- File Size: 763 KB
- Print Length: 165 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1497533406
- Publication Date: April 7, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JJX2KZM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,262 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$22.00|
Save $12.05 (55%)
Get a Job, Build a Real Career, and Defy a Bewildering Economy Kindle Edition
Kindle Feature Spotlight
Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Most young people assume that “getting a good degree” from an accredited university is the major hurdle that delivers “a job,” and these days they often end up with a debt that will take decades to pay back, and a diploma that fails to deliver employment. In brief, Smith regards all conventional universities as cartels that generate scarcity and astronomical fees for degrees, but which deliver standardised coursework that acts as a proxy for professional competence, but incorporates none of the skills or social competence needed in today’s working environments.
Smith uses the word “professionalism” to denote eight skills that comprise a common approach to mastery in any vocation:
1. Learn challenging new material over one’s entire productive life.
2. Creatively apply newly-mastered knowledge and skills to a variety of fields.
3. Be adaptable, responsible and accountable in all work environments.
4. Apply a full spectrum of entrepreneurial skills to any task, i.e. take ownership of one’s work.
5. Work collaboratively and effectively with others, both in person and remotely.
6. Communicate clearly and effectively in all work environments.
7. Continually build human and social capital, i.e. knowledge and networks.
8. Possess a practical working knowledge of financial records and project management.
Perhaps the most valuable part of the book is Smith’s injunction to work-seekers to “accredit themselves.” In other words, instead of merely studying to obtain a diploma, which research indicates proves virtually nothing about a student’s fitness to do any specific type of work, job-seekers should actually seek out and do appropriate work to build up a portfolio that really does exhibit their proven competence. Smith shows how such a track record can be built up even when actual jobs are unavailable, and how working for multiple organisations – if necessary without payment – can generate testimonials from respected individuals that are far more convincing that the typical resume put together by students.
I thoroughly recommend this book for its powerful new ideas and its practicality.
1. Explaining the unsustainability of the existing college and corporate paradigm.
2. Providing a basic skill template and approach to developing one self in the long term
3. Explaining that it isn't about finding that magical career. It is much more about developing a long term philosophical approach to life and what you choose to do in it
The last point is far and way the book's strongest quality. For those with young children, this is an especially useful book for you and them in thinking about their development. Highly recommended.
Two years ago I was attracted to his "Why things are Falling Apart and What We Can Do about it." It was a very solid analysis of the problems that beset the governments of the Western world, especially the United States, and a prescription of steps that might be taken to alleviate problems. Since then he has restricted his scope a bit. It is no longer "what we can do about them" but "what you can do about them." Smith has accepted the reality of the fact that a person who would buy and read his books is above average. He will probably achieve success by virtue of those characteristics that set him above the common man. Therefore, rather than preach to the common man in the hopes that they will come to their senses, he now offers advice to individuals with regard to how to cope with the world as it is, common men included.
This volume builds on Smith's theses in "The Nearly Free University and The Emerging Economy: The Revolution in Higher Education." The American system of higher education, like that of most of the world, was established decades or centuries ago. The rationale was that education had to be centralized because (1) educational resources, primarily books, were scarce and expensive, (2) education had to be delivered in person, and (3) communication and transportation were slow, so students and educators had to be in the same place.
Higher education created a cartel. They control a scarce commodity, a credential called the "University Diploma," which is perceived as necessary for a person to advance into the workplace. They perpetuate the misconception that this credential is some kind of a testament to the capability and attainments of the graduate. Not only is this not true, but it has become increasingly less true as more and more students, increasingly less qualified students, are funneled through the system. The price of tuition has risen much faster than inflation, at the same time that actual learning has diminished. This is an overripe field for the kind of creative destruction that the Internet has brought to so many other fields, such as travel, law and newspaper publishing.
Every sector in which expenses, especially compensation, has grown out of proportion is ripe for "creative destruction." Costs that cannot be sustained will not be sustained. Health care, government and K-12 education are massively inefficient. Rather than calling for reform, as he has in previous books, Smith merely warns his readers to avoid these sectors of the economy. Just because some Newport Beach lifeguards have been able to retire at 50 with a $100,000 pension does not mean that one should look for that job today. No – that particular sinecure has been bled dry. The tax and tuition money is simply not there to support historical growth trends in government, medicine and education. An S curve graph depicts the birth, growth and stagnation of just about any field of endeavor. Higher education was in the growth phase of the S curve right after the war, when there were lots of returned servicemen and a great demand for educated workers. It has now peaked. College has an unsupportably high cost structure, and many graduates, mired in debt, cannot find professional jobs.
Smith's point is that people need to take charge of their lives: education, career, and personal lives. At the most fundamental level, people should not pay you unless your work offers them value. This is self-evidently true of paper boys, tax preparers and auto repairmen. If they can't fix your car, you don't hire them.
The fields to avoid are those in which the consumer has no choice. In public education, the parents have little choice over the teacher. Under socialized medicine, they have little control over the doctor or the costs. It is all controlled by bureaucracies. The bureaucracies must eventually collapse of their own weight and become unable to support all of the deadwood, employees who add no value. It may be a long time coming – and in that time the overpaid, deadwood employee is stultified by unfulfilling work and, due to being overpaid, not free to easily find something more satisfying. There is a reason why postmen "go postal" and teachers burn out. They feel trapped.
This book includes a number of useful lists. Here is what he says about professionalism.
Commit yourself to continuing to learn
Apply your knowledge as you master a subject
Be adaptable, responsible and accountable.
Take ownership of your work.
Learn to work collaboratively.
Master the art of communicating, orally, in writing, and via numbers and graphics.
Continue to build your networks.
Lastly, the only technical mastery in the list: learn to keep and to read financial and project management records.
Smith offers a number of suggestions for building your networks, building your value to an employer or client. The take-home message is that every individual must take charge of his or her own life. Institutions that claim to have an interest in your personal development generally do not. They, and their employees, are more interested in their own success than yours. Learn to look for opportunities to excel, how to present yourself so that you are given the opportunity, and how to take credit for your successes in a way that you can pass on to other prospective clients and employers.
A five-star book. My only caveat is the obvious one. The majority of people do not have the innate talent to follow his advice. Of those who do, a majority will still look for the easy way out, a steady job rather than taking charge of their career. It leaves room for those who really want to succeed – Smith's readers.