I AM A REAL FAN OF NON-LINEAR CAREERS…!!


For years we have been talking about the education bubble and the problem that colleges charge tons of money and then graduates are unemployed and in dept. Colleges are responding by becoming job preparation centers. And Frank Bruni, opinion editor for the New York Times, says this is a waste of time and resources. Here’s what’s better:

1. Skipping college
The real issue we have with admitting that college is not a path to the work world is then we have to ask ourselves why we send our kids to high school. There is plenty of data to show that teens are able to manage their lives without the constraints of school. The book Escaping the Endless Adolescence is chock full of data, and a recent article by my favorite journalist, Jennifer Senior, shows that high school is not just unnecessary, but actually damaging to teens who need much more freedom to grow than high school affords.

2. Focus on internships instead of school
Kids should be working in internships in high school. Because the best path to a good job is a bunch of great internships. But great internships don’t go to people who need money. They are mostly for young people. Yes, this is probably illegal and classist and bad for a fluid society. But we will not debate that here. Instead we will debate why kids need to go to college if the internships are what make them employable? Kids should do internships in high school and by their college years, they are capable of real jobs where they are doing work that people value, with cash.

You cannot take this route if you’re saddled with huge student loans. You can’t take this route if you’re inundated by homework in required subjects you don’t care about. You can’t take this route if you have no work experience when you graduate college. It’s too late. (Don’t tell me you need to go to school to learn, okay? People just do not belive this anymore!!!)

I was reading the Fortune list of 40 under 40 and I was struck by the career history of Kevin Feige (number 11 on the list). He’s president of Marvel Studios at age 39. He wrote that he interned with the Superman movie director as a film student and that was the last job application he filled out. That’s because if you get an internship with someone great, and your performance is great, your network will cover your employment needs for a very long time.

3. Start a company instead of writing a resume
I’m struck by Marissa Mayer (number 3 on Fortune’s list) whose announced acquisition strategy is buying small, cheap companies. Which is, in effect, buying the team. Silicon Valley calls these acqui-hires. She is looking at young people who start companies that are not necessarily successful in terms of product or sales but successfully market the founders as visionaries, self-starters, and hard workers. You can’t show those traits in school, so if you have those traits, you slow yourself down by going to school where you cannot exhibit your best, marketable traits.

4. Refuse to present yourself in a linear way
Do any work around that lets you forgo the linear obsession the standard resume format. Because linear presentations favor people who have long, rule-following careers – which don’t necessarily make you look good anyway! I could write a post ten thousand paragraphs long of all the new things people with nonlinear work histories are doing to get jobs.

People use Twitter as a resume, according to the Wall Street Journal, which requires only that you publish ideas, not any sort of academic experience.

Young people are selling stock in themselves – paying out dividends for decades at a time.

Agents represent workers who pick and choose projects that match them rather than signing on for indefinite amounts of time. The Harvard Business Review calls this supertemping. Business Week calls it going Hollywood.

But here’s the big takeaway. A fundamental shift is taking place, where the path to getting a job is massively circumventing college credentials. And, at the same time, the European and American public is fed up with the insane debt that college are expecting new grads to take on in order to graduate. (Good essay: How College Ruined My Life.)

If you are not going to school in order to “fit” into the adult world, then why are you going to school? The love of learning, presumably. But school reform pundits are 100% sure that kids will choose to learn if you put no constraints on them. They will just learn what they want. Best example: The MIT program that gave iPads to illiterate kids in Ethiopia, and they taught themselves to use it, program it, and read it in English. No teacher-no curriculum!!

The biggest barrier to accepting the radical new nature of the job hunt is the reverberations throughout the rest of life. If you don’t need school for work, and you don’t need school for learning, then all you need school for is so parents can go to work and not worry about taking care of their kids.

It takes bravery to go against the grain. It’s difficult to say that the great learning and the great jobs come from leaning out, doing things in a nonlinear, non standard way, and playing only by the rules that fit your own style for personal learning and growth.

 Article by Alexander R. Paruschke (@aparuschke)
Source: Penelope Trunk-Brazen Careerist

Acerca de aparuschke

As a professional service firm with international operations, we specialise in managing complex change solutions for different companies. apcore guides clients through Organisational Changes, Innovation Management and New Business Model Designs, as well as implement Innovative Management Strategies and Internationalisation processes thanks to our expertise and experience in various sectors.
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2 respuestas a I AM A REAL FAN OF NON-LINEAR CAREERS…!!

  1. Chache dijo:

    Interesting reading supported by solid facts. Still the main reason why people go to high-school “because I have to” is not addressed.

    Kevin Feige is an example of great success without a degree, indeed he is, but this kind of situation are only posible in creative industries such as filmmaking, comics, conept-ar, music, an so on. Many companies have high performers that are being underpaid because they lack the official piece of paper that confirms their skills, and this is exactly the only reason of going in the linear way, nobody likes it, but it is mandatory…

    • aparuschke dijo:

      Sorry buddy, but I have to disagree!!

      If you really want something and you feel unique doing what you do, than the whole world will push you conceiving it if you are perseverant!!
      It’s not true that only in creative branches such as film and comic industry people reach executive management positions without holding a propper degree: p.ex. have a look at German’s biggest TelCo Company, Telekom. It’s Chairman, René Obermann hasn’t even finished College and is the most powerful professional in the European TelCo market. Not even talking about the late Steve Jobs (Apple) or Bill Gates (Microsoft).

      Believe me, it’s most about our capacity to present ourselves differently from others and develop basic skills, such as respect, humility, curiosity, analitical skills, perserverance and no shyness and fear of making mistakes and finding yourself in a constant learning process.
      If you are able to promote those values and find yourself the adequate surroundings for your work and study, the “paper” isn´t that mandatory anymore…

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