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The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One

Author: Margaret Lobenstine
Publisher: Broadway
ISBN-10: 0767920880   ISBN-13: 978-0767920889
It can take half a lifetime to decide what you want to be when you grow up -- especially if you’re what veteran career coach Margaret Lobenstine calls a “Renaissance Soul.”  Lobenstine puts a positive spin on modern Leonardo da Vinci types.  While today’s specialists have reason to worry about buyouts, outsourcing, and forced retirement, Renaissance Souls are highly adaptable, which gives them an edge.  But they do need help focusing their diverse talents and energies. 

Lobenstine’s helpful new guide is a road map to stability for creative souls who thrive on variety but need help paving a practical career path. It’s the perfect graduation gift for the student who’s inclined to choose a double major in, say, astronomy and Russian literature. It’s also required reading if you’re a middle-aged manager facing a layoff and wondering if you could manifest your old pipe dream of tending an organic vegetable farm while you compose independent film scores on the side. 

Where to begin? Lobenstine advises Renaissance Souls to list their passions, then focus on a few they can pursue in a reasonable sequence. In other words, it’s possible in one lifetime to be a museum curator, a forest ranger, an engineer, and a romance novelist – but not all at once.  (Being a Renaissance Soul isn’t about “multi-tasking,” the author advises.) 
“It’s also important to ask yourself how you want to live and work,” Lobenstine writes. Do you enjoy teamwork or solitude? Do you love to travel, or prefer to work from home?
Refreshing our history lessons, Lobenstine challenges today’s corporate paradigm of the single-minded, ladder-climbing CEO.  More than ever now, employees and entrepreneurs must be versatile and adaptable. The Italian Renaissance, she notes, was one of the most innovative periods of western civilization. We would not, she reminds us, label Leonardo da Vinci “a Jack of all trades but master of none.”  Our own country was built by pioneers who answered more than one calling – Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, just for starters. Botanist George Washington Carver developed 325 products from peanuts, but also cultivated an interest in art and music in addition to his work as an author and a social reformer.
Today’s changing economy calls for another renaissance and a new definition of success. “What matters when you’re looking to get hired isn’t necessarily a long track record in one career,” Lobenstine says. “What matters is whether your performance sparkles with passion.”
The above review was contributed by: Cindy La Ferle: Cindy's articles, reviews, and essays have been published in the Christian Science Monitor, Reader's Digest, Literary Mama, MetroParent, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Writer's Digest, and many other regional and national publications.
Her new essay collection, Writing Home, won four awards for creative nonfiction. She serves as Writer-in-Residence for her hometown library in Royal Oak, Mi. She writes a weekly column/blog on her Web site, Cindy's Home Office.
To read more of Cindy's reviews and articles CLICK HERE and to read a conversation had with Cindy by Click Here

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