Finding the rock on which to build our careers

Finding the rock on which to build our careers

Millennials have been infamously branded as job hoppers. Supposedly, we cannot stay in an organization for long. But there is a reason why we are also called Gen “Why.” This is because we are the generation thrown in between transition eras. We got to see the dawn of the internet before its current omnipresence. Therefore, we cannot help but ask why and question norms or things we may take for granted or accept as a given.

I wonder how Gen Z and Alpha would fare? Are they (you?) as confused and misunderstood as the Millennials?

As someone who has gone through my share of dilemmas and quarter-life crises, I have three books to recommend to the next generation, and these books significantly shaped my perspective on building a career.

  1. The Dip by Seth Godin. This book helps put into perspective whether a challenge is something worth gritting or quitting. The lesson: find a space where you are willing to pay the cost of being one of the best in that space. (Find a rock you’re eager to climb and build on.)
  2. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. This book critiques “passion” as something overrated. To find a stable rock is not to find your passion. It is to discover a set of skills that you can build a career on and learn how to fall in love with. Passion is temporary; discipline is long-term.
  3. How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen. This book puts into perspective how we define success and elaborates on how we can apply Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation to our careers. The best kind of space is where our hygiene is taken care of (comfortable material resources) with the opportunity to maximize our potential and pursue self-actualization.

The context has changed compared to my batch and those who came before me. I hope that the new batch can still find ways to experiment and explore the rocks that they can build their career. Maybe the role of schools should be to encourage more career experimentation before students graduate so that when the real world comes knocking down on their doors, they could have built a solid foundation on solid rock.

Matthew 7:21, 24-27. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.


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