cover image How to Find Fulfilling Work

How to Find Fulfilling Work

Roman Krznaric. Picador USA, $16 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-03069-6

The latest practical advice book from the School of Life (founded in London by Alain de Botton in 2008) deconstructs the qualities of an ideal job by guiding readers through thought exercises, success stories, and philosophies of fulfillment. Krznaric (The Wonder Box) examines many common work-related quandaries, such as an overabundance (or dearth) of employment options, premature commitments to a career path, “the psychology of fear” that keeps folks tied to a job they dislike, how to gauge whether an occupation is meaningful, and what kind of rewards are most important. The “cultural thinker” also offers useful suggestions on how to test out new professions in your spare time without making a commitment. Thought exercises pose important questions (e.g., “Where do your talents meet the needs of the world?”) and invite readers to imagine what they might be doing in parallel universes. Krznaric has advised everyone from Oxfam to the U.N., but just in case he isn’t convincing, he brings the lives and teachings of late greats like Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, and Wallace Stevens to bear on the proceedings. Ultimately, he presents Marie Curie’s illustrious career as proof and inspiration that our ideal vocation is “not something we find, it’s something we grow.” Agent: Margaret Hanbury, the Hanbury Agency (U.K.) (Apr. 23)