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How to Find Fulfilling Work

(The School of Life)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,401 ratings  ·  253 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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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  2,401 ratings  ·  253 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Doing what it says in the title, Roman Krznaric explores the concept of meaningful work for those who are unhappy with their 9-5 and looking to change that. And he does a pretty good job of it!

Approaching his subject via a variety of disciplines, Roman frames work itself within a historical context, showing how it has evolved over time (mainly with an eye to the West) as well as incorporating psychology to explain how we can entrap ourselves in jobs that offer us money and status but fail to pr
Dec 16, 2015 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
May 23, 2012 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
Sleepless Dreamer
Jun 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a good book but it just isn't the book for me. The next month is going to be one of the busiest I've ever experienced (might even beat May 2016, let's see) but review to come, one day! For now:

Israeli-Palestinian Seminar Adventures:
- The post-seminar depression is very real.

- It's so beautifully normal. We're just friends, close friends who haven't seen each other for months. Israelis and Palestinians beat each other up in the streets last month and yet, we can still simply be friends
Eleanor Liu
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Jun 11, 2012 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 rated it it was amazing
Read in one day. Insightful and inspirational.
Josh Thomas
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic read! Roman Krznaric provides actionable steps to finding fulfilling work and explores the stories of famous (and not so famous) men and women who created and nurtured their vocations or "dream jobs". It doesn't matter if you're a twenty something just starting out in their career or an established workplace professional - I think anyone would benefit from the knowledge within this book. ...more
Sophie Butler
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-re-read
This is exactly what I needed at this stage of my life. Roman gives you the tools to work things out for yourself without being overbearing. The use of philosophy etc to explore the subject matter is fascinating and means the book is educational on a number of levels.
The breakdown of fulfilling work into the categories of flow, meaning and freedom was eye opening but also touched on things I already knew yet hadn’t been brought into such sharp focus for me. I think this is the most important bo
Michael Nazari
I recommend this to anyone who is unsure of choosing a career or unfulfilled at their current job. Krznaric really captures the modern challenges of vocation and how to go about exploring different jobs. As someone who feels as though I'm not the one-career-forever type, it's relieving to hear about others who changed careers or have multiple ones. For those of us who have a hefty handful of interests, this book is a wonderful tool. ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciated this, I felt like i could relate to it a lot and it had feminist perspectives so that was well done imo!
Rob Thompson
About the book: If you feel trapped in your job or long for more fulfilling work, you’re not alone. How to Find Fulfilling Work explores the core components of what makes work meaningful and full of purpose, detailing exactly which steps you need to take to find work that brings out the best in you and keeps you truly happy.

About the author: The Observer named author Roman Krznaric one of Britain’s leading popular philosophers. He teaches at The School of Life, of which he’s a founding member, a
Thurston Hunger
Apr 04, 2014 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."

Mark Joyce
May 26, 2016 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
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone looking to improve the meaning in their or their children's lives
Best book I've read on what it means in finding fulfilling work. I haven't read many book in this area, however, this brief book offers an excellent compilation of what lies behind fulfilling work while having few, simple yet deep exercises to get started. Other books, booklets or artilcles that I've read were longer, more elaborated and so forth, but they ended up aiming at perfection instead of getting me really thinking and working into this topic. These other book, eg, the wonderful, well wr ...more
Mahmoud Shehata
Dec 18, 2013 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 23, 2014 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
Doug Newdick
Aug 09, 2013 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
Apr 29, 2013 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 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
Not exactly a prescription or a blue print, but it helps to explain why we’re always looking for one and not likely to find one. More of a philosophical approach to thinking about work and job satisfaction. He argues we need meaning, flow and freedom in our work lives. And that while meaningful work is possible, it’s also possible to find meaning and fulfillment outside of work. I don’t know how helpful all of this manages to be in terms of figuring out where you want to be, but there was someth ...more
Jul 24, 2014 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
I really enjoyed this book! There are a lot of gems within it's pages for anyone who's trying to decide where they want to take their lives career wise. Unlike a lot of other self-help books, Roman Krznaric's book offers concrete, tangible methods to help readers figure out their next career move. The book itself is short and will take you maybe an hour or two to get through (3 hours and 48 minutes is the actual audiobook duration). I highly recommend everyone read this book if you get the chanc ...more
Dave Emmett
Jun 16, 2013 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. ...more
Apr 28, 2013 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. ...more
Feb 27, 2016 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.
Sarah Evan
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very neat examination of the concept of work, and stories of individuals who found fulfilling work through various modes. Also, what it means for work to be fulfilling and some trial-and-error experiences to learn from!
Keith Brooks
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended . Lots of wisdom here .
Alan Fricker
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A short read but worth the time. Ways of thinking about work and ways to explore thinking about what work could be.
Targeted at people with highly paid, unfulfilling jobs, but a thought-provoking read for all of us. I very much like the idea of the "radical sabbatical". ...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

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