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How To Find Fulfilling Work (The School of Life)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,114 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
This is a book about how to take working life in new directions - how to negotiate the labyrinth of choices, how to think about personal ambitions and motivations, and ultimately how to take concrete steps to finding a fulfilling career.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Pan Publishing
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Dec 28, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it
The lowdown:

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
Jul 15, 2012 Jo rated it it was amazing
Do you have a niggling feeling that you could be doing something amazing with your life, but you're not quite sure what that is? Do you want to change careers, but get confused by all the options?

I've asked these questions many times, and was extremely happy to find a book about careers that was neither dry nor off with the fairies. 'How to find fulfilling work' is a self-help book without the fluff, positive affirmations, and uncovering your childhood trauma. This is self-help for thinking peop
Anita Ashland
The topic of how to find fulfilling work is such a first world problem that I was prepared for this to be a book worthy of dissing. Additionally, because none of the stories and advice in the first half of address people who have the responsibility of providing for children, and therefore don't have the luxury of taking a "radical sabbatical" and so forth, I was ready to toss it aside.

But then I came to the three exercises on pages 88-93. The first exercise asks you to spend 10 minutes making a
Eleanor Liu
Aug 31, 2014 Eleanor Liu rated it really liked it
I don't want to join the rat race.
Not be enslaved by machines, bureaucracies, boredom, ugliness.
I dont want to be a moron, robert, commuter.
I don't want to become a fragment of a person.
I want to do my own thing.
I want to live relatively simply
I want to deal with people, not masks.
People matter. Nature matters. Beauty matters. Wholeness matters.
I want to be able to care.
Thurston Hunger
Apr 04, 2014 Thurston Hunger rated it it was ok
Someone had recommended this author and this was the only book I could quickly find by him, which is a bad match for me. I'm too old and weirdly too well compensated to seriously consider jumping trains at this point

He addresses this on pp57 and then goes on a money can't buy you happiness arc. Which, yeah of course I agree in parts, but as my 11-year old quoted the other day while walking our dog and chatting, "Money can't buy me happiness. A puppy makes me happy. I need money to buy a puppy."

Jul 01, 2012 Viènna rated it really liked it
Inspiring and thought provoking, but I wouldn't have it any other way coming from 'the School of Life'. I enjoyed the doing and thinking about the various excercises and questions posed through-out the book. In a way it is an extension of ideas already floating around in my head. Having figured out that I'm not driven by money or status, I'm experimenting with branching out and have had my first conversational research to find work and activities more closely linked with my passions and/or that ...more
Nov 03, 2012 Astrid rated it it was amazing
Read in one day. Insightful and inspirational.
Mohammad Ghaffari
Mar 23, 2016 Mohammad Ghaffari rated it liked it
در حقیقت سه و نیم البته. بحث اصلی کتاب همونطور که از اسمش پیداست، دربارهی شغله؛ شغل رضایتبخش. نویسنده سعی میکنه با مثال آوردن از زندگی بقیه و کمی هم ارجاع به مسائل روانشناختی و آماری، راه و چاه خودش برای پیدا کردن شغل رضایتبخش رو مطرح کنه. دو بخش مهم کتاب به نظر من یکی مطرح کردن ویژگیهای شغل رضایتبخش بود (شخصا به این ویژگیها فکر نکردهبودم تا حالا) و دیگری چند راهکاری که برای جدا شدن از شغل فعلی و رفتن به سمت شغل رضایتبخش مطرح میکرد. یکبار خوندش خالی از لطف نیست، مخصوصا برای دانشجویان مقطع لیسانس ...more
Mahmoud Shehata
Feb 21, 2016 Mahmoud Shehata rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone starting a career or considering a career change.
Shelves: passion, good-advice
I think Roman did a great job in collection many of the most useful tips on fulfillment and purpose in one book directed toward a very important topic: career. Although I've read most of the sources from which the book draws its gist, it still worked as a great reminder of what really matters in life and what a "good" career is all about. I found the last two chapters to be the best of value and the idea that a fulfilling career has to give you meaning, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Tamlynem rated it really liked it
I really liked this book and I definitely recommend. It's roughly 200 pages and he's quoting Rousseau--what have you got to lose?
The author has got a little bit of everything in here: exercises, a few people's own experiences as examples with philosophy, history and personal experience mixed in. I think he makes a good point about acting first and reflecting later in trying to find meaningful work and the three ways to do it: radical sabbaticals, branching projects and conversational research. T
Jul 04, 2013 Inês rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Não se trata de encontrar o emprego de sonho que preenche todos os nossos requisitos - este é um ideal mitológico que é aconselhável abandonar.»

