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The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,695 Ratings  ·  272 Reviews
View the animated video for The Adventures of Johnny Bunko and check out popular books for the new graduate here.

There’s never been a career guide like The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). Told in manga—the Japanese comic book format that’s an international sensation—it’s the fully illu
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Riverhead Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Bob Redmond
May 15, 2009 Bob Redmond rated it liked it
Shelves: graphica
Reading the NY Times Magazine one Sunday, Amy asked over the breakfast table: "have you ever heard of Daniel Pink?" I had not. She insisted that I get his books and read them. The article she was reading (on early childhood education) cited Pink on the importance of creativity to our contemporary culture. The article addressed kids in particular (for instance, said the report: even if kids test high on academic achievement at age 5, this is no indicator of future academic success, and may even r ...more
Peter Derk
Aug 21, 2015 Peter Derk rated it liked it
It's back to school time!

Guys. I hated school. Like to the point that I can't even step foot in a Target between August and September because I get the dry heaves.

So this book has some okay career advice. I mean, it's good, it's just that advice is always hard to take. I appreciate the attempt to make it palatable, and I do think it offers one good point, which is that you should pursue stuff you're interested in, even if it doesn't have a strong A to B career path. Because hell, you probably wo
Jun 12, 2011 Poonam rated it it was ok
I think art work was good and narrative was fine. But, by way of content, I found it bit superficial. It has 6 take-aways that when it comes to one's career:

1. There is no plan.
2. Think strengths, not weakness. (That is work what you are good at rather than where you have to work on weaknesses.)
3. It's not about you. (Contribute to team, project et al.)
4. Persistence trumps talent. (No, it doesn't contradict 2. Think about it.)
5.Make excellent mistakes.
6. Leave an imprint (wherever you go).

The b
Rizwan Latif
Aug 02, 2016 Rizwan Latif rated it it was amazing
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is written in Manga-the Japanese comic book style by bestselling author Daniel Pink. I completed this book in just 45 minutes. I just loved the concept adopted by the author to deliver key points in a comic format without compromising the prose style. The book is enjoyable to read.
The synopsis of this book is the following 6 points:
1. There is no plan. Do what you love to do. Sticking to a infinite plan is not advisable. Do what motivates you, what excites you. An
Jan 01, 2009 Jaymi rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
(Adapted from
Last month, I was reading an article about Daniel Pink and how he went to Japan to study the art and culture surrounding Japanese comics, otherwise known as manga. He was interested in the format's popularity; this was a book format that people of all ages enjoyed reading. He studied the culture and the form to see how it could be applied to other disciplines successfully. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is the result of that study. This introductory guide on life
Jan 15, 2009 Maya rated it liked it
For what this is- this book is brilliant.

What it is? It's a self-help career guide. Mr. Pink, a former White House speech writer, elected to use the Manga storytelling style to reach his specified audience in a unique way. His justification- Why we read a book if you can do a google search?

In 6 deliberately fast reading segments, Pink discusses the following principles:
1. There is no plan
2. Think strengths- not weaknesses
3. It's not about you
4. Persistence trumps talent
5. Make excellent mistake
Jan 28, 2010 Jackie rated it it was ok
This is a novel way to get students thinking about how to choose a career. Very wise advice.
Terry Johal
Nov 26, 2015 Terry Johal rated it really liked it
What is this book about?
This is manga about a young man who has begun his job after leaving university. He is struggling and lacking in motivation in his job. A life coaching angel comes his way who he can then summon by breaking disposable chopsticks! She gives him six chopsticks and each time he breaks one, she turns up to give him one axiom of wisdom. Each axiom helps him take the next step of his career, but but this step inevitably needing to break another chopstick to get another axiom to
Jul 01, 2014 Hriday rated it really liked it
My introduction to the world of Manga! And also career guides! Insightful and simple! I should have read it when i was 21!
Barry Davis
Feb 16, 2016 Barry Davis rated it it was amazing
Subtitled “The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need,” this intriguing little book is written in manga (Japanese word for comics, read all over Japan on a variety of topics). Clearly written to connect the newer workforce (the style is illustrated comic book panels with the narrative in bubbles, etc.), it is nonetheless quite insightful, humorous and extremely practical in its focus.
The protagonist, Johnny Bunko (his adventures continue at is in a dead-end job as a “bean counte
Sep 15, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite graphic novels. Johnny Bunko shows different kinds of tips for you to getting a job. It's a pretty interesting book including tons of conflicts and advice. I would say this book is one of my favorites because I enjoy graphic novels, and I enjoyed the plot. I don't want to ruin this for you guys, so I'd recommend for you to read it. Fun, interesting, and entertaining book.
Mark Valentine
Mar 12, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it liked it
It takes 45 minutes to read this graphic novel and I'll save you that much time by listing "the six career secrets" and you can decide if you still want to read it.

1. There is no plan;
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses;
3. It's not about you;
4. Persistence trumps talent;
5. Make excellent mistakes; and
6. Leave an imprint.

