Before the Internet era, continuing education used to conjure images of adult-only classes, community colleges, and formal professional development seminars.
These days, continuing education can mean so much more: that you’re willing to learn on the job, off-the-job, and at whatever chance you get. And if you’re serious about your career prospects in a knowledge economy, you’d better recognize the advantage those chances give you.
No advice helps. You can’t meditate. You can’t exercise. You can’t eat healthy. You can’t shave. Or bathe. You can’t even take deep breaths. They feel like bullshit breaths. Shit breathes in and shit breathes out. You can’t pray or read spiritual texts. None of that stuff helps, you think. None of that immediately deposits money in the bank.
Unemployment is a popular topic these days, and few know it better than this guy. He’s been fired more times than he can count.
Entrepreneur, investor and writer James Altucher presents 10 Things You Need To Do If You Were Just Fired. He breaks down what you should do day-by-day and emphasizes one thing above all: Relax. Take it one day at a time, rebuild your confidence and get back out there.
His main piece of advice is Do just one thing today. Specifically, these sorts of things:
Wake up early, exercise, take a shower, wear a suit, go into the city, and walk around. Smell that freshness on you. It makes you feel as if you are ready for anything. And you are. That’s all you need to do that day. Heck, go to a museum. You won’t have this opportunity for freedom forever.
Schedule a lunch with someone you haven’t seen in three years. Could be anyone. But it has to be someone you haven’t seen in at least three years. This injects new blood into the system. You need a total transfusion to get rid of the infected old blood.
Rather than rehash President Obama’s education references in the State of the Union address (which we’ve heard before), I’d like to present some food for thought from a recent Bloggingheads diavlog between TheDaily Beast’s Dana Goldstein and The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle. Their 45-minute discussion largely touched on teacher-centric aspects of education politics, some of which actually affect students. To save you time, I’ve written the students’ Cliff’s Notes below:
The NEA doesn’t like the new “value-added” tool for evaluating teachers, but the reform-oriented AFT union is for a limited version of it (no public shaming).
Goldstein on the lesson of 100 years of standardized testing: “The more ‘sticks’ are attached to a standardized test, the less accurate the results will be and the less meaningful learning students will do in preparation for that test.”
McArdle: Standardized tests might be necessary to boost math and reading scores for poor kids.
How to recruit better teachers? Provide a pathway into teaching for skilled practitioners in relevant fields (e.g. mathematicians) who want to teach but need to acquire teaching skills.
Education vouchers for poor kids to D.C. parochial schools sometimes lead to higher graduation rates among that population.
If you want to get the audio directly from iTunes, click here.
We’ve talked a lot on this blog about career choices. How to find one right out of college, or how to change careers once you already have one. This video, put together by U.S. News, offers an interesting suggestion:
Dr. Marty Nemko makes an argument against the popular method of listing your likes and interests in order to find out what career is right for you.
In a global economy where hiring remains sluggish in America, we would be remiss if we ignored opportunities in other countries, especially those where English is an official language.
I just came back from an extended trip to China and can report anecdotal evidence (or see James Fallows’ Postcards from Tomorrow Square) that some individuals who feel the job market has dried up in their corner of North America find new career opportunities in the emerging economies of Asia, and not just teaching English. (Hello, entrepreneurs! Hello, import-export business!)
Hannah Seligson had a nice look in last Saturday’s New York Times at graduates-turned-entrepreneurs who discovered the best way to find post-graduation jobs in a struggling economy is to make their own.
On a deeper level, the article presents a philosophical shift in how we might view “traditional” careers, knowing that entrepreneurship may be more viable (and less risky) in the age of the Internet with traditional college education not creating career success as automatically as it once did. Case in point: the article cites NACE data showing that only a small proportion of 2010 graduates who applied for a job actually had one available after graduation (24.4 percent).
Avoiding a “woe-are-us” approach, Seligson uses inspirational examples and helpful information to spread hope in this uncertain new world, including this rousing thought from the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council, who wants to …
“create a shift from a résumé-driven society to one where people create their own jobs.”