I recently picked up Dan Pink’s latest book, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need, that tells the story about a young man working in the corporate rat race who is befriended by Diana, a magical advisor with six lessons for Johnny to uncover. Because it’s a graphical, Manga-style book it’s a fast and easy read (about an hour). The lessons are fine but not earth shattering. However, the book may foster more conversations about work and careers and may engage younger readers, so that’s a good thing. Lesson #1, There Is No Plan, is good advice and in hindsight would have been good for me 30 years ago.
I was thinking about Johnny’s lessons when I heard about the CPRN’s latest research report on youth and the labour market in Canada, which makes this observation:
Canada has a relatively high percentage of well-educated young adults who see themselves as over-qualified for their jobs.
That’s where Lesson # 3 may be appropriate for youth – It’s Not About You, or as Diana says, “Of course you matter. But the most successful people improve their own lives by improving others’ lives” . Or put more directly, it’s not about qualifications, it’s about making a difference.
I would add to Johnny’s list that no one deserves a job because of some qualification, and many qualifications do not correlate directly with work requirements. The only job that a university degree directly qualifies you for is another university degree. Sitting in a classroom, writing essays and answering tests is not the workplace. Solving real problems, of importance to others, within existing constraints – is what most work is about.
For more information, check out The Adventures of Johnny Bunko.