“I’ll go get an advanced degree because it might open up the possibility of working in X industry that I might end up enjoying.”
I understood the sentiment, but I had to laugh. I asked my friend why he couldn’t save himself two years and untold thousands and instead go ask a business in X industry if he could come in and work at intern wages for a period of months while he studied his butt off on the side to gain the necessary knowledge? This approach has so many advantages it’s not even funny. In less than a year he would know for sure whether he even wanted to work there. He’d accumulate no debt. He’d only learn the things relevant to success in that business. He’d already have an in if he was good and ended up liking it.
Ask any entrepreneur or business owner or customer or client. They’ll agree, “Show me, don’t tell me!” But we’re all obsessed with things that tell people about our abilities and attributes. We’re stuck on getting a list of reasons someone should give us a job. It’s the same mindset that was beaten into us in an education system based on getting permission for everything, even using the bathroom.
“You can’t do that unless you have the proper qualifications!”
I call it the bullet-point mindest.
It’s the idea that the most valuable thing you can attain for your life and career is a bullet-point list of external accolades, certifications, and validations from others. It’s the resume, the degree, the honor roll, and on and on. It’s also mostly bullshit.
External validation is only valuable when something more tangible is lacking. The person with little in the way of confidence, evidence of value creation, network, or experience will gain the most from formal accolades. The person who’s done a lot, seen a lot, built many relationships, and created a lot of value will have something that far exceeds the value of a static list of traits on a resume.
Rubber meets the road and a huge set of opportunities
It will come as no surprise that this is exactly why we created Praxis. We want to help top young people get started right now instead of waiting until they’ve accumulated a list of officially verified accomplishments.
It’s amazing how hungry startups and growing businesses are for the kind of talent willing to take action and build their dreams instead of making lists and planning for them under institutional authorization.
Here are three of the opportunities we have right now to work for a year with entrepreneurs in the real world and discover what makes you come alive, gain confidence, experience, skills, knowledge, and a network. No gold stars or grades can touch the value of this kind of lived experience.
Ceterus is awesome. They’re growing. They need someone with drive, communication skills, sales interest, and an ability to navigate a wide variety of diverse tasks and activities every day. It’s in lovely Charleston, SC.
Opportunity 2: Develop an international brand with a chef entrepreneur.
Smart people know to make it you have to see yourself as your own brand. This chef was not content to produce culinary creations in the confines of a restaurant. She’s built a business that inspired and educates others on the fine art of quality cooking. She needs someone to help build and manage her brand online and in person. It’s in awesome Austin, TX and includes international travel to Latin America.
Opportunity 3: Learn marketing from a growing consumer tech company.
ADS Security is at that perfect stage. Large enough to offer high-quality business experience and small enough to have an actively engaged CEO that you’ll get a chance to meet and shadow. They need sharp young people with marketing interest and writing and social media savvy. If you want to know how marketing departments function and add value to one right now, this is for you. It’s in stylish Nashville, TN.
Not just anyone…
These companies came to Praxis for a reason. They don’t just want clock-in, clock-out run of the mill credential chasers. They want eager, entrepreneurial young mold-breakers.
If that’s you, apply now. If it’s someone you know, tell them about it. They’ll thank you.