“Born for This:” Mastering Workplace Happiness in the New World


"Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do" is a career guide for the non-traditional (by choice or necessity) who wants to survive the changing world of work. Author Chris Guillebeau offers a plethora of ideas, examples, and optimism to help you navigate your work-life balance with a concept the book calls "winning the career lottery".

born for this

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To say that the modern world of work is confusing would be an understatement. Should you work a “traditional” or “non-traditional” job? Should you stay for job security or jump ship and embrace job freedom? All of these questions are variations on one question: What kind of work should I do? Chris Guillebeau seeks an answer in his new perspective-bending book,”Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do.”

What “Born for This” is About

The goal of “Born for This,” as stated in the book, is to help readers win the “career lottery”, Chris Guillebeau’s concept for work that pays well, gives you joy, and is psychologically rewarding. Despite what other books or articles lead customers to believe, winning the “career lottery” is not an easy task. It isn’t a matter of getting the right degree, crafting the right resume, or picking the right major. A degree, resume, and major can be parts of that journey, but they aren’t the essential ingredient.

You are.

For most of us, the career journey will likely involve many wrong turns, stops and starts. Traditionally, we are taught this is wrong, that we should focus on one career track without veering to the right or the left. “Born For This” takes an opposite view. Those career ups and downs are part of your journey to the “career lottery”.

“Born For This” encourages readers to proactively use their career ups and downs in the new world of work. Instead of trying to fit your career within the narrow confines of “traditional” employment, job seekers should embrace the new avenues of income generation and career expression made available in the new world of work: consulting, side hustle, passive income, gigs, and others to find the right balance of income, psychological benefit, and joy. Developing mastery in one or more of these avenues, the book argues, is difficult but offers a more satisfied life at work in return.

Chris Guillebeau (@chrisguillebeau) is a best-selling author, world-travelling speaker, and presenter using his background in self-employment, world travel and entrepreneurship. He recently completed a goal of traveling to every country in the world before the age of 35.

What Was Best About “Born For This”

The best part of “Born For This” is the positive and hopeful approach it applies to the work-life balance. Guillebeau advocates an alternative perspective to the “9-5” lifestyle that many people (especially Millennials) might find appealing in a constantly changing workforce. His appeal for more proactive control of one’s career is especially empowering.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

The downside of the book is that business strategies are reduced to simple to-do lists and bullet points. For many readers, the book’s optimism trumps this lack of fine detail. Other readers, seeking specific strategies might consider this book as an idea-generation tool rather than a comprehensive plan on career transition or advancement.

Why Read “Born For This”

“Born For This” is designed for anyone who wants an alternative to the traditional job environment, whether by choice or necessity. Through engaging personal examples and large doses of Millennial optimism, the book carries readers through a radical new idea about the work-life balance. Instead of trying to fit your work-life balance into your job, your job should fit your work-life balance.

This idea is characterized by author Chris Guillebeau as “winning the career lottery”. Getting to that point where you “win the career lottery” requires two things, effective use of your career history and the new options made available by the changing world of work.

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Charles Franklin Charles Franklin is a Book Reviewer for Small Business Trends. He has a background as a professional reviewer, and is also a content provider and customer relations professional.

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