It’s graduation season, and as a new batch of bright-eyed youngsters prepare to enter the job market, I want to give them the only good career advice a stranger on the internet can offer: Do not, for any reason, take career advice from a stranger on the internet.
Here’s the start of a long, bad thread by a venture capitalist named Sahil Bloom, encouraging an entire demographic to knock on doors in hopes of trading Starbucks to random rich people they’ve never met in exchange for job-fair interviews. I can assure you Bloom himself would not and has never done something like this — he went to Stanford, where he met all the rich people he needed to know to get his start in business. It says as much in this puff profile: “Sahil, like many others, believes the network you build at university is more valuable than the education.”
However, when someone like Bloom gains financial success, they start to believe it has everything to do with an innovative and enlightened style of ambition, as opposed to the advantages they’ve had. It’s the “grindset.” The need to “disrupt.” Really, it’s just LinkedIn Brain, a condition that arises from spending too much time on a social platform designed to maximize corporate jargon and the delusional belief that you’re spiritually ascending via workplace efficiencies. Marinate in this cultish atmosphere long enough, and you’ll start dispensing pearls of wisdom like “actually, you are supposed to be your boss’s boss.” In many more words, of course.
Again, I cannot stress this enough to the workers of tomorrow: These white-collar influencers should be ignored at every turn. They’ve grown so accustomed to life in a multi-level mindhacking scheme that they don’t even realize how absurd they sound on the outside of it. They have nothing to teach, nothing to show you except the desolation of a life lived in quarterly reports. The entrepreneur has no clothes. Actual jobs, and careers, are all different — they aren’t mastered by applying the faux epiphanies that Silicon Valley investