The Career Adventures of Johnny Bunko
"The Adventures of Johnny Bunko" is a career advice book in the form of an anime comic book. It breaks down six essential career tips everyone should follow.
There is No Plan #
You can't plan out your career in advance. Your field could become automated, outsourced, or your life could take any number of unexpected turns in wild directions.
That's why you need to make smart career decisions, for one of two possible reasons.
- Instrumental Reasons. This is when you do something thinking it will lead to something else specific, regardless of enjoyment or if you think it's worthwhile long-term.
- Fundamental Reasons. This is when you do something for inherent value, regardless of what it specifically leads to.
Successfull people mostly (not always) make choices for fundamental reasons. This could be choosing a career or company since it meets ones passions, ideals, or just looks cool to them. They don't plan out exactly where it will lead them down the line.
Think Strengths, Not Weaknesses #
Focus less on improving your weaknesses, and more on capitalizing on your strengths. Steer around weaknesses and focus on what bring your flow. This would be work that:
- You do consistently well
- Gives you energy instead of draining it
- Immerses you
- Makes you focused
It's Not About You #
You're at a company to serve, not self-actualize. Successful people improve their lives by improving others' lives. They focus their energy outward, not inward. They make their bosses look good and help their teammates succeed.
Persistence Beats Talent #
Persistence has better long-term returns than talent does. These are people who stick with something long after others do, and keep on practicing. It works like compound interest, where it builds more positive momentum on top of itself.
Talent also matters, but talent without persistence means more persistent people will pass them by later on.
All this is why intrinsic motivation matters. Doing something because you enjoy it, not because you want someone to reward you, is the fuel for consistent persistence.
Make Excellent Mistakes #
Don't be so scared of making mistakes or taking risks that you do nothing. Excellent mistakes are ones that bring them in new directions and a bit closer to something excellent. These mistakes happen when you think big and aspire to something greater. Even if it goes horribly wrong, you'll usually learn something to make it better next time.
This means you need to accept the mistakes you make, learn from them, and keep trying. Excellent mistakes carry risk, but no mistakes at all carries even more.
Long story short, learn enough from failures that they become victories.
Leave an Imprint #
A big question people ask, looking back on their careers, is if their work mattered or made a positive change. Ask yourself these heavy questions now before it's too late to change your life's course. Your time on the Earth is limited, so use it well.
You don't need to save the world or end world hunger if you don't want to. But they focus their energies on a larger purpose, one that leaves their companies/families/communities at least a little better than before.