Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design” as Want to Read:
Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  473 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Zen and the Art of Making a Living is the life-changing book that revolutionized the career planning field by offering a new vision of work. This new edition has been updated throughout with up-to-the-minute contact information and hundreds of new bibliographical and Internet resources. It includes all-new sections on developing a successful home-based business and creatin ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (first published 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Zen and the Art of Making a Living, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Zen and the Art of Making a Living

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,639)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 11, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
This one is really good, and the book I always want to give (and sometimes have) to some young seeker mulling over their options and how they plan to earn their crust and/(or?) fulfill their aspirations. Very much a workbooky, participatory sort of thing - a tool for living the examined life. In fact, I should return to it again myself, on the proposition that it is never too late.
Nov 29, 2007 Sally rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone trying to figure out the meaning of their life
That your work needs to be something you passionately care about. Right livlihood. One of those times a book comes along at the perfect time.
May 17, 2010 Lily rated it it was amazing
Like a bible.
Graciela Guzmán
Jun 04, 2008 Graciela Guzmán rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Graciela by: Kerrie Kephart
I receive this book from my Dearest Friend Kerrie Kephart, in a moment I loose my job and I felt hopeless. I remembered what she wrote to me: "and fly your wings my batterflie". It was like a light in a dark room for me. It helps me to discover that I love to work with people, that somehow I need the contention of a institution, the lessons from the warriors, the sage, the students and... Get into too many philosofal ideas mixed with a recipes of looking for a job, was a cool breeze in a hot sum ...more
Jul 15, 2012 Venkat rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 20, 2008 Sehlers rated it it was amazing
I learned about this book from a freshman seminar I took a few years ago. It has some wonderful insights & some great tools for making you more aware of what it is you want to do "when I grow up"... unfortunately I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up.
Dec 28, 2011 Sophia rated it it was ok
I read 100% of the book until page 392... then i skimmed over sections i thought were interesting and read the quotes. This book didnt tell me anything i didnt already know.
Jan 30, 2009 JZ rated it really liked it
I found this to be of great help when I was finding the courage to work for myself instead of others.

Right livelihood is there for the discovery.
Mar 02, 2012 Martin rated it really liked it
Quite unexpectedly, this book resonated with me. It was not full of the new-agey aphorisms I was expecting but rather a subtle examination of archetype as a guide for living - a critiqued life as it were. Joseph Campbell features prominently but also Nietzsche, CG Jung, and a host of other thinkers whose work could easily be twisted to fit a shallow self-help book, but wasn't here. I really found the first part of the book, with it's explanation of myth and zen, interesting. Especially because I ...more
Michael Avery
May 29, 2016 Michael Avery rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, how-to
A good guide and workbook. I picked up this book because I wanted to discover what is my true passion in life, and this book looked to promise that if I were willing to do the work. I made it through only half the workbook, but I read the entire thing. The workbook parts are a little reductive, but I found that working through the ones I did helped me to see myself in a new perspective. Even the ones that I didn't do asked good questions that got me thinking about my life's mission. Figuring out ...more
Jan 31, 2015 Elaine rated it it was ok
In my late 20s, I got partway through the very extensive writing and reflecting that this workbook calls for, and that's it. There's only so much soul-searching that I can do.
Maybe this book would be better for people with more life/work experience -- and thus more to reflect on...?
May 22, 2016 Sheila rated it it was amazing
One of the best career, self-help books I have read. Whether you are a career launcher, looking for an encore role or considering what to do in retirement, this book provides useful dialog and activities to give you focus.
Feb 02, 2015 Adriana rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone in the midst of a job search and is feeling overwhelmed.
Recommended to Adriana by:
Shelves: business
I remember reading this book and thinking, "Why were we not taught this before?" It made the job search, career search, more palatable. Took the stress of it and gave me a new perspective to job searching.
Jeff Lampson
I've owned this book for over 15 years and at least annually I continue to soak in it's wisdom and inspiration.
Mar 06, 2015 Lori rated it liked it
it was interesting
Kelli Pearson
Jan 01, 2012 Kelli Pearson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Actually, I have not finished this book, because it's really the kind of book one takes in smaller bites. It's got a lot of stuff, and you might not need all of it at the same time. Parts of it have hit me as exactly what I need. Other parts probably would be great if I had the time to work through them. Still others, I'm just not there. I'll likely be getting it periodically from the library as needed, or I'll just buy myself a copy and carve out space on my limited shelves...
Feb 29, 2008 Kenneth rated it it was amazing
"Zen tells us that if we want to be free to play, we must be done with the agitation of envy and shame. otherwise, we can be triggered, through prize and ridicule, into performing like trained monkeys -- without ever knowing how or why"

