The Search

Finding Meaningful Work in a Post-Career World

From the New York Times bestselling author of Life Is in the Transitions comes a bold new road map for finding meaning and purpose at work, based on insights drawn from hundreds of life stories of Americans from all backgrounds and vocations

When Bruce Feiler completed his last book, which introduced readers to the idea of the “nonlinear life,” he realized that the greatest frontier of change in the world is work. Unprecedented numbers of Americans are quitting their jobs, rethinking their routines, breaking away from stifling expectations. We’ve lived through the “great resignation” and “quiet quitting.”

The most suffocating iron cage of all is the premise that each of us must have a career. We must follow a linear path of success, locking into a dream early, always climbing higher, never stopping until we reach the top. Few ideas have created more misery, squandered more human potential, or ruined more relationships. Feiler resolved to help us all imagine better.

From thousands of hours of interviews with an extraordinarily diverse group of Americans, Feiler has distilled a powerful new vision for how to think about work. He shows that our lives are upended by a stream of “workquakes” on average every two and a half years. Sure, some people set a goal and stick with it, but far more of us revise our passions, change our directions, and rethink our priorities. The Search empowers each of us to stop chasing someone else’s dream and start chasing our own.

After dismantling the three lies about work, Feiler lays out the one truth: that each of us must write our own story. Showing that the people who are happiest at work don’t climb, they dig, Feiler introduces the six questions to ask in a workquake that allow us to perform a “meaning audit,” tapping into our truest selves and our deepest hopes to create the meaning we crave and the success we deserve.

Both timely and timeless, this book arrives as the world reimagines our basic assumptions about work—and shows that the answers involve not following the outdated scripts of others, but giving yourself to yourself, learning to dial into your own inner voice and turning the volume all the way up.