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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HSP's are Not "Too Sensitive"!
Dr. Jaeger has provided a clear, concise and highly readable book for those who have been told they're "way too sensitive." As someone who heard these words my entire life, I found this book validating that my ability to be in-tune with those around me, creative, curious, and an information sponge interested in new things is NOT a fatal flaw. Rather, these...
Published on January 5, 2004

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201 of 205 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reassuring, but not a definitive how-to guide
This book is touted as being a guide for the highly sensitive person looking for meaningful work. While it offers excellent practical advice for dealing with difficult people (wish I'd had this book two jobs ago), the majority of the book simply describes what the ideal workplace for an HSP would be like. The author's conclusion is that HSPs are best suited for...
Published on June 29, 2004 by K. Weis


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201 of 205 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reassuring, but not a definitive how-to guide, June 29, 2004
By 
K. Weis (Silver Spring, MD) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is touted as being a guide for the highly sensitive person looking for meaningful work. While it offers excellent practical advice for dealing with difficult people (wish I'd had this book two jobs ago), the majority of the book simply describes what the ideal workplace for an HSP would be like. The author's conclusion is that HSPs are best suited for self-employment in a creative field. OK, great. Where Ms. Jaeger falls short is in providing practical advice for how to find or create that type of work situation. Obviously she conducted multiple interviews to get the personal stories that are sprinkled through the chapters. Most interview subjects are creative professionals, yet the most they say is something like, "I really love my job. Now I feel like I'm doing the work I was born for!" NO ONE talks about what they did to establish themselves (classes? training? trust fund? luck?), or how they stay in business (for instance, as an introvert, how do you effectively market your services/products to new clients?). Being an HSP who's considering self-employment, I found it frustrating to read a so-called "career guide" that in essence told me things I already know. Yes, I know I'd work best in an enviroment where I pick my own hours, have soothing lighting, and friendly coworkers. And sure, I want to find my Calling. But simply telling me to "keep working on yourself, and eventually you'll find your true Calling" really doesn't do much for me. Would have enjoyed this book more if the author had included a chapter in which her interview subjects shared personal stories of the steps (esoteric as well as practical) that they took to find their Callings.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Affirming but does not work, November 15, 2004
I so looked forward to getting this book - it's title set an expectation that it may reveal some action(s) to be taken on the path to career fulfillment. It was scattered and a bit shallow, leaving it hard to believe the author "owned" the knowledge claiming to be shared. There were quite a few affirming lines, little new information about being highly sensitive, and no solutions to follow up the conclusions drawn. I found the writing ruminating at times and missing the self discipline and focus that is touted as necessary to make work work. I'm sorely disappointed and would not recommend it to anyone who's in a poor work state or in transition - this book simply observes what it is like to be there and doesn't offer much to help you out.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 230 pages for one piece of advice, February 13, 2011
This review is from: Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person (Paperback)
To be honest, I felt cheated by this book. This book is not about making work work for the highly sensitive person. It gives one single piece of advice, which is: find another job or become self-employed. A majority of the book is spent explaining the author's concept of drudgery and craft several times. The concept basically states that if you are overqualified for a job or if there are other issues with your job, you should find a new job. There are one or two interesting insights, such as highly sensitive people tending to take routine or easy jobs because they can't deal with the stress, but then being frustrated by the lack of challenge. More of that and less repetitive explanations of some concept would have been so much better.
Then, the author doesn't offer solutions other than switching jobs. There were a few passages where I thought that she would give information on how to deal with difficult situations, how to work on thinking patterns etc. But those passages ended abruptly or lead back to the overly used explanations of the Drudgery concept.
So what about those who can't switch their jobs, have already done so several times without improvement or for whom self-employment is not an option or has not worked out? There is absolutely no advice for them. I had high hopes for this book, but was utterly disappointed. The author interviewed several people, which is a good concept, but apparently all of them managed to get into self-employment. Good for them, but not helpful for the reader. There was no information volunteered by them on how they dealt with difficult situations (apart from locking themselves in the lavatory or blocking calls and hiding in the office). Are there really no people who could have offered good practical advice or experiences in the interviews?
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HSP's are Not "Too Sensitive"!, January 5, 2004
By A Customer
Dr. Jaeger has provided a clear, concise and highly readable book for those who have been told they're "way too sensitive." As someone who heard these words my entire life, I found this book validating that my ability to be in-tune with those around me, creative, curious, and an information sponge interested in new things is NOT a fatal flaw. Rather, these attributes are strengths, and ones that the world of work can and does need from me. Dr. Jaeger's book helped me see specific techniques for thriving in a business world where my sensitivity is an asset.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for HSPs, July 24, 2009
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This review is from: Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person (Paperback)
If you are an HSP, this book is required reading. It's that good.

This has been a life-changing book for me. There is so much good information and advice here. This book describes me exactly, and the advice it gives seems right on. I am now working on implementing the author's advice in my life. This book has given me great understanding and hope. I can't recommend this highly enough.

Unfortunately, I originally ignored this book because of a review I saw here where someone said the book boiled down to just "HSPs need to work for themselves." This person could not have read this book. This books is much more than that. It shows you how to grow toward finding work that you like, and even love.

Looking back again over the reviews here, it seems to me many of the negative reviewers did not understand the main points in this book. There is no quick fix, although this book does give invaluable guidance. The author's point is that you need to grow in order to progress from Drudgery, to Craft, to Calling. This book explains the areas you will need to grow in, especially areas particular to HSPs, in order to progress to finding work that works for you.

