The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need
by Daniel H. Pink
Riverhead Trade, 160 pages, $10.20
If you've ever felt frustrated and believed that your career search was becoming almost comical, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko may be just the tool you need to put things in perspective. Presented in a manga comic format, the advice here focuses on how you should be doing things and how to survive and flourish once you've landed a position. With an engaging story, author Daniel Pink has created a fun and informative guide that speaks to Gen Y readers and more experienced job seekers alike. His observations about the working world speak to the reality of today's quickly shifting landscape, and fly in the face of a younger generation that expects instant career gratification.
The story begins with our hero Johnny Bunko fresh out of college vying for a job. He lands one at the Boggs Corp. where he goes through a series of missteps before he encounters a genie anxious to impart career advice. Here are six lessons Bunko learns on the job:
1. There is no plan. (The economy changes too fast for your career to have a plan)
2. Focus on strengths instead of weaknesses. (Find your advantages)
3. It's not about you. (Serving others serves you best)
4. Persistence trumps talent. (Keep showing up and practicing)
5. Make the right kind of mistakes. (Take risks, but fail forward)
6. Leave an imprint. (Do something that matters)
The wisdom here is delivered indirectly, making it great for readers who normally wouldn't be receptive to traditional career advice. Bunko's story covers the topics of fate, failure, selflessness, persistence and leaving a legacy. The comic form makes it visual and succinct, and the remarkable thing is that Pink keeps the tone from becoming childish.
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko's refreshing originality makes it a must-read for anyone trying to figure out what they want to do career-wise. It's ideal for college graduates, and those trying to reinvent their career or begin a new one. Although it may not be the last career guide you'll ever need, it makes a great first one for young people and those with offbeat approaches to their professional lives.