When I was in school, I was lulled into a sense that we spend first 15-20 years of our lives just doing non-stop learning and cramming all the things we have to know about the world to prepare us for it. And then we just go out there and probably regurgitate or apply all that we learn non-stop for another 40 years or so before we retire. And then we can rest and enjoy the fruits of our labour.
So it got confusing when adults have to go to schools too; and they have to learn new things. Well, it was understandable, that the world is changing and some things in school became obsolete or superseded by new things we had to learn. So people in the workforce had to be retrained. But at the same time, there were skills required in work that wasn’t taught in school as well so it was 2-way: (1) School was not exactly catching up with what is needed for the 40 years or labour; and (2) Work wasn’t really sure what they wanted from their people because it kept changing.
If we are going to be continuously learning through life anyways then what should we really be preparing ourselves for in school? In the first 20-years? We should probably be focusing on how to learn; and being good at it so that during the period where our labour is needed, we can pick up on things and apply them quickly. But often learning requires doing, and instead of having schools create imaginary work for students to do, why not channel them to do real work and solve real problems?
For now, schools have been trying to do that but it is usually difficult for organisations designed to deliver mass education to do these things. So if you’re in college, or even before, I suggest you to try looking for work, different jobs, part time jobs. But make sure they are useful; and to draw relevant, suitable employers, you need to craft your own story about what you are exploring, and what you want to do.
Email Course – Building your story for your career
I’m working on an email course that is just about that; it is designed mainly for first-job seekers who are looking to dive into a career. But it is also relevant for undergraduate students trying to find their bearings in the job market, testing out job hunting, and polishing up those skills. Stay tuned for more updates.