I sense that many HSPs have almost given up on finding work that works for them. I can completely understand this, I've been there. But I think if HSPs will give this book a chance, it can provide a framework to build on. There is hope. You can find your path in this world that works for you.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply thoughtful + practical approach to sensitive work, March 15, 2004
By A Customer
This is an excellent book, and the only one of its kind that I have seen. As a very sensitive person, I have struggled all my life to find work that I can enjoy, yet which does not overwhelm me. The realities of office politics, long hours, and other demands have drained my energy and left me feeling low or depressed about work in general.
In this book, Dr. Jaeger addresses all of this. What makes for a good job fit for YOU? How does one go about determining that? What does it mean to have a drudgery job, yet to feel that in some way, one has a "Calling"? Or, is your job one that is "okay", yet some aspect is not all you'd like it to be; and what might you do about that? What constitutes "balance" for a sensitive person? Is a regular job a waste, or should I try self-employment? How do I handle noise, bullying, and excessive demands on the job? And how do I take care of my sensitive self, even if I am not emotionally sensitive; so that I have energy and zest for work AND life?
I highly recommend this book. It has helped me to understand my needs & my situation a lot. It's one of the best out there for those of us who know we have gifts, but have had a hard time figuring out exactly how to share them with the world, in a way that works for us. I'm enriched for having read this book.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally Validated, August 12, 2004
By 
rilera (Eden Prairie, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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I've struggled in the workplace for years. I've intuitively taken steps to keep myself from becoming overwhelmed by work. I figured that I was a slacker but after reading this book I realized that these steps helped to shield me from a world that was sometimes overwhelming and seemed morally wrong to me. I had numerous ah-ha moments while reading this book. I'm not so strange after all. Suddenly I have been given coping skills for dealing with the overwhelming stimulation I sometimes receive from the workplace.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable book with some great insights, June 22, 2008
This review is from: Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person (Paperback)
I have read this book through twice in the past year, and I came away from it with some valuable insights both about work and myself. That said, this book is by no means a "how-to". Jaeger presumes that the reader knows her/himself well and will use that self-knowledge to work toward creating employment that is an extension of that self. And yes, it is a process.

I liked Jaeger's divisions of work as falling into either drudgery, craft, or calling (although even she admits that it can sometimes be a combination of all three, depending on what the work entails). Reading her definitions for each term, I realized that the job I had stayed at for way too long had started out as craft and devolved into drudgery as management changed and I eventually became bored with what had once been new. So these terms, while maybe a little simplistic and general, are helpful guides in looking at one's work.

I loved her discussion of HSP intensity and how this intensity in and of itself is a stressor, so we need to take this into account in our lives. She suggests strategies for allowing this intensity enhance your life rather than letting it take you into a downward spiral (i.e., this job sucks and I'll be here forever, I'm totally trapped!!).

I also liked her suggestions on "Being Visible as an HSP." She points out that we do need to make ourselves visible, but we can do that in a way that feels comfortable to us, by giving others "quality information" about ourselves as we choose to reveal it.

What's not great about the book is the way Jaeger can come off as a bit elitist when it comes to people doing "drudgery" jobs (sample heading -- "The Maid with an MSW Degree"). She makes an important point that it's not the best idea for HSPS to take "menial" part-time work in order to keep from being overstimulated -- that such jobs usually come with a large downside -- but I would have to counter that there are times in people's lives where such a job may be not only necessary but helpful, for a while. The key is to remove yourself from it when it starts getting bad, something that can be difficult for HSPs (and everyone at times).

The book also seems a little bit scattered in the way it's written -- some sections don't seem very cohesive or even coherent -- and there are numerous grammatical and copyediting errors throughout which shouldn't have been hard to catch!

All in all this is a valuable, worthwhile read and I particularly like her idea that as we develop in who we are, we "grow our Calling toward us." (We may not be ready for Calling work right now.) But this is definitely not a book to tell you step-by-step how to get that "dream job." And that's certainly not a fault of the book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars sometimes useful, April 12, 2004
By A Customer
This is a somewhat useful book for those who accept the highly- sensitive-person designation. Ms. Jaeger provides some helpful advice, though a fair bit is so general as to render it almost useless. Also, I think even she is aware that there are many cases in which people with family obligations simply cannot afford to leave dull, menial, and wearisome jobs, however soul-destroying such work might be. Ms. Jaeger's book deserved a much more careful editing. It is full of grammatical errors, most glaringly--pronoun-reference problems and needless repetition, which frequently obstruct the message. I appreciate the efforts of the author to tackle the subject, but the book ought to have been much shorter and more finely-tuned. A good editor should have assisted her with this.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works!, January 18, 2004
By A Customer
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I liked this book because the author provides a useful framework for understanding our relationship to work. All jobs land somewhere on a continuum from drudgery to calling, with craft at the middle being a blend of the two. Moving upscale on the continuum requires personal growth, and that takes courage, intention, and [yes] hard work. But I also found tidbits that I could put to immediate use, like how our mistakes often sabotage us and land us in drudgery. In that regard, the author recounts her own experiences in pizza delivery after finishing work on her Ph.D., and how the work was neither easy nor restful. I waited a long time for this book. I only wish it was available years ago.
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Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person
Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person by Barrie Jaeger (Paperback - May 5, 2005)
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