The Changing World of Work

By Elizabeth Beddingfield

Daniel Pink, author of the graphic novel “The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need,” gave a lecture in the auditorium of the Evans Liberal Arts building at Texas State University Tuesday afternoon that focused on innovative steps toward career advancement.
Pink centered the lecture on what he called the seven lessons of satisfying, productive careers: (1) There is no plan; (2) Think strengths, not weaknesses; (3) It’s not about you; (4) Persistence trumps talent; (5) Make excellent mistakes; (6) Leave an imprint, and (7) Stay hungry.
Pink also said that one of the most direct paths to satisfaction in a career is to make decisions based on fundamental reasoning, what you enjoy; instead of instrumental reasoning, what may or may not be lucrative.
“The genuine ambiguity of fundamental reasoning is far better than the false certainty of instrumental reasoning,” Pink said.
Persistence and risk-taking are essential to advancement according to Pink. Talent is important but it only goes so far.
“The world is littered with extremely talented people who did not persist. There is a crisis of self direction in this country,” Pink said.
Pink got the idea for creating a career book in the Japanese style of a manga graphic novel after he received a Japan Society Media Fellowship that took him to Tokyo in 2007.
Pink admitted that to the average American, creating a career book in the format of a graphic novel was peculiar.
“People who read comics in the U.S. are thought of as freaks and geeks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” Pink said.
He went on to explain that in America, graphic novels are typically youthful stories about superheroes. Japanese comics discuss everything from time-management skills to cooking to politics.
Pink realized the changing format of the job market, the economy and the boom of the information age in which people will watch a video online before checking out a book at the library, could be reflected in the new medium of graphic novels.
Pink received his BA at Northwestern University and went on to law school at Yale (though he never practiced law).
“Law school was 99 percent instrumental reasoning,” Pink said.
Pink is the author of two other career-motivated books along with several articles on business and economics that can be found in publications such as The New York Times and Harvard Business Review.
Texas State University is one of several stops Pink is making on a month-long tour of speeches through the United States and parts of South America.

Elizabeth Beddingfield
Top picture courtesy of danpink.com.Show all

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