Reviewed by Tash Hughes
This is not a book to be read in one sitting and then put on the shelf. It requires time and effort to fully appreciate its beauty and benefits.
The author herself suggests writing in the margins and using highlighters wherever something grabs your attention. Givens also suggests setting up a workbook to use as you read the book. Her suggested format matches with exercises in the book. In other words, Givens wants this book to be a tool in your journey, not a book to be read then shelved.
Givens has written this book to help women identify where they are, where they want to be and how to find ways to navigate the difference between these two places.
This book is not unique in the topic of teaching others to move ahead in their lives; what is unusual about this book is that is written by an Australian woman for Australian women. That’s not to say that it is anti non-Australians or men, but just that it is easy for Australian women to relate to.
Givens frankly uses herself as an example in her book and admits that she herself is still working on setting and achieving goals and maintaining her self-esteem. She doesn’t preach or use terms that require a dictionary near by; the book is for everyday people to read as and when they can.
There is no sense of dictating what your personal goals should be, just an acceptance of working towards what is valuable to you. That is, the book shows no expectations that your goals will be professional or world shattering. By this, Givens shows herself as interested in her readers and purely sharing her knowledge, rather than setting herself above anyone else.
The book is divided into seven sections, each dealing with a different issue along the road to self-fulfillment. Within each section, text, cartoons and diagrams describe concepts and this is supported by exercises for the reader to do. At each exercise, Givens encourages doing the exercise before continuing on with the text as this increases the impact and understanding of the following thoughts.
Reading the book from front to back allows for a gradual development of ideas, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy the book and Givens invites you to use the book in whatever order best suits at the time.
Women on the Move, by Sandi Givens
Knowledge-Able Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 2002
Available direct from the author.