Love + Work book review

Book club | 29.06.2022

Love + Work: How to Find What You Love, Love What You Do, and Do It for the Rest of Your Life – Marcus Buckingham

Our book shelf is always bursting at the seams with the latest reads. So, in the spirit of sharing, we decided to create a book club. Our newest culture specialist, Gemma, summarises her key takeaways in our book review of ‘Love + Work: How to Find What You Love, Love What You Do, and Do It for the Rest of Your Life,’ by Marcus Buckingham.

What is Love + Work all about?

This book explores how we can do more of what we love, both inside and outside of our work.

Who is it for? 

It’s especially interesting for people who work in employee engagement or learning and development roles, but it’s not jargon heavy. You don’t need any prior knowledge before you pick it up. It’s an enjoyable read – quite arresting and beautifully written at times. Anyone who is interested in self-discovery, thinking about a career change, or trying to find new meaning in what they do would enjoy it.

Light bulb moments 

Everything feels easier when we’re in love or doing what we love, so productivity and creativity flow, both in work and life.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet this book continued to surprise me by challenging some common assumptions I had around this. What is it we love about what we love? How do we discover that? Do we have to do that all the time or just some of the time to make a difference? And what happens when we try to plough on without it?

You are the best person at being you

Sure, sure. Every motivational speaker ever, right? Think again.

This part of the book tackles the perennially hot topic of identity and how that is very different from our individuality. Important and useful distinctions are made here. It uses science to challenge the notion of tribes. The reader is coached to find their unique Wyrd (pronounced ‘weird’) throughout the book. We’re asked to embrace the huge (and amazing) personal responsibility of there never being anyone who thinks exactly like us – ever again. Woah. Tear down that cat poster.

Don’t listen to feedback

Wait, what? Come on! I can hear the corporate world collectively flinching. Before L&D teams freak out completely, they should read (then re-read) the sections on feedback and fear. I expected to disagree – or at least pull a bit of a face. But in fact, this lit a bonfire of self-reflection.

It argues that reaction from colleagues (and others) should trump any subjective feedback they offer. It says pursuing development in areas outside of our unique loves are not that productive. We’re often asked to ‘ignore’ fear at work. This book tells us to bin that notion and instead, use fear to lead us towards doing what we love. Agree or not, this is thought-provoking stuff.

Summary

Listen, I could bang on about this book for ages. From the pleasing cover to the informal and often personal writing style. I enjoyed reading it, despite my usual cynicism and busy life. This book challenged me to think about what I really love, rather than what I’ve been told that I’m good at, how I work and how I can apply this thinking. Give it a go.

Would you like to read Love + Work?

Once we’ve finished reading a book, we share the headlines and then send it to anyone who wants to read it. Once you’re done, you can either let it live forever on your shelf or share it with someone new.

As always, if you’d like to read this book, email hello@wearethecultureclub.co.uk. We’ll pop it in the post to the first person who asks.

Love + Work book review