Pink's book acts as antidote to the bland, safe, "good experience" kind of career counseling. I remember my father telling me once when I was 17 and had started working in a fast
Marian Abou Samra
May 19, 2014 Marian Abou Samra rated it really liked it
This is more of a business book which helps someone that hasn't lived in the outer world yet. I say this because in the first part of the book, which introduces the main character Johnny Bunko, he hates his job so much but can't do anything about it. He sits at work and spends all of his time at this job he hates. In the graphic novel, they inform you that "bunkoing" means screwing up. His work is to collect balance sheets but he always messes up, or "bunkos" them. He needs to find a new view to ...more
Nov 06, 2009 Nathan added it
For its length, the best career book I've read. Combines the latest in "how to find a job you'll do well at - and do it well" in a succinct story in manga format. A good concept, well executed.
Eric Wallace
Oct 10, 2015 Eric Wallace rated it it was ok
A few paragraphs of career advice wrapped into lots of unnecessary... manga.

Okay, so I'm not a fan, but I thought there was a chance it would be interesting. Turns out it's more the after-school-special kind of pandering, what adults feel that "young people these days" might like. Starting off by assuming your audience are morons who will identify with the loser hero of the story did not get me started on the right foot.

Thankfully, Dan Pink has written plenty of other normal non-fiction books fo
Nov 22, 2015 esterb added it
Shelves: read-2009
Johnny Bunko works for Boggs corp. in a dead end job in finance. He majored in accounting because his father thought that was a safe way to go, although Johnny wanted to chose advertising or art history and drawing.
When he needs to pull another all-nighter he goes to grab some noodles. Once back at his seat in the office he opens his chopsticks and something magical happens: a genie named Diana appears before him to teach him the six career secrets he has to know to exploit his potential and rea
Nov 25, 2014 Richard rated it liked it
Shelves: business, self-help
This is a career advice book in the form of a Japanese anime-style comic book. It's also a very fast read (under 30min cover-to-cover) that offers the following six tips for how to have a successful career.

1. There is no plan
2. Think Strengths not weaknesses
3. It’s not all about you
4. Persistence trumps talent
5. Make excellent mistakes
6. Leave an imprint

The whole comic book thing wasn't my style, so I didn't like the book all that much, but I would recommend it for a young college-age or perhaps
Ashleigh Baumgardner
Highly recommended for the visual learners out there, much of the content from Pink's "Drive" condensed into one delightful comic book style story that takes ~30 minutes to read.

I'm really not sure what to rate this book, it is really creative and I could easily see it being a 5 to some people. It is short and simple, and that is part of the genius, Pink has taken something with a huge amount of research behind it and made it easy for people to read. That said, I prefer digging into the research
Jeffrey Pfaller
Feb 28, 2016 Jeffrey Pfaller rated it really liked it
And now, for something completely different.

I’ve been bingeing on Tim Ferriss’ podcast for a few months now (Seth Godin and Scorpion founder Walter O’Brien will straight up blow your mind). Every episode he asks his guests which books have been most influential to them, and which one they give most often as gifts.

The result – I’ve got a huge backlog of non-fiction books to pore through. This one isn’t your standard NYT-bestseller-with-esoteric-title-and-person-in-mid-power-move cover.

The Adventu
Jamie Wiggins
Apr 26, 2015 Jamie Wiggins rated it really liked it
A short comic book (manga-style) that attempts to give some helpful advice for a successful and happy career. It offers six rules to follow in order achieve this professional fulfillment.
1. There is no plan.
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
3. It's not about you.
4. Persistence trumps talent.
5. Make excellent mistakes.
6. Leave an imprint.
These are all very thought-provoking and helpful pointers that I will be contemplating throughout the coming months and perhaps the rest of my professional life
May 09, 2009 Serri rated it liked it
Shelves: business
This book was recommended by my colleague's father, who is a college professor, and was particularly interesting to me on two levels.

First, Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, made a point of identifying six important skills sets that individuals will need to be successful in the future (Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning--have to read the book to get the full understanding of each, but I highly recommend it). From a 30,000-foot view, Pink applied his own Whole New Mind th
May 31, 2010 Caren rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Told in the style of Japanese manga, this is Daniel Pink's advice to high school/college students or other young people just beginning their careers. When Johnny visits a Japanese restaurant and breaks apart his wooden chopsticks, a magic girl, Diana, materializes to offer him advice. She tells him that when he needs help, he need only snap apart another pair of chopsticks and she will appear. During the course of the book and her appearances, Pink chalks up six pieces of advice for those plotti ...more
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
Feb 16, 2012 Vicki (The Wolf's Den) rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Vicki by: Kevin Smallwood
~ Amazon ~ Powell's ~

My dad picked this up as he was perusing the bookshelves at Goodwill. I was pretty surprised when I saw it since he primarily reads only non-fiction, and definitely not picture books. But he said he'd heard good things about it, and had read the author before. So I shrugged and didn't think any more of it.