Talvez não existam trabalhos perfeitos, mas este livro explora conceitos interessantes como: o "paradoxo da escolha" - o que fazer num mundo cheio de possibilidades? -, a ciência falível dos testes de personalidade, as cinco dimensões que podem dar um sentido ao trabalho («ganhar dinheiro, alcançar determinado estatuto, fazer a diferença, seguir os nos
This book changed a lot of my thinking about work. I read it when I was desperately unhappy - not just with my job but also with my life, like, what was I even doing? And it's not that this book answered that, because hello life question, but it gave me something to hang onto to ride out the worst of it.

Basically I took from this a few things: your job can be meaningful and still make you unhappy. Your job doesn't have to define you if you don't want it to. You should figure out what makes you f
Doug Newdick
Oct 18, 2013 Doug Newdick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
While all of the School of Life books I've read have been good, interesting and even helpful, this is the best of the lot. If you are having doubts about your career, are feeling unfulfilled at work, or just don't know what to do next about your job, then this book will be of immense help. From an examination of the history of the problem - how we got to the modern era of choice and an absence of lifelong work, along with the preoccupation with the impossible demands that we make of ourselves - ...more
Stephen Bell
May 09, 2013 Stephen Bell rated it really liked it
The school of life is a fresh outlook on the philosophical self-help book, edited by Alain De Botton, the series contains six books by various authors.

Possible a little preachy and condescend at times, Krznaric covers the struggle of the monotonous process of work with aplomb. Opening with Dostevesky and finishing with Kierkegaard, we are taken on a crash course of philosophical thought, allowing us to think differently and hopefully work out what's best for us when making career defining decisi
Mar 20, 2016 Sippy rated it really liked it
Nice concise little book about making your way to meaningful work. The only thingI was less impressed with was the natural assumption and the talk about combining work/careers with families. I am sure it is relevant to many but to me it was just unwanted noise taking away the focus. Other than that, I liked it a lot and finished it within a day.
Jul 24, 2014 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
An interesting and insightful book about finding a job that is fulfilling. Many people today complain that their jobs are not satisfying, and this book aims to help those people, both with philosophy and practicality. It analyzes what "fulfilling work" means and then makes recommendations about how to go about finding it. A short quick read, though one I found full of useful information that I had to put down at times to just take in. Highly recommended, particularly for those seeking a new care ...more
Greta Hambke
Even if you are satisfied with your work life, this short book is a helpful pick-me-up. Krznaric offers some helpful advice for those seeking new career paths, as well as useful reminders for those who are happily employed. A "career" doesn't have to be the thing you are paid to do; increases in salary make little difference in the happiness department; and a vocation often isn't a random flash of inspiration and must be built over time. Also, some good book/movie recs at the end. A nice read fo ...more
Mark Joyce
May 26, 2016 Mark Joyce rated it really liked it
I try to avoid self help books, finding them patronising, poorly written and more often than not stating the bleedin' obvious as a pretext for selling something. How to Find Fulfilling Work is none of those things and is refreshingly free of the pseudo-spiritual bollocks typical of this genre. It also hits a sweet spot between being grounded in the real world of mortgages, families and responsibilities but also sufficiently provocative to spark some meaningful soul searching about one’s previous ...more
Chung Chin
Jan 06, 2015 Chung Chin rated it really liked it
What is it about?
The book is exactly as the title suggests - How to find fulfilling work. And I think that it has accomplished what it set out to do - to share with readers ways on finding fulfilling work.

What I like/dislike about the book.
This is a wonderful book! I like it a lot because Roman Krznaric shared a lot of practical, useful methods on finding fulfilling work in one tiny book. All methods shared by the author is immediately actionable. For example, the author encourages his reader
You have a high-status job but are miserable and have no joy in it
You don't know what you want to be when you grow up and feel terrible because of that
Are fairly affluent or willing to downsize a lot to follow your dreams

then this book has some great advice on changing your life around to find work that really does it for you.

