Sunday, September 09, 2012

How to get good jobs when you need them.

The truth is, if you want a decent job that will lead to a decent life today you have to work harder, regularly reinvent yourself, obtain at least some form of postsecondary education, make sure that you’re engaged in lifelong learning and play by the rules. That’s not a bumper sticker, but we terribly mislead people by saying otherwise.
Thomas Friedman
I think of myself as self-educated. I learned a lot on the job and from volunteering. I learned a lot from travel (I have worked in something like 35 countries and visited more than a dozen more). I learned a lot from teaching and from the university students I have taught (part time, as a vocation, for some 16 years in 7 universities). I learned a lot from reading, and I am still learning by reading and indeed by watching TV.

I reinvented myself a few times. I started out as a research engineer, then became a health planner, then a manager of scientific research programs, and finally as a free-lance consultant. I suppose I was a "policy wonk" during a lot of that time.

I am a school dropout. I dropped out at age 35 after finishing my PhD (with the exception of a few years studying French). So I only had 19 years of full time schooling.

So yes, I agree with Thomas Friedman, except that good jobs for a long time have required that formula.

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