Book Review: The Book of Job by Dale Stafford

Book Review - The Right Questions

The Book of Job by Dale Stafford – The business of people for people in business

Are you wanting a book to inspire your work in 2013? Searching for a lovely executive gift? Wondering what pogonophobia is? Then check out the Book of Job by Dale Stafford.

Book Review - The Right Questions

It felt like Christmas all over again – or maybe better – because the package I received, containing a limited edition of The Book of Job, was so lovely I almost did not want to unwrap it. My name and address were handwritten in attractive sweeping strokes, the package was encapsulated in crisp brown paper, and all this was sealed with red wax and tied up with red and white string. I felt special just getting it. And there was more! Inside there was a letter, once again sealed with wax, and the book enclosed in patterned paper. So now I am feeling like it is Christmas and my birthday too. Once inside the wrapping the book’s lavish gold edging glistered at me; beckoning me to open it.

The attention to detail, already evident in the packaging, continues throughout The Book of Job. One example of this is in the language as The Book of Job is written in an Old English style (or perhaps ‘Ye Olde Style’) with lots of ‘thee’ and ‘thou’, ‘hast’ and ‘canst’. I thought this might make the book less accessible (as I am more likely to speed-read business books) but the more I read, the more I was disarmed by the approach.

Content and style

I was also won over by the subject matter of the first page. The title runs “In the beginning was the word and the word was ‘Where?’ This immediately struck a chord with me, as in The Right Questions this is the first question that I pose too.

The book goes on to draw a parallel between the biblical character of Job and what we experience in our own job. The Bible story of Job is terrifying and inspiring in equal measure but Dale uses it cleverly to frame her book. There is an underlying theme throughout the book about turning challenges into opportunities as summed up in the quote on page 135:

“When a problem doth land on thy doorstep, it is opportunity that doth knock at thy door.”

This principle, underpinning the narrative, gives a very uplifting tone to the book. It is not a preachy how-to book about success, but rather a book of wisdom inspired by successful people. Therefore I feel that – although the book is penned in a fun way – the serious message of reframing the way we think about ourselves, others, life, work and success, is all the more powerful.

Book Review - The Right Questions

For me this meant that as I read through the book I found that Dale was speaking to the converted; I agreed with the points she emphasised and increasingly enjoyed the way she illustrated them.


The Book of Job is full of quotes, anecdotes, humour and insights that make it a pleasure to delve into; whether you chose to read it cover to cover or just dip in from time to time.

This is an excellent gift, especially for your friends in business, but you may not be able to resist treating yourself to a copy! Witty and engaging as well as beautifully constructed and designed, it is a pleasure to receive and to read. Well done to Dale Stafford on creating something so unique.

Oh, and by the way, pogonophobia is the fear of beards. One of the many things I learnt from reading the book!

Dale Stafford is the author of The Book of Job and founder of The Principle Department. You can find out more about her and her work at

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