Unschooling Yourself Part 2: Unlearn What You Have Learned

Mod note: this comment was posted last week in response to ITF's bog post "Unschool Yourself" and deserved its own spot on the homepage.

Flesh, you are spot on. It's refreshing to hear this kind of attitude on WSO. I haven't posted on here in a while, because I've become bored with hearing from college kids that are still, albeit unknowingly, wearing their blinders. All they see is "prestige" (I wish this word would die a long horrible death), and they are all reinforcing to each other this myth that they will be "successful and happy" if they can check a list of boxes on their resume. (target school? BB internship? Top MBA?)

I grew up a middle class midwestern life. I did well in school and my parents' friends always told me I'd be successful. But, I was never really rich or poor. In high school and early college, I worked for four summers on a construction crew, alongside guys that were making ~$20k a year (plus wife making similar money). Juxtapose that to my evenings, which were spent in a social circle with girls and guys from the 1% (although that term didn't exist back then). I will tell you something that forever has shaped the way that I view "success" and "happiness:"

Rich or poor, EVERYONE has the same sorts of problems.

Love the Job You're With

Love the [Job] You’re With

“MGoTrade, just wanted to follow up regarding that interview with you. They’ve decided to move on to other applicants. If there are any other opportunities that fit your experience, we will let you know.”

We’ve all been there. You hear of an opportunity and you want to make it happen. You spend hours picking at your resume and cover letter (which you know they’ll only spend 15 seconds reading anyway). You call every friend and friend of a friend you can to learn everything possible about the company or industry into which you’re applying. You hear back that the company’s interested and that they want to bring you in. Then, there is delay after scheduling delay. This guy’s traveling, and that guy’s booked. Finally, the planets align and you get that itinerary. Next thing you know, you wake up to the hotel phone recording: “This is your wakeup call. Good luck today.”

Game time.

The Gift of Mentorship

“2009 was not a great year to graduate.” The long-tenured VP at a major energy firm shook his head as we discussed that year’s job market. “My life has taken a different path than I originally thought, but it sure has made me tougher and stronger.” I replied.

This website is full of young people struggling, like I did, to really begin the career they want. Our generation has a bad habit of looking to the internet for instant answers to life’s difficult questions. The internet is great for solving bar arguments or finding great deals on air travel, but you need more firepower for serious professional issues. You need a mentor.