What Can I Do When I Grow Up?

The School of Life. Jun. 2020. 160p. ed. by de Botton, Alain, ed. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781912891207.
Gr 4-9–The School of Life, a global organization founded by author and editor de Botton, aims to provide people with tools and techniques to gain knowledge and lead more fulfilled lives. This volume focuses on careers and finding a satisfying way to answer the question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” The book begins with a historical look at careers, including tracing the increasing specialization in jobs. There are chapters on concepts that are seldom addressed in the typical career guide, including why it is hard to do, visible vs. invisible jobs, and how professional work is different from school. Some chapters discuss the role of money in career choice and why some people get paid more than others, as well as what it means to have meaningful work. The easy-to-read text is entertaining and contains examples and analogies that are both creative and relatable. Mason’s colorful cartoon-style illustrations greatly enhance the text. Most chapters end with an activity to reinforce and apply the concepts presented, a feature that would be especially useful for teachers and guidance counselors.
VERDICT Recommended as an entertaining and thoughtful volume on careers and the many factors that influence career choice.

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