A week or two passes and he shows up with it again. Says I would really enjoy it and get some good advice out of it. I grabbed it, mostly for my sister who's a huge manga e
Estevo Raposo
Jun 04, 2012 Estevo Raposo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Con el subtítulo de “la única guía que necesitarás para tu futuro” y el corolario de “El primer libro empesarial con formato de manga” Empresa Activa publica Las aventuras de Johny Bunko, un comic que cuenta una historia escrita por Daniel H. Pink y dibujada por Rob Ten Pas. En ella, Johny Bunko tiene la suerte de que la fantastica e increible Diana, que aparece cada vez que separa unos palillos de Sushi, le transmite seis secretos esenciales para el triunfo. Son estos.

1.-No hay un plan. No pued
Dore' Ripley
Sep 25, 2011 Dore' Ripley rated it really liked it
Part advice guide, part career guide, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, can help young people navigate the real world before they get there. Daniel Pink, the author of Drive, helps explain life with his patented life lessons. From "There is no plan" (not to be confused with "Don't make any plans"), to "Make excellent mistakes," students quickly learn that life often takes unexpected detours.

The book is done in a manga-esque black-and-white style with each chapter devoted to one of life's lessons.
Jun 23, 2010 Klara rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Recent high school graduates, especially future humanities majors.
Shelves: manga
I've noticed reviewers on several websites criticizing this volume because it offers only "obvious" or "common sense" sort of advice for succeeding at work. This might be true for people who have spent enough time in the working world to pick up on which particular traits lead to success and which to failure; college students and anyone else just starting a career, however, need not agree. As a college student with no real work experience myself, I found the book's advice useful. It is true that ...more
Almothana Alghunaim
Dec 31, 2012 Almothana Alghunaim rated it really liked it
Before I start :D, I just realized that the author is the same speaker who gave a famous TED talk, The Puzzle of Motivation: that has been illustrated in a second famous video: which in fact was an interesting fact :D

Now back to the book :D

The book delivers a great career advice in a beautiful "manga" style. You follow the main character, Johnny Bunko, through a wonderful adventure while discovering new journeys in
Jun 06, 2010 Beth rated it liked it
I had to check this book out for myself. As a veteran career counselor, I wanted to see what career advice could be given in graphic novel format. The premise was cute, but I had trouble agreeing with the very first tenant: "There is no plan". There is always SOME sort of plan, otherwise people would accomplish nothing. I am not a big fan of knowing what I'm going to do from hour to hour and like room for spontaneity, BUT if Johnny Bunko had no plan, he would have just sat in his pjs in his pare ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I LOVE the overall message of this book! So many people think that they have to take a certain career path that really isn't necessarily the best thing for them. This book gives six lessons that help clarify how someone should approach career decisions. As I read it, I realized that I've been following this exact guidance my whole life when it comes to business/career decisions. The fun thing about this book, is that it's written in comic book form, and so it's really great for a teenage audienc ...more
May 09, 2010 Reid rated it really liked it
Overall: Like Pink's other works, the revelations of Johnny Bunko aren't quite as revolutionary as I anticipated. High expectations aside, however, this is a good little story that makes some broad but insightful points about career paths and uses a new medium (manga) to do it. The artwork is good (Rob Ten Pas is the artist) and surprisingly funny. I actually laughed aloud several times, just because of a goofy illustration, like when Johnny gets clocked with a stapler. The book has fun with its ...more
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Daniel H. Pink is the author of a trio of provocative, bestselling books on the changing world of work: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and Free Agent Nation. His next book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, will be published in 2010.

Dan's articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including The
More about Daniel H. Pink...

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“Persistence trumps talent.
What's the most powerful force in the universe? Compound interest. It builds on itself. Over time, a small amount of money becomes a large amount of money. Persistence is similar. A little bit improves performance, which encourages greater persistence which improves persistence even more. And on and on it goes.
Lack of persistence works the same way -- only in the opposite direction.
Of course talent is important, but the world is lit erred with talented people who didn't persist, who didn't put in the hours, who gave up too early, who thought they could ride on talent alone. Meanwhile, people who might have less talent pass them by.
That's why intrinsic motivation is so important. Doing things not the get an external reward like money or a promotion, but because you simple like doing it. The more intrinsic motivation you have , the more likely you are to persist. The more you persist, the more likely you are to succeed.”
“There is no plan...You need to make smart choices, But you can make career decisions for two different types of reasons.
You can do something for instrumental reasons -- because you think it's going to lead to something else, regardless of whether you enjoy it or it's worthwhile...or you can do something for fundamental reasons -- because you think it's inherently valuable, regardless of what it may or may not lead to.
The dirty little secret is that insturmental reasons usually don't work. Things are too complicated, too unpredictable. You never know what' going to happen. So you end up stuck. The most successful people -- not all of the time, but most of the time -- make decisions for fundamental reasons.
They take a job or join a company because it will let them do interesting work in a cool place -- even if they don't know exactly where it will lead. They're not fools. They're enlightened pragmatists.”
More quotes…