Do you ever feel unsure about what you’re doing with your life? Wake up in the morning and think, “Am I really doing what I’m supposed to be doing?”
Whether it’s where you live, your choice of partner, or your career path, there are many things that can cause a sense of dissatisfaction or restlessness. We all feel these things from time to time—but what we choose to do with these thoughts is what sets us apart.
Some people are dissatisfied, but feel stuck, so they don’t change anything.
Others choose to do something about their discontentment, and they look for ways to change the things that are making them unhappy.
Chris Guillebeau is definitely a man of action. He set a goal to visit every country in the world before he turned 35—and he achieved it! He gathers thousands of people every year in Portland for the not as scary as it sounds World Domination Summit. And he regularly seeks out people who are doing inspiring things and shares their stories through his writing (his other books include The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup).
Born For This is Chris’s newest book, and it’s all about helping readers find the work they were meant to do.
This topic is especially interesting to me since I spent over two years writing about jobs and career paths when I worked at AfterCollege and oversaw the AfterCollege Blog.
If you see someone who loves their work, it’s easy to think that they were just lucky, or as Chris puts it, they “won the career lottery.” And it’s true that some people have an innate sense of their calling and everything just seems to fall into place for them. But that’s only a small percentage of people.
The larger percentage of people have to experiment, trying different jobs and industries before they find something that’s a good fit.
In the past decade or so, there’s also been a shift in the types of jobs that are available. There are now so many more options for people who want to start their own business or freelance.
In Born For This, Chris offers anecdotes and advice for every type of employment, whether it’s a side hustle, firefighting, or DIY rock star. I love the stories and quotes from real people that appear throughout the book. These are further proof that there’s no single way of finding your career path—you can step in gradually by trying out small projects or jump in head first.
The book also features a few suggestions for activities and exercises you can try to help find the answers to some of these big questions if you don’t already know what you should be doing. I took the short quiz online and found the results to be surprisingly accurate and enlightening!
Chris’s writing style is clear and engaging, so Born For This is an easy and enjoyable read.
I think that ultimately, experience is the best way of assessing whether you’d be suited for a particular career, and reading a book won’t give you the same insight that an internship, informational interview, or job shadowing session would. But if you’re at the stage where you don’t even know where to start (or you just want to hear some entertaining and inspiring stories about other people’s quests for career happiness), Born For This is the book for you.