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How to Find Fulfilling Work (The School of Life) [Paperback]

Roman Krznaric , The School of Life
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 May 2012 The School of Life

The desire for fulfilling work is one of the great aspirations of our age and this inspirational book reveals how one might make it a reality. It explores the competing claims we face for money and status while doing something meaningful and in tune with our talents. Drawing on wisdom about work that is to be found in sociology, psychology, history and philosophy, Roman Krznaric sets out a practical and innovative guide to negotiating the labyrinth of choices, overcoming the fear of change, and finding a career that makes you thrive.

One in the new series of books from The School of Life, launched May 2012:

How to Stay Sane by Philippa Perry

How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric

How to Worry Less About Money by John Armstrong

How to Change the World by John-Paul Flintoff

How to Thrive in the Digital Age by Tom Chatfield

How to Think More About Sex by Alain de Botton

Frequently Bought Together

How to Find Fulfilling Work (The School of Life) + How To Stay Sane: The School of Life + How to Change the World (The School of Life)
Price For All Three: £17.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447202287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447202288
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roman Krznaric is a writer, cultural thinker and founding faculty member of The School of Life in London. He advises organisations 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 latest book is EMPATHY: A HANDBOOK FOR REVOLUTION, which looks at how stepping into other people's shoes can create personal and political transformation. His previous books include THE WONDERBOX: CURIOUS HISTORIES OF HOW TO LIVE, which explores what we can learn from the past about better living, and HOW TO FIND FULFILLING WORK, which is part of The School of Life's acclaimed practical philosophy series edited by Alain de Botton. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages. His blog dedicated to empathy and the art of living,, has been featured in the media around the world, and he is also founder of the world's first Empathy Library at For further details see

Product Description

About the Author

Roman Krznaric is an author, cultural thinker and founding faculty member of The School of Life, where he teaches courses about work. He has been named by the Observer as one of Britain’s leading lifestyle thinkers, and advises organisations including Oxfam and the United Nations on using empathy and conversation to create social change. For more, see

The School of Life is a London-based enterprise that is dedicated to the most useful ideas relevant to the dilemmas of everyday life. We consider questions like: How can we fulfil our potential? Can work be inspiring? Why does community matter? Can relationships last a lifetime? We don’t have all the answers, but we will direct you towards a variety of useful ideas – from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts – that are guaranteed to stimulate, provoke, nourish and console.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and original 28 May 2012
Although I'm retired, I've struggled to find interesting work at times during my working life and now that I'm free to do what projects I chose, I've find it hard to know which to prioritise, so I got this book.

I wish it had come out years ago while I was still working. It has a very different approach to other career-guidance books; for instance, it argues for finding ways to try out the jobs you're thinking about - as many as possible - in some form or another, such as work-shadowing because it's only by trying them that you'll find out how much you enjoy them (or don't). Other books recommend doing lots of research first and then making the career switch - thinking first, acting later - whereas he's recommending acting first, thinking later.

He also has some interesting exercises for thinking about how you've ended up with the career you've had so far - that stuff alone was worth buying the book for!

I've found this book a real help in choosing among the unpaid work I've been thinking about and I've recommended it to a friend who has been stuck for years in a job she hates while struggling to come up with an escape plan.

It's short (125pp or so) and I read it in a couple of hours. I like books that say what they have to say without padding it out or repeating themselves to make you think you're getting your money's worth.

Highly recommended. I've just ordered his "The Wonderbox", which also looks great. His website is interesting too - he does a lot of work on how to encourage empathy in society.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful, this book may change your life 11 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With a headline like that and five stars, then it's fairly obvious I love this book. I have a number of the "School Of Life' series and find them to be highly thought provoking and invariably motivate me to make changes in my life. As they say, they don't give all the answers, merely provide the toolkit for you to create your own ideas.
This book is no exception (it has already prompted me to change role within my current organisation), it is an interesting read and provides some great ideas and exercises to get you thinking about what you want from a career. There are a number of exercises which I highly recommend completing - the exercise to understand what motivates you is particularly useful. I'd recommend working through the book in order to get the most from it - the format then allows for dipping back into certain sections for further reference/ideas.
Overall, the book encourages you to examine what you want from a career and go for it, but not in a 'I quit' type way. The book recommends experimenting with other careers as 'branching activities' that you can do alongside your day to day life. This can be a challenge when you have a full time job and kids, but since reading the book, I've commenced several branching activities to help move me onto a different career path.
Definitely worth reading this book for so many reason, the top 3 being:
1) The exercise to understand what motivates you and how you got to where you are today
2) Encouraging you to take action immediately and begin some branching activities
3) The links, references and further reading in the appendices - I always find new things in here when I re-read them
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Krznaric took on a noble task - namely trying to help people escape less than satisfying jobs for something more fulfilling. As much as this is a relatively common complaint the author also limits himself early on to advising more or less those of us, who have enough of a safety net to be able to experiment - in other words, the book works best for the middle class. As stated repeatedly throughout the book, little of the advice is useful to those really struggling to make ends meet.

Where you are on that spectrum will then naturally determine how useful you find the book.

The book consists of a combination of research, single cases of people who successfully made the changes in the way advocated and the author's interpretation / own experience. If I was to make an assessment on the balance between the components, it is probably mostly light on the hard research supporting the findings.

Be that as it may, most of the advice is intuitively appealing, even if occassionally a bit naive in terms of how easy / hard it would be to implement the advice offered. One of the main thrusts of the book - namely to exeriment more and analyze only after acquiring some experience is certainly interesting. Few people will be ble to really afford long sabbaticals and serial experimentation in the way recommended but many of the other options described may very well be doable for the average career seeker.

While I find the book adds value, I feel there is better material out there. Something like Pink's
... Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very fulfilling read 26 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is it has to be said a very fulfilling read. If you're wrestling with that common conundrum of balancing security and income with happiness and fulfilment you'll quickly see you're not unique. What's more you'll discover how we arrived at this place - where more of us dislike work than enjoy it.

Finally, Kznaric shows you how to discover your vocation - perhaps even your mojo!

Buy it - read it - then do something about it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts, but with dubious assumptions and advice
In some respects this is quite a good book, but I have substantial reservations. Overall it includes a good discussion of the various things that people seek from work - money,... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Ben Finn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Delivered swiftly. And it was a singed copy!
Published 24 days ago by Natashca
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful and down-to-earth book
Very useful and down-to-earth book. It's not like other similar book who only show the success stories. I read it twice and it really helped me move on.
Published 1 month ago by Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As advertised.
Published 1 month ago by laura emberson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love the series
Published 1 month ago by Sam
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the collection
Changed some preconceptions I had about my own career. Love the collection.
Published 3 months ago by Hugo Tavares
1.0 out of 5 stars Dream Factory
If you have a secure and sufficient amount of money in the bank this book maybe for you, if not, forget it.
Ridiculously out of touch with the real world.
Published 7 months ago by Anthony D. Burton
2.0 out of 5 stars Good in theory,but not applicable to the real world i'm afraid!
I bought this book and found it very interesting,but have tried emailing various companies to receive some experience work shadowing and carry out the conversational research as is... Read more
Published 7 months ago by olly
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, assertive book
The book was easy to read and brought simple, effective ideas for something so important as work and career. I recommend it.
Published 9 months ago by pinto valeria
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
A delightful and fluid reading, full of very good references. Although the book is tiny, you will get lots of clever insights from it.
Published 10 months ago by luciene calabria
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