One thing leads to another

Posted by on Jun 1, 2010 in origins, Uncategorized | 2 comments

One thing leads to another

A few years ago I read a book called The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Dan Pink.

If you’ve never seen a copy before now, Johnny Bunko is a career book manga style. I remember being amazed the first time I saw this book online. I couldn’t wait to read it and wasn’t disappointed when it arrived. Johnny Bunko had to be the first career book I ever read and enjoyed. Now I’m not saying books about work and careers aren’t any good, but I am saying pretty much all of the career books I read before this one didn’t wow me or talk to me the same way as a reader.

Dan Pink’s Johnny Bunko was entertaining, it was encouraging and it wasn’t talking down to me. It was a graphic novel, the hero was an ordinary guy. OK he had a set of magic chopsticks but that’s beside the point. The author and this book talked to me about my career. Most importantly they weren’t telling me what to do, in fact they were both doing the opposite… asking me what I wanted. There was some real, hard-edged science behind it too.

It sounds odd but Johnny Bunko helped me realise I wasn’t out there alone. At least one other person thought the career book format needed a jolt. Plus this book was written for an audience of readers having similar thoughts and feelings about work. All of a sudden I was in good company. Reading Johnny Bunko was a pleasure but this book also kick started something in me. Looking back now, I can see it was a catalyst prompting new questions and new ways of thinking. At the time I was thinking about all things careers. I’d already spent most of my career listening to people telling their own work stories. A rich set of data and experiences I could study and explore.

Without Johnny Bunko’s inspiration and Dan Pink’s vision, I wouldn’t have explored my career in the same way and I wouldn’t be here right now encouraging you to do some exploring of your own. I probably wouldn’t have carried on studying careers. I certainly wouldn’t have had the idea or the compulsion or the confidence to spend more time writing on this subject myself.

I’m writing this today because thinking about Johnny Bunko reminded me how one thing leads to another in our careers. Little sparks, connections and experiences happen and as a result, they make bigger things possible. My own career experiences have proved this beyond question. A big reason why I’m here sharing this with you. Still exploring, looking and listening and most definitely looking forward to hearing similar career experiences from you. Learning more about one thing leading to another in our careers.

Johnny Bunko: Even the cover was different

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Find out more about Johnny Bunko here
See just how excited I got when I reviewed this book on my first blog
See the world through the eyes of manga artist Rob Ten Pas on
Share your own story with a comment below…


  1. I know what you mean Paul – so many books are either telling you what to do, or reciting the tales of some super-hero who seems to bear no relation to our own muddling along lives.

    It’s also good to be reminded how one thing can lead to another… something social media is particularly good at 🙂

  2. Hi Joanna,
    I remember waiting for this book to arrive in the mail and being genuinely inspired when I saw the subject brought to life with the light touch of an artist, both in the writing and in the illustrations.
    As you say, it wasn’t all about the ‘expert’ telling me what to do. It focused on the guy at the heart of the story and all the questions and doubts he was facing.
    It’s funny because now I think that the super-hero might just be the girl or the guy starting their journey by saying, “I don’t know what I want or where this is going”.
    When you’re courageous enough to start there, one thing definitely can lead to another and new and good things do become possible along the way 🙂

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