Customer Reviews: The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success
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on September 25, 2000
The Pathfinder is light-years ahead; Nick Lore has literally reinvented career counseling. If you want more than a job, this book is loaded with tools that really work . . .
As a career columnist and coach I've spent the last decade researching to find innovative career development tools. Most of what has been around for the last 25 years is job finding focused. If you need help with choosing your career direction, traditional tools will fail you miserably. All my mid-career clients who've been through the high school and college systems say, "There really isn't much "life direction" counseling going on!" The more recent career books on the shelf have made attempts to fill this gap, but most of them make only small improvements to traditional tools that never really worked. Nick Lore has upped the ante . . . raising the bar of the career counseling profession to a whole new level.
The Pathfinder is brilliant. Nick Lore's insights into human nature had me bursting into laughter, laughing at myself, and completely rethinking what a "career" is. Much like how transformational movies stick with you; Lore tugs on your heart and soul; you'll never see your career in the same way. Despite your fears, he inspires you and gives you powerful tools to do something with your life. Nick Lore is a witty storyteller and social scientist who has invented a way to get you moving in the right direction. Intuitively, you get that the depth of Lore's tools and inquiries can only come from someone who has committed himself to a life's work. Rockport Institute's approach to measuring innate talent and aptitudes is pure genius. Lore exudes a genuine-ness rarely seen, and you can tell the he has lived and breathed this stuff. On top of all that, The Pathfinder is wonderfully written and even has cool illustrations.
I've been using this program in my private practice, my clients all say they wished they had this before they went off to college and majored in the wrong field. They are getting results, and changing their lives . . . simply amazing. Once you've "done" this book you'll wonder why it hasn't yet become a key component of our educational system. In this regard, I highly recommend The Pathfinder to successful, but unhappy professionals, hard to please dreamers, and anyone who knows something is missing in their work but can't put their finger on it.
To better guide future high school grads from the frustrations of spending lots of time and money on a degree that doesn't fit, I also recommend this book to the US Secretary of Education, high school counselors, college career centers, and parents. Dear fellow career professionals, you are going to love this book. As a writer I quote from this book constantly, recommended it to my mother at 59, and use it exclusively with my career change clients. If you're between the ages of 16 and 102, The Pathfinder just may well become your pocket guide for living an extraordinary life, or just keep hoping the answer will come someday . . .
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on August 1, 2000
I am a career coach with eight years of experience working with people wanting a new career - a better fit with their talents, more meaningful, a better work environment. I have to admit that, at times, I have felt that there was something important I didn't learn in my master's program in counseling. I have used books such as Parachute, Zen and the art of... and many others. They are o.k. but not great. I read a review here where a career counselor highly recommended The Pathfinder. I got it and it has changed my life completely. This is by far the best book for you if you are deciding on a career or thinking of changing, if you want a very fulfilling life and are willing to go for it. This book is about having not just a great job. It is much more than that, a book about having a great life. The author is a genius. Besides that, he has the wisdom of a real Zen master, but unlike most wise men, he has no pretensions about it. He is just a regular person, and very cool at the same time. Most importantly, The Pathfinder is the only book I have ever found that can actually take you through to the point where you have actually decided what you will do with your life. Get it. You won't regret it. I now use it with all of my clients. Not only is this THE book for people making their own choices, it is also the best book for people who want to be more skillful at helping their clients do so - coaches, therapists and so forth.
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on July 25, 2000
I've read a lot of personal development books & used a lot of personal development tools. More than most people-- make that MUCH more than most people. I guess I figure that the way to continually become a smarter person is to find a REALLY smart person & listen to what they have to say. I don't typically rave about books, I've never posted a review on before but with this one I just HAD to.
Nicholas Lore is brilliant. His book spoke right to me. It could not have been a better training session if he had been sitting with me in my living room. His advice is right on, so painful at times it true to life at times that you'll laugh out loud. An excellent resource to help you take a good hard look at your life, your goals and your ability to have a career that leads to a lifetime of satisfaction & success. He helps you discover all of the right questions to be asking yourself... and he does it in a FUN way. I read it cover-to-cover in one weekend. And I did most of the exercises twice.
This book is not over anyone's head. Nor is it written below anyone's comprehension level. It's straight forward, from the hip, talk about how to want it, plan it and get it. I'd recommend it for anyone who is committed to investing the time & effort to help yourself grow.
At $14 this book is a steal (oops, I hope Nicholas isn't reading this). Invest in yourself!
