Thursday, May 17, 2007

Interview With A Careerist

Over at Guy Kawasaki's blog there's a great discussion with the Brazen Careerist on careers and career advice.  I liked a couple of these questions and answers:
Question: Will getting an MBA or any other type of advanced degree be a good use of time and money since I can't find a job?

Answer: No. If you can't find a job, then you should invest in something like better grooming, or a better resume, or a coach for poor social skills. These are the things that keep people from getting jobs. Instead of running back to school, figure out why you can't get a job, because maybe it's something that a degree can't overcome.

Grad school generally makes you less employable, not more employable. For example, people who get a graduate degree in the humanities would have had a better chance of surviving the Titanic than getting a tenured teaching job.

Unless you are going to a top business school at the beginning of your career, you should not stop working in order to get the degree. Go to night school because you will not make up for the loss of income with the extra credential.

Law school is one of the only graduate degrees that makes you more employable. Unfortunately it makes you more employable in the profession where people are more unhappy. Law school rewards perfectionism, and perfectionism is a risk factor for depression. Lawyers have little control over their work and hours, because they are at the beck-and-call of their clients, and many are constantly working with clients who have problems lawyers cannot solve. These two traits in a job—lack of control over workload and compromised ability to reach stated goals—are the two biggest causes for burnout in jobs.


Question: What should I do if I work for a jerk?

Answer: Leave. I know there are classic Bob Sutton examples of revered jerks like Steve Jobs, but I wonder about the people who put up with him. Can they not find another visionary to work for who is not such a jerk?

Staying in a job like this makes you look bad. People wonder why you put up with it. And, frankly, you should too. It's like being an abused wife. The wife who stays always defends the relationship by how much she gets out of it, but to everyone else it is obvious that she should leave. The problem is a loss of personal perspective.

That is good copy.  I could have told you this, but my authority, while great, is slightly less comprehensive than that of the person who has written a book on the subjects of working and careers.  I would go take a quick look and see what you can learn and apply to your life.  Don't miss  How To Change The World.  I've been reading that Guy for what seems like forever.