There’s Nothing Wrong With Being A Damn Hippie
The last few days have seen a number of posts (most of ’em here, one external) on education, employment, STEM vs. Other Fields of Study, and the like, where various members of the League have been working out a number of different issues all at once.
I recommend all those linked posts and almost all of the commentary linked therein, by the way.
I have three summary takeaways I’d like to share with the League. Distillations, as it were.
If you learned nothing else from all of those above posts, this point alone is worth $200,000.
As Tod says here: “I will tell you that the person that gets the job is always someone that has networked into the organization… that myth of an HR exec finding the resume in a stack for a single position? I doubt it ever happens these days.”
This has been the one piece of advice that nobody gave to me as an undergraduate (or in high school, for that matter), but it jibes with my 20+ years working experience. Your major field of study has everything to do with your employability in the post-academic working world… only to the extent that you used the opportunity to become linked up with people who hire other people. Joining – and participating in – a fraternity, or a volunteer organization, or an honors society… or working an internship, or getting involved in a political campaign, just about anything where you interact with people who are the sort of people who hire people… are more likely to yield you a job than busting your hind end off and netting a 4.0 GPA in a triple major of Physics, Philosophy, and Business Management. If you’re still in school and you’re looking at #OWS and worrying about getting a job in this economy, do some of those things.
Blake Hazard graduated from Harvard University. I’ve seen her perform live, it strikes me as reasonably probable that she’s delightfully barmy. I really doubt I would ever hire her to work in an office environment. But that’s okay, I’d rather have her doing this:
As many problems as we have with our economy, it’s still pretty awesome that people can make a living doing that, particularly when they’re good at doing that, even more particularly if they’re good at that and they would make terrible accountants (no implications meant towards Ms. Hazard and the likelihood of her grokking Financial Accounting). Whatever else it is we want out of a society, let’s keep that, and enhance it.