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Get Beyond the Bad Advice that Family and Friends Give
on April 1, 2008
Young people mostly get their career advice from friends (who usually don't have any more experience or knowledge than they do) and family (who base their ideas on what worked three decades ago). Either way, you get off track pretty easily.
There's plenty of good career advice in books and articles, but most young people wouldn't sit still long enough to read those sources. A Whole New Mind author, Dan Pink, comes up with a great solution: Create a career advice book in the form of manga.
Most career writers when they want to simplify a message use a fable, with a few illustrations that show the key perspectives. The fable is clearly secondary to the details.
In The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, the story is more interesting than the advice. Having read a lot of Mr. Pink's writing, I thought I knew what he would probably advise. But I didn't realize that he would make the story so interesting, and that the manga format would add so much power to the story telling. Nice work!
What's the advice? Let me rephrase to make it clearer to you:
1. Don't be rigid about planning out each step well in advance . . . it's not possible to do.
2. Build on what you're good at (Peter Drucker originated that one) and avoid relying on what you aren't good at.
3. Focus on what you can do for others (start with the boss) rather than what's in it for you (you can read more about this in How to Be a Star at Work).
4. Keep at it. Practice makes perfect.
5. Take on big challenges and learn from them.
6. Make a difference.
I like this advice. I hope my youngsters will read this book and apply it. I know they probably wouldn't if it came from dear old Dad.
If I could add one piece of advice, it would be to:
Set some written goals about how you want to spend your life. Those goals will help you keep focused.
Well done, Dan Pink and Rob Ten Pas!