We all hate our jobs. Well, I hated my job, which is exactly why this book ended up in my handbag. That, and my adoration for The School of Life and anything connected to Alain De Botton. In How to Find Fulfilling Work, Roman Krznaric gives compact advice on how we can use our passions and talents to create a meaningful career and live a simpler existence.
Supporting his advice with statistical data and an historical perspective on the evolution of work, Krznaric asserts that nothing is beyond our reach so long as we consider hybrid careers and direct our potential toward ‘wide achievement’: excelling in multiple areas rather than swallowing the popular notion of specialisation.
The book itself is neatly set into five sections in an attempt to keep a daunting topic easy and forthright; instead of quoting journal articles, examples are made of Hollywood movies and notorious personalities.
What I liked:
I felt less alone in my discontent. The use of case studies helped disprove the idea that something is wrong if we don’t find our work fulfilling. Dissatisfaction at work is widespread and does not discriminate amongst industries or personal temperament.
Exercises in brainstorming empower the reader to think outside the box and break a potentially scary change into manageable baby steps, often by recruiting others to provide suggestions and/or an element of mentorship.
What I didn’t like:
Although the content was reassuring, I felt I was already one step ahead of Krznaric’s ideas. This is possibly just a personal impression due to months of career-change rumination; those just beginning to feel restless may be enlightened by the suggestions on offer.
Also, the exercise that suggested sending a mock personal ad to ten people was beyond my reach. Yes, I could have scraped together some friends and family to throw ideas at me, but I couldn’t get past the fear that they’d think I was circulating chain mail. Again, maybe just me.
For those who have ever wondered if there’s more to life, this pocket-sized manual will prove that there is. Encouraging and written with kindness, How to Find Fulfilling Work is for anyone wanting to get a sense of value and meaning out of their working life. As John Burroughs said, ‘Leap, and the net will appear’.