If you've read a ton of career advice, had several careers and/or experience of self-employment/freelancing and are worried about making ends meet during a recession, w
Megan Hewins
May 10, 2015 Megan Hewins rated it really liked it
This is an easy and enjoyable read. I really appreciated the focus on new ideas and techniques, rather than the standard old career advice. Ideas such as act now, reflect later, job shadow, volunteer, find a way to do it on the side before you take the total leap, and of course, maybe what will fulfill you won't actually pay at all--and maybe, that's okay.

While this book has a few helpful ideas and engaging anecdotes, it serves more as a pep talk for those teetering between action and self-doub
Kasia James
Dec 23, 2012 Kasia James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
Terrifically and accessibly written, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone dissatisfied with their work. It discusses not only the philosophical implications of work for us all, but also has questions to prompt you to think critically about your own career, and then suggests some practical steps that you can take to find the next step in your journey. It doesn't give glib personality assessments, or pretend that the journey is easy, which I found rather refreshing as well.
Dave Emmett
Jun 16, 2013 Dave Emmett rated it really liked it
Shelves: advice, 2013
A nice quick read to help you find work that will be meaningful to you. I really liked the perspective that there isn't one 'right' job for everyone. The goal isn't to discover the best possible thing for you to do, because all other things aren't ideal: he more rationally explains how there are many possible fulfilling careers out there for everyone, the key is using your current context to find the option that will work right now.
Feb 25, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric

Disclaimer: This review includes summaries of conclusions and advice which are presented in greater depth and detail in the book itself.

Today’s workers want more than an opportunity to earn a decent wage. They want work that’s personally fulfilling. In years gone by, landing work of any kind was a major challenge due to barriers of gender, race, culture, educational access and exploitation by job creators. Parts of the world have made some improvemen
Rui Mesquita
Aug 16, 2015 Rui Mesquita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book to change some perspectives on the intersection between life and work.
May 06, 2015 Veerle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
warning: i'm very prejudiced, as I love!love!love! the books from the school of life.

the thing i liked about this book is that it is a story being told rather than a self-help book with tons of questions and quizes.

the book tries to make some strong statements and succeeds in this. it tries to alter your opinion on what you think is 'common' and tries to push you into the direction of what you really want and need, regardless of what is currently 'bon ton'.

the author has a very engaging writi
Apr 28, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars...Some of this is conjecture and opinion that won't necessarily apply to everyone, but I gave this book the bump to 5 stars because I would recommend it to anyone looking for career change. Good mix of wisdom, common sense, and reframing of cultural fears..practical exercises in getting started. Read the 2013 version, because it appears to be slightly expanded.
Mar 04, 2016 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A much-needed breath of fresh air for me. Krznaric examines how to find fulfilling work (or a career/vocation) from many different angles. He mines a variety of academic and popular sources to make an entertaining and brisk read (this is my second time through and I finished it in under a day).

He says there are three components to fulfilling work: that it provide meaning to the worker (money, status, making a difference, using their talents or reflecting their passions), having a good amount of
Looks like I'm sliding down into self-help jungle again... though this one might not be a full fledged one.

Fulfilling work, or life, or whatever. It's good at least to know that so many other people are also plagued by this worry. Even down to the same of having the luxury of it in a world where so many can't even have one let alone a fulfilling one.

In the end, the main bulk of the content is how to conquer the fear, things to consider, broad strategy of how to go about it and of course the una
May 24, 2015 Stephany rated it it was amazing
I only wish I'd found this book sooner, as I've inadvertently muddled my way through some of it during the last few years. But that only means that I can attest to the fact that Krznaric is right on the points he makes: a vocation need not be a call out of the blue, but something you grow (as I've done); people who leave their jobs don't, statistically, regret it (I've yet to meet a single person who does, out of the two dozen or so I've spoken with about it); and so on. I most liked the emphasi ...more
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Roman Krznaric, author of How to Find Fulfilling Work, is a cultural thinker and founding faculty member of The School of Life. He advises organizations, including Oxfam and the United Nations, on using empathy and conversation to create social change, and has been named by The Observer as one of Britain’s leading lifestyle philosophers. His works, including The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How ...more
More about Roman Krznaric...

Other Books in the Series

The School of Life (1 - 10 of 12 books)
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  • How to Thrive in the Digital Age
  • How to Think More About Sex
  • How to Change the World
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“What is your current work doing to you as a person – to your mind, character and relationships?” 4 likes
“Without work, all life goes rotten, but when work is soulless, life stifles and dies,’ wrote Albert Camus.” 3 likes
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