My Latest Thoughts

On finding good work and gaining contentment.

Posted May 04, 2018

Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain
Source: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

I like tweeting because it forces me to distill my ideas and it provides a permanent archive.

Here, I've revised my recent tweets related to career, a central focus of this blog, How to Do Life.

Landing a Job

  • Social scientists ever flail to find factors more malleable than intelligence to give hope to strugglers. Alas, per recent research debunking recent pop-psych nostrums “power pose" and “growth mindset”, it’s wise to accept your core strengths and weaknesses and try to find work that builds on the strengths and skirts the weaknesses.
  • Google gets 4,000 resumes weekly and hires less than 1 of 800 from that strong pool. Unless you're a star, hold a rare in-demand skill set, or have a strong "in," it's usually a better use of your time to focus on less designer-label employers. That also avoids burnout—Every no or no response, burns emotional energy. You don’t want to run out of gas before you find good work.
  • A standard networking strategy—reaching out to prospective employers not advertising a position—is working ever less well. These days, what works better is an ahead-of-the-pack LinkedIn profile combined with getting your friends and colleagues to tout you to employers they know well.
  • If networking works, it usually happens quickly. If not, it's usually wiser for job seekers to focus on identifying excellent-fit openings and writing applications that make a compelling case for why you'd be outstanding in that position.
  • I just spoke with a long-time Silicon Valley insider. He says that the media's pushing people to get into computers, whether by computer science major or bootcamp is "crazy." In the real world, employers are hiring coders at $5 an hour in Viet Nam and other lowest-cost countries, and for high-level work, $25.

Gaining Contentment

  • Sometimes, procrastination can be reduced simply by deciding to make a mindset change: coming to accept that getting productive and getting stuff done feels better now and long-term than "I'll do it later.”
  • Many people’s main driver is to be understood and then accepted, no cherished, for their true self, especially aspects that aren't standard. If you don’t have at least one such person in your life, it may be worth the effort to seek one out. Where might your kindred spirit lie in wait: In a particular course? Volunteer activity? Workplace? Creative group activity?
  • Your answer to this fill-in-the-blank question says quite a bit about you: "Most often, I'm...."
  • A quick way to identify how to improve your life: List your life's happiest moments.
  • Many of the lessons mineable by unearthing your past's miseries usually can be learned from an hour of journaling. From that point, many people find it wiser to focus on suppressing those miring thoughts and ever taking the next step forward.