Gina’s Reading: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Daniel H PinkAre you ready for a confession?

I’m a career guide junkie. Seriously. I think I was in 3rd grade when I first read What Color is Your Parachute for the first time. So, I only paused a moment before I grabbed Daniel Pink’s The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need.

I love this book. Dan Pink is a right-on author when it comes to spotting the trends that will define work in the coming years. His A Whole New Mind is still ping-ponging in my head 3 years after I read it. In Johnny Bunko he has managed to take those big ideas and distill them into 6 basic tenets–Manga Style. Rob Ten Pas offers the genius behind the illustrations.

Why the aforementioned pause? I am not a Manga Fan–so some of the lingo/shorthand of this format may have been lost on me–but I certainly walked away with enough meat to appreciate this effort. I also had to take a moment to laugh at the title. Last Career Guide? Ha! Great marketing! But it’s hardly going to cure my insatiable appetite for the genre. I may, however, be the rare bird that keeps reading career guides long after she’s established hers.

In an age where workers are faced with outsourcing and the end of the 40 years to a Gold Watch Plan, we have to be lighter on our feet–sure–but we also have a strong desire to make a difference, to use our gifts, and to (gasp) enjoy our work. Pink touches on all of these concepts in his story/guide. If you pay close attention, you may get to skip a downer gig or even leap ahead to something truly satisfying as you make your way along the career path.

Blissfully Organized Life

The Life Organizer by Jennifer LoudenA couple of years ago I picked up a book called The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year by Jennifer Louden. I loved the pretty cover and the full-color pages filled with thoughtful ways to redefine the traditional day planner method of organizing days and weeks into a more organic, soul-flowing method of structuring my life.

The reality was that my time was not my own. I half jokingly told people that I wasn’t allowed to write on my own calendar. The department where I worked expected me to book their meetings first, other department meetings next, and somewhere down the list I was allowed to squeeze in my family’s needs. My needs weren’t even on the radar. Lunch was often a package of crackers on the elevator. How in the world was I going to shift from this hyper-structured, out-of-my-control life to basing my days on “what experience or feeling do I yearn for today?”

It felt like I was standing in the arctic circle longing for a beach vacation. The divide seemed uncrossable.

Fast forward two years.

In this time, I have made some changes. That job is a vague memory. I still work in the same field — working toward an inclusive community where people are beloved and honored for their many assets and supported in those areas where they struggle — but in a very different capacity.

My days are my own.

Sure, I still have schedules to follow — dropping off and picking up children, appointments, meetings, and deadlines — but there is a more organic flow to my days. I work from my home office overlooking nearly 7 acres of trees and grass. I allow margin in my days. There is time to think and read and study and prepare for those deadlines and meetings and appointments.

I am less available but more present.

Thanks, Jennifer, for sending the map to a way of life I didn’t even know was possible.

It is bliss.

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