Learning After College
People think that going to college is all the learning they need. I am guilty of it. I remember telling my mom the day I graduated in 2011 that I was never going to school again.
“I am so glad I don’t have to do this bullshit anymore. I learned enough.”
Many of the jobs I had after college ended up not working out. I didn’t want to learn anymore, just be told what to do and work like I did in the military. That life was so much easier, I kept thinking to myself. I have someone tell me exactly what I need to do and get paid for it. I knew how to get in done. And that’s how I should be paid.
Well that was the problem. Nothing in the world is simple that’s worth doing. I wanted the responsibilities of Second World War factory worker sweating my ass off down on the conveyor belt yet be paid like a director. I thought I knew all there was needed to know. I experienced enough I thought that a piece of paper would only solidify to employers what an online application couldn’t tell them about me; I was smart, got shit done and should be paid like a director. In fact, I should be a hired as a director.
But I didn’t realize was that Directors don’t get paid to just execute. They have to think strategically all the time. They have to rally their people to finish a project, delegate tasks and empower people often all at the same time.
And they had to learn continuously, something I didn’t think I needed to do anymore.
I never got hired as a director. I struggled in my first couple jobs because I refused to learn about others and empower people to do better. I became known as the “get shit done” guy instead of the next guy that should be tapped for a promotion.
I didn’t want to be known as just that anymore.
Two years ago, while on a walk in the East Village of New York City, it dawned on me that I wanted to be known as a student, a lifelong learner that is always asking questions on the how and why. And I didn’t want to learn to be a director but learn so I could help people.
You don’t need college to show your smart. You don’t need straight A’s or a brand name school. What you need is to keep learning at all times.
“When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it - this is knowledge.