Book Summary: The Search (2023) By Bruce Feiler

Book review

Hey there, fellow freelancers! Ready to dive into the intriguing world of reshaping your career path, finding that ever-elusive work-life balance, and creating your very own success story? Buckle up, because we’re about to embark on a thrilling journey through Bruce Feiler’s illuminating book, “The Search.”

Picture this: you’re cruising along the winding road of your career when suddenly, reality hits like a ton of bricks. The myths you’ve held about work come crashing down. Feiler kicks off with some lies about work that have become a norm in our way of thinking.

Lie #1 – I have a career. the career path you’ve been treading might not be as linear as you thought. Remember how we were told that a career is like a well-paved highway leading to glory? Turns out, it’s more like a rollercoaster ride. New technology has caused a shift in the work paradigm, today’s world of work is anything but the linear representation we give it in our CVs. We now have to concentrate not only on the periods of stability, but also on periods of instability.

Lie #2 – I have a path. Feiler introduces us to the concept of “workquakes” – which are those disruptive moments that flip your work world upside-down, but also redirect you to a more meaningful path. A new job, going back to school, or even a global pandemic can all be game-changers. It’s a little scary, but these “workquakes” can lead to unexpected growth, renewal, and self-discovery. Feiler says that on average, individuals experience a “workquake” every two years and 10 months and that women encounter them 22 percent more often than men. So effectively, no one has a “path” per se, and most people are veered off course due to unexpected circumstances. Feiler names these “butterflies” – the encounters that can lead you down unexpected avenues. His advice? Chase your butterfly!

Lie #3 – I have a job: the illusion of a single job. Gone are the days of having a solitary 9-to-5 job. In this economy, you’re a jack of all trades – a multitasking maestro. Feiler unveils “Work360,” which describes how in today’s world we’re juggling different things at any given time: work, responsibilities, and passions. It’s not just about the main hustle that provides you with an income; it’s about the side gig that brings you additional or passive income, it’s about your hope job (yep, even your dream of becoming a pet psychic counts), it’s about your care job which involves the daily care we provide to others like our families and friends, and lastly, it’s about those “ghost jobs” that haunt our thoughts like struggles with self-confidence and finances. You’re not alone – all of us have more than one job, and they’re not just about punching a clock.

After Feiler debunks these myths, he zooms in on the one glorious truth about work: In this everchanging world of work, YOU are the master of your destiny. You’re the navigator of your career ship, steering through choppy waters and serene horizons alike. We have to think about work as a delicate balance between effort and meaning, with success defined by our unique equation.

Ever pondered what success really means? Feiler suggests that we need to forget society’s yardstick – and sculpt our own personal masterpiece. He talks about conducting a “meaning audit” on ourselves. This involves reflecting on the past, examining the present, and crafting the future.

Feiler guides us through a “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How” dance of self-discovery. For each section, we have to reflect on our past thoughts, ponder our present, and envision the future of the person we want to become.

  1. Who – the hero of your story, you: Who are you? Who influenced you in the past? Who influences you now? Who do you want to become?
  2. What – your plot: What were your past, and, what are your current aspirations, role models, and life experiences? Next, he suggests thinking about your current work situation and what feelings and emotions arise when you think about it. What do you want to do about it?
  3. When – your work story: When did it start to take hold? Do you want your current story to continue or is it time for a change?
  4. Where – your backdrop for success: Where did you most desire to be as a child? Where do you want to be right now? Where do you want to be in the future?
  5. Why – your purpose: Are there recurring patterns are there in your life? What is your main purpose right now? What do you want it to be in the future?
  6. How – making everything happen: How will you transition from now to your happily ever after? How can you change? What is the best advice you can give yourself?

Feiler wraps up with something you all know deep inside: you’re in the driver’s seat. You wield the pen and at any time, you can write or rewrite your unique work story. In a world where people are daring to quit their jobs to chase dreams, you need to be the hero of your own saga. Embrace the freedom, redefine success, and forge your path with intent. Your success story isn’t just a chapter – it’s a whole book waiting to be written!

So, fellow freelancers, are you ready to rewrite your work story? Toss out those outdated scripts, chase your butterflies, and create a symphony of roles and passions. Your career canvas is waiting for those bold strokes, and it’s up to you to wield the brush. Your journey begins now!

About the author

Bruce Feiler is a renowned American author and speaker, known for his expertise in writing about family dynamics and personal growth. His main merits lie in his ability to blend personal narratives with insightful research, offering readers practical guidance. Feiler has authored several best-selling books, including Walking the Bible, The Secrets of Happy Families, and The Council of Dads, which have garnered widespread acclaim for their engaging storytelling and valuable wisdom. He’s also a long-term writer for the Sunday New York Times.

Leave a Comment