When I Grow Up....

Thomas Friedman's article "Need a Job? Invent it." struck a chord with me. The title is equal parts "YOU control your own destiny" and "quit your whining and get a job!". I choose to see it as the former. Perhaps I happen to be surrounded, both physically and virtually, by some incredibly talented people, but I feel like everyday someone is rolling out a new business plan, striking out on their own, or following their dream to a foreign country. Gone are the days when one's only hope for success lay in working your way up the corporate ladder. Now, you can start a blog, hire a photographer, get viewed by millions and become an "overnight" success. This is not to underscore the hard work, dedication, and, quite frankly, shrewdness that it takes to become an internet sensation, but it just goes to show that the old model of "making it" no longer holds true.

If blogging's where it's at, then what role does education play in the scheme of creating your career? Before, the trajectory seemed to be (or, at least, that's how I remember being told not so long ago): get good grades, get into a good college, get a good job, work hard, move up. If you no longer need to "get a job", as much as you need to create a following, then do you really need the college degree? Especially in a time when a college degree is seen as the bare minimum (gee thanks, just in debt so that I can bring you coffee and prove myself to be competent), how does the idea of creating your job, where presumably you choose how qualified you need to be, fit into that model? Will colleges adapt? Will 'learning how to write cursive' become replaced by 'learning how to navigate an iPad'? Perhaps. Though, this old-fashioned girl cringes at the thought.

Perhaps at this point in the article we switch gears and think, "hey, the inventing of a job is almost a royal eff you to all the employers that didn't want to take a chance on me." Perhaps that kid that didn't seem to have a lot of spark in the interview, ends up being the next Mark Zuckerberg. Indeed, Mark Z certainly created his job and a lot of others along the way. It's at times like these that we realize that when our parents told us that we could be anything that we wanted to be, that perhaps they were saying the same thing and not, " Do you want to be a fireman, a nurse, a doctor, or a teacher? Sorry kid, that's all the choices I can think of today." Maybe it's not a Candyland type of pick-your-adventure-through-these-already-predetermined-plots and instead, you follow what makes you happiest and find a way to make that notable. Heck, if this girl can do it, I'm sure that we all can.


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