"For good thoughts... towards men, are little better than dreams, except they be put into action; and that cannot be, without power and place." -- Francis Bacon

This book to me is about how to choose and play the "games" that's right for me.
Jun 17, 2009 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a big one and i will be referencing it for a while. really great follow up/ companion to Sark's book making your creative dreams a reality. The beginning of this book really sounds a lot like Ishmael which is what drew me into it.
Sep 22, 2012 EC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first part of this book is about looking at work philosophically. The rest of the book is pretty much like most career guides, but the approach taken here resonated a little more with me than most of the others I"ve read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2013 Mimi rated it it was amazing
Definitely meant to be taken in small bites. I love this book, and consider it a career reference book. Great for the moments when you doubt your choices and yourself.
Nov 13, 2008 Brian marked it as to-read
rec from masala. talked about after giving a diatribe about trying to make a living as an artiste. probly should read this one. [-_-]
May 30, 2007 Pioden added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wondering what to do with their life
A good workbook for those wondering what else they can do that allows their creativity free-reign while
getting them some money.
Oct 08, 2007 Lakkun rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
a lot of reading material. not simply a book
on finding a job or career. raises a lot of questions
about what we value as a society.
Jan 11, 2008 Deb rated it it was amazing
I've been reading this book for several years--a little at a time. It calms and directs me and makes me think.
Cassandra Carico
Apr 22, 2012 Cassandra Carico rated it it was ok
This is your usual self-help career book.In essence, find your bliss and enjoy going to work every day.
Apr 06, 2010 Josie rated it did not like it
Not for me. I skimmed the first hundred pages and found it a bit too wordy and academic for my tastes.
Sep 05, 2008 Tara rated it liked it
From the same class as "Finding Your Own North Star" - Would give this 3 1/2 if they let me...
Jun 10, 2010 Hailey rated it liked it
It was basically a collection of philosophy - I felt lost half the time. But it was good.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 54 55 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • If the Buddha Got Stuck: A Handbook for Change on a Spiritual Path
  • My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire
  • Who Gets Promoted, Who Doesn't, and Why: 10 Things You'd Better Do If You Want to Get Ahead
  • Career Match: Connecting Who You Are with What You'll Love to Do
  • You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career
  • Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes
  • The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success
  • Live the Life You Love: In Ten Easy Step-By Step Lessons
  • Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood
  • Do What You Are : Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type
  • Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself
  • Who Are You?: 101 Ways of Seeing Yourself
  • Mental Traps: The Overthinker's Guide to a Happier Life
  • Energy Medicine for Women: Aligning Your Body's Energies to Boost Your Health and Vitality
  • Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World
  • Organize for a Fresh Start: Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life
  • The Inner Game of Work: Focus, Learning, Pleasure, and Mobility in the Workplace
  • The Six-Figure Second Income: How to Start and Grow a Successful Online Business Without Quitting Your Day Job

Share This Book

“One's true work is never merely 'my work,' but humanity's work. It's not really self-expression, unless by 'self' we mean it with a capital S, and that Self is the Self within all mankind.” 2 likes
“No genuine artist views himself as superior in essence to others.” 2 likes
More quotes…