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on March 7, 2000
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It came highly recommended but I expected nothing more than a good guide to designing a new career. It is that and more. In the midst of working through it I discovered my assumption that I just needed to know more about what careers might fit me was scratching the surface. Under the surface was reality. I was living my entire life at a comfortable "equilibrium", not going for having an extraordinary life. This book not only helped me get off my duff in terms of deciding on a new career but also on fulfilling goals in nearly every other area of my life. Whereas before I felt like I was just going with the flow and taking what life gave me, now I feel like the man on the cover of "The Pathfinder" steering my own ship in directions of my own choosing. The author mixes just the right amount of practical career design steps with deep wisdom about human nature. This is a good book for you if you want to have a life you love and the part you want to deal with now is having a career you love. It is also funny, very well written and fun to read, except when you are working on the hard parts of figuring out what you will do. It might not be for you if want to take the easiest road to picking a career or just want to read anecdotes and theories. If you want to dig into deciding what to do with your life, this is one powerful book!
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on October 24, 1999
I'm a career counselor in private practice, working with mid-career changers and young people making these decisions for the first time. This is one of only two books I recommend to my clients. "The Pathfinder" is the only book capable of completely guiding an intelligent person through the process of choosing a career direction. The author is probably the best career coach on the planet. He is a sort of humorous, down-to-earth Zen master, who understands you completely, and knows how to get you to look into all the areas of your life that are important to consider in making a great career choice. These days, many of the best career coaches/counselors/guides base their way of working with their clients on his methods. The book is both profound and practical. It will work for you if you are seeking a life of meaning and purpose and also if you simply want your career to fit you "like a custom-made suit".
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on April 11, 2000
A simple five-star rating does not fully capture the quality of this book. I recommend The Pathfinder as the sole resource for anybody who is chosing a first career, career change, or any life event that requires a deep understanding of one's core interests and goals in life.
I have always felt that people who offer the best advice are those who are able to frame the right questions. Nicholas Lore has mastered this art. The Pathfinder enables the reader to discover his/her most hidden desires and provides a guide to identify a career that incorporates each of these desires.
Reading the Pathfinder (and completing ALL of the Inquiries) I was able to isolate the core elements of all my childhood dreams and identify a career that incorporated each of these elements. Within four months I was able to secure a my dream job. As a bonus, the career I chose provided me with a 40% pay raise (not to mention equity in the company).
I highly recommend this book to anybody who is tired of being controlled by their circumstances and truly seeks fulfillment from their work.
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on September 19, 2000
During a few years of much vocational confusion from high school through college (also working full time in a technical field), I had read several career books. Silly enough, I even began feeling like something of an "expert" on the resources available simply because I had milked so many! In time, I finally answered and solved all that one could with the few passing counselors and dozens of books, working through my unique situation. But in light of all my previous reading and hearing the hype about the "latest" career book wonder, I wanted to see what was so special and different about The Pathfinder. Although I was certain that I had probably seen every practical approach to this topic, reading the introduction's grand claim sold me. It boasts being a solution for everyone regardless of their amount of exposure to such a search. So, I gave it a read. I even believed I might learn something new. Note: as best as I could, I approached this book as though I had just embarked on the quest for this first time so that any new help and info could be properly credited to the book's ability to dig it out.
Of all the career books I've read, The Pathfinder by far caters to the most limited type of audience. The author clearly tackles the subject as best as he can from his business-oriented personality, reducing life down to a short-sighted "let's win" approach with no perspective or goal beyond the material rewards of effectively being employed. I couldn't overlook the corporate, rah-rah feel of this text. Many like myself reading this would find swiss cheese: big gaps of information and substance.
In his writing style, the author has overcompensated the surplus of empty new-age gimmick books to the point of disrespecting the potentiality of any spiritual guidance or insight to an alarming degree. Regardless of career focus, being bombarded with these capricious comments continually left a sour taste in my mouth which did not make the Pathfinder an enjoyable read. Even worse, by the tone in his work he also ridiculously seems to think the bulk of his audience are basing their every move superstitiously on any chance circumstance to guide their lives rather than rational, conscious decision-making. At first I laughed, but as it continued, I was even further irked by this man's personality. While I can innocently enjoy SOME degree of satire in response to the few gullibly charmed among us, this brings me to my next point:
At a supposedly-pivotal point in the book the reader encounters the BOLD chapter in which he asks you to *choose* something and then proceeds to only explain the obvious: that it isn't a path carved in stone, falling into yet another full-fledged lecture*. No kidding! Is this the big difference of The Pathfinder? Common sense? I was expecting a well-organized book designed to help the reader develop an effectively plan for choosing and pursuing career goals, not a climactic lecture on the importance of making a decision.
But perhaps Pathfinder IS different somehow: *unlike other career guides, the author's writing primarily is a collection of lectures as a way of TRYing to meet the needs of all different people rather than simply presenting the information from a higher level of understanding in a productive fashion.
Lectures aside, I didn't see any originality in the techniques given in The Pathfinder despite the bold assertion. This was a let-down because I thought the outright claim was in fact dishonest sales ploy. While there are many, every technique and inventory splattered in the Pathfinder I have already seen multiple times in older books and resources.
Granted, if the book wasn't half-filled with self-boasting about how marvellously efficacious THE PATHFINDER is, I'd probably give a kinder review. If I could overlook the continual insults to my belief in God's guidance and purpose as well as my own intelligence and common sense, maybe I'd even shift the two stars up to three for the sake of the collection of some time-worn exercises. But in the end, I surprisingly found The Pathfinder to be not only fruitless but somewhat offensive. (And -eh heh- I've never experienced that with a reference book before!)
Personally, I recommend: "How to Find the Work You Love" by Laurence Boldt and "How to Find Your Mission in Life" by Richard Nelson Bolles. These have helped me more than any other book or counselor on this topic ever have. If you've searched a bunch, the usual inventories are old news to you, and you want to explore a truly different approach - maybe give "Test Your Job Aptitude" by James Barrett a whirl. -- Cheers, an "INF/TP"
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on February 6, 2009
You spend about a third of your life (or so) working, so it's a hefty chunk of your time. Therefore, it would be nice if your job was truly satisfying. That's why this is a such an important book for a lot of people- job satisfaction can definitely equal greater happiness in life.

At over 300 pages, the book is a bit on the long side. It also is quite detailed, so don't expect to pick it up and have all the answers in an hour or two- there are exercises and "things to do", so be prepared to put some elbow grease into it. But remember, if it was that easy to figure out how to have a satisfying career, we wouldn't need career counselors or books like these. In the end, you will get what you put into it. Besides, the book isn't just about having a great career, it's about having a great life. Also recommend "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World" for more on setting specific goals that can bring one long-term happiness.
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on June 4, 2003
I ordered this book as well as a couple of others based on positive reviews. Simply put, the book is a disorganized jumble of exercises, projects, lists, quotations and observations. I sensed that the book might not live up to its hype right from the beginning, when the author began telling us all about himself. I have an open mind, but my time is valuable and I really don't give a hoot about how deep and meaningful his life has become. Intentionally or not, his exercises consistently seek to remind reminds us what a deep, introspective thinker he is. In a subtle way, it's all about him, NOT you.
The author, despite his philosophical leanings, can't seem to coherently and cogently express his own philosophy. Instead, he repeatedly nags us to take various inventories of ourselves and make decisions. We are also treated to a jumble of personality tests, but he doesn't put it all together, and there are way too may examples and sidebars for any of it to be useful. Furthermore, the section on games that people play reflects a view of human nature that I found bizarre and even disturbing. Ultimately, it was a dull, dreary and distracting tour rarely visited with any real insight or humor.
The book is full of rhetorical questions, exhortations, quotations and supposedly deep observations that lead us on a cosmological path to nowhere. Perhaps he is a better counselor than a writer, I don't know. What I do know is that somehwere between planning and execution, this book has gone horribly wrong. I wish that I didn't feel that way, because my impression is that Lore did work very hard on his manuscript. Unfotunately, the finished product is wordy, unwieldy, scatterbrained, boring and unhelpful. This could have ben a bigger a waste of time, but fortunately I realized it was going nowhere and decided to focus instead on doing some good by writing this review to warn others!
I will say that one of the books I ordered was everything that this book is not. That book is: I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It -- by Barbara Sher with Barbara Smith. That one is consise, practical, honest, straightforward and fun to read. I saw myself in several of the examples that were presented and gained real insight. Unlike The Pathfinder, Sher doesn't claim that her work will revolutionize your life, but in a quiet way, her book does far more good. Most importantly, it is a more compelling read and ultimately it is the author(s)' writing ability that should justify a strong review. Yes, I will need to learn and read more in order to facilitate my career search, but at this point I just wanted to say that I am literally dumbfounded how anyone could recommend The Pathfinder. It's beyond useless.
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on October 25, 2009
I purchased this book hoping that after reading it I would have a clear understanding of a career or careers that would fit me. After reading the reviews here at Amazon I thought this book would answer all my questions. But, after reading the whole book, 374 pages of redundant ramblings, and a notebook full of useless lists, I was at the same point I was at before reading the book: clueless as to which career path I should pursue. The author keeps promising that all the work you are putting into it will pay off with solid answers as to which career you are best suited for. Well, you get about 3/4 of the way through the book and he tells you to use his $500 career counseling service to see which careers are best for you. Disappointing and very dishonest. Nicholas Lore should be ashamed of himself. This book is just a big, long commercial for his Rockport Institute overprised $500 test you can take; that is the only way to get the careers list you'd be best suited for. Don't buy this book, it is a waste of your time and money!!!!!!
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