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The sustainability books you need in your jobseeker’s library, Part 1

by Shannon Houde

I’ve been ordering up a storm on Amazon these past few months and I just had to share my best reads with you. There are so many books out there for jobseekers, career changers and ‘what should I do with my life’-ers that it can feel overwhelming! Throw a green, sustainability, social impact, or corporate responsibility lens into the mix, and it’s even tougher to know where to start.

To help you figure out which books are right for you, I’m grouping my favourites together into themes. In today’s blog, the theme is ‘What should I do when I want to do everything?’ Below are my reviews of two books that anyone asking themselves this question should put on their wish-list!

Refuse to Choose

By Barbara Sher

Are you fascinated by a new thing every week? Do you find it impossible to choose just one career when there are so many exciting things to do out there? Do you start lots of projects, but finish far fewer? If you answered yes to these questions, you might just be a ‘Scanner’, and if you are – this book’s for you.

Barbara Sher describes scanners as those of us who are ‘genetically wired’ to never be satisfied with one area of interest. While in the 1800s the idea of having broad and varied interests was something to celebrate, today’s niche-driven world of ever-narrowing expertise doesn’t quite see it like that – which can leave scanners feeling like a square peg in a round hole.

For those of us who can recognise that we are scanners, she tells us it’s ok. Others who find our behaviour unsettling and unfamiliar simply don’t understand what remarkable, multitalented brains we have. I like this woman!

Throughout the book, Sher gives real life examples of the different ways in which scanners operate and explores what makes a scanner tick. In part two, she asks us to decide which type of scanner we are from narratives on the way different types operate, and offers a multitude of tips and explanations on how to actually manage our scanner tendencies to maximise our passions, lifestyle and career.

This is a must-read for anyone with too many interesting ideas, and not enough time to pursue them. Highly recommended.

The Renaissance Soul

By Margaret Lobenstine

Sub-titled as ‘life design for people with too many passions to pick just one’, Lobenstine’s book picks up where Barbara Sher’s ‘Refuse to Choose’ left off. ‘The Renaissance Soul’ offers support and practical life advice on how to balance an infinite variety of interests with a finite amount of time and energy, and – crucially for our purposes – how to design a career that pays you to pursue your passions.

Rather than taking a ‘day job’ that pays the bills and squeezing your dreams and interests into the hours around it, Lobenstine proposes choosing a job that aligns with your personal focus and provides opportunities to earn an income, conserve or create energy, use your time to pursue your interests, train, have access to equipment, and network. I couldn’t agree more – the ‘Aim Your Compass’ career planning tool I use with my career coaching clients was developed with this same outcome in mind.

All too often, people with ‘renaissance souls’ see their ideas and their incomes as mutually exclusive entities – and as I tell so many of my clients, it’s simply not the case! Life is so much more satisfying when we integrate the two. In this book, Lobenstine offers some inspiring thoughts and tips on doing just that.

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