of Waterstone’s. But is it actually as helpful as it says it is?

I was drawn to it mainly because I was looking for an internship, and have always considered myself quirky. A quick flick proved that the book was as quirky as I considered myself – differrent from your usual CV and experience finding advice. The straight tone of voice grabbed my attention and I liked it. This little book reflected my shallow needs – I wanted quick fixes, internet meme like doses of quotes that I could use to change and vamp up my career goals. It was also relativley cheap, so I took it off the shelf and used that reciept as a book mark.

There must have been a thausand young sixth former and university souls trapped the same way I had been. I suppose Paul Arden takes his own advice and his assertivness in his mirackle book proved to work. The witty text and fashionably current set out of pages draws you in. It’s a good read. I remember sitting down with some steaming Ovaltine thinking that the advice I had read was the only way forward. It was perfectly logical – belive in yourself enough and other’s will believe you’re the right person for the job.

The book was an enjoyable read. I kept agreeing that things like true ingenuitey don’t win awards, because ‘awards celebrate mediocracy.’ I remember laughing at the words and sending bad picture of pages to my boyfriend and friends with the caption ‘I always said this!’ Feeling overall like I had found my career oponion soul mate.

Then, I tried putting the book into work and realised there was no actual advice in it. The most I could fish out of it was “belive in yourself and show it.” Most of it was just The Secret type of gibberish. It’s all about having goals to reach then, not intellect or beauty or talent. Well I say, you need those things to fulfill those goals, at least in part. Just focusing on something hard enough won’t get you there, in fact it can do the opposite by making you indulge in a career fantasy in your head which you then decide not to act on because it makes you happy enough go speculate on it.

The blurb for this book is pretencious through saying it’s like the Prince, being a book on self-development by actually writing about marketing and selling products. I found it difficult to get around, as I’ve never been in a white collar job and have no idea how the two relate. My bad.

Final opinion? Paul Arden knows how to write a book that sells, but it’ll probably be a bit more difficult to get something from it that’s differrent than the old ‘set goals’ lectures we’ve heard at school and career events throughout life. If you want an enjoyable read and interesting read- go for it. Avoid it if you want genuine career advice. This is why I hate these types of self-help books. It’s true that you can put something into a few words of your really understand it, but there are certain things that only work for a specific audience of the book and in this case it isn’t a 21 year old student. You’re better off getting experience in life and in jobs, so let’s get moving on.


    • PopularIsWrong

      Thanks for your comment and taking the time to read my post. I’d rather be honest than suggest trash to people. I had thought this book had a differrent approach but it looks like you can’t really trust any self help – this one grabs you by it’s ‘aesthetic.’ Stay around for more book reviews, I do them weekly.

  • gingeredstate

    Well here I was about to make some clicks on Amazon and buy this book but then after reading your review, I think it would better serve as a coaster lol. I have read so many blog posts and listened to blog help and self help podcasts to guide me into this transition of having to learn from scratch about how to build a website. At the end of them all, all I have learned over and over is to work hard, be consistent, and hope you have that something that people want. I’m crossing my fingers about that third one.


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