Great blog entry…reproduced below (and recommended reading by Stepanie )
No direction home
There are millions of college seniors beginning their job search in earnest.
And many of them are using the skills they’ve been rewarded for in the past:
- Writing applications
- Being judged on visible metrics
- Showing up at the official (placement) office
- Doing well on the assignments
- Paying attention to deadlines, but waiting until the last minute, why not
- Getting picked
- Fitting in
The thing is, whether you’re a newly graduating senior (in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt) or a middle-aged, experienced knowledge worker looking for a new job, what the best gigs want to know is:
- Can you show me a history of generous, talented, extraordinary side projects?
- Have you ever been so passionate about your work that you’ve gone in through the side door?
- Are you an expert at something that actually generates value?
- Have you connected with leaders in the field in moments when you weren’t actually looking for a job?
- Does your reputation speak for itself?
- Where online can I see the trail of magic you regularly create?
None of these things are particularly difficult to learn, if you are willing to be not very good at them before you’re good at them.
Alas, famous colleges and the industrial-education process rarely bother to encourage this.