If you haven’t done so yet, I recommend that you also read what mistakes you shouldn’t make when choosing a school. I am happy that you want to personally take care of planning your future, you are already starting on the right foot by doing it yourself without entrusting this important task to others.
Let’s say right away that I don’t mean success as making money. This guide is designed to bring you maximum choice and personal fulfillment, whether you intend to become a busy white-collar worker or want to lead a non-profit association.
For those born up to the 1950s, the world of work was a luminous monolith to climb starting from a piece of paper, taking over the family business, learning a trade or looking for a recommendation. Whatever the channel through which you had entered the job, it was forever and the career developed in a vertical ascent: employee, manager, sector manager; apprentice, worker, department head; trainee, lawyer, partner … Basically, the qualification you had achieved would have been enough to accompany you throughout your working life.
Subsequent generations, on the other hand, are making a career path more similar to a sinusoid that sometimes moves on parallel or horizontal planes, much less clear and sharp than the vertical ascent of the generations that preceded them. The 1960 graduate, with his diploma was able to continue to progress or remain in his own sector, because the skills required of him by the society in which he lived have slowly changed in the context of the notions learned or that he was able to learn while working.
Knowing how to type has been a required skill for at least seventy years, and when the internal combustion engine replaced horsepower, cart makers had time to start making cars. Those that have not evolved have had serious difficulties but the difference from today is that that evolution took decades to complete, today we are evolving at a pace that leaves no time to react. The PC on which I wrote my degree thesis has a memory that is less than a quarter of that of the average smartphone and is not remotely comparable to that of the computers that are in circulation today. The trend of technological evolution follows a hyperbolic curve whose only limit is the imagination. The ability to calculate and work is now supplanted by electronic circuits. The prerogative of man will remain the concepts of ethics and for some time still of artistic expression as well as some aspects of the relationship between doctor and patient. All these aspects, whose ability derives directly from the ability of an individual to relate sensations and experiences to then give rise to new singularities or new declinations of already existing situations. The differences that will still remain between a man and a machine will be the variety of sensations and experiences useful to give birth to original observations, the ability to change and adapt, rich personal baggage. Even the school is partly adapting to this perspective, let’s think about extra-curricular experiences that now add points to the total calculation of the final high school grade.
1) Given that with a single piece of paper we are able to guarantee only a part of our working life, the solution is to diversify. As when you invest money it is good to choose different sectors in order to minimize the risks of default, so in training your person, we must give space to all our inclinations. The better we are at doing many different things, the richer the heritage of our memories, the more books we have read or courses we have followed, experiences abroad, the more likely it is to have new points of view, original solutions.
“An expert is a person who knows more and more about less and less, until he knows everything about nothing”. Arthur Bloch. This paradox underlines the opposite of my theory and helps me to demonstrate it: directing all our energies in one direction makes us very good and very experienced but times are running out and that ability to make carts can quickly become obsolete.
Everyone in the world has made a new discovery, has contributed something unique and of himself to all pre-existing notions. In a race of life where lots of intelligent or studying people compete, I am sure that the one who can count on their extra baggage of passions added their unique touch will win. I’m sure the winning strategy is to live many different experiences, follow your passions and give free rein to your inclinations, all of them. Not only will we build ourselves as a unique and unrepeatable mix, but by trying them all we will give ourselves the opportunity to discover skills that we do not yet know. Let’s think of a primary school teacher who also knows how to paint, play, sing, act. Let’s think of a scientific researcher who finds the winning idea while participating in an endurance race on horseback or noticing a moss as he heads through the woods to his fishing camp. Let’s always remember Arthur Boch, the expert tends to “know everything about nothing”.
2) Even if you make no mistake in choosing your school, being the top of the class will be of little use. Do you think I’m crazy? Let’s reflect together. How many mediocre kids at school have been able to fulfill themselves much better than the top of the class? Having high grades is undoubtedly a sign of great intelligence but also of the ability to perform well within the school evaluation system, and therefore to have a well-organized study method to stay within the times of the tests. I mean that this skill, in different working conditions, could be less important than other skills that the school system is unable to bring out. With which grade of the school assessment document is the value assigned to leadership, empathy, listening skills, problem solving, the ability to work in a team, foresight or business intuition?
The top of the class is the top of that class, but in the whole school, in the city, in the nation and in the world, how does he position himself? Let us remember that there are parts of the world where education is the only tool a student has to climb the social ladder. Let me explain better, if at home you only have one meal a day or if they live in seven in two rooms and studying is the only means you have to hope for a better life, I am sure that there is someone out there who has a much stronger motivation than any of us. At the end of their studies, these two guys will compete together for the same job as researcher, doctor, programmer, analyst, engineer, or both will try to export the production of robotic components. Which of the two will be most hungry for that position?
Being the top of the class is a great thing but it must be accompanied by other skills, it is not a decisive point, nor a point of arrival, if anything it is an excellent starting point.
I hope I have given you some concepts to think about or that can be useful for planning the success of your life as a person, of which your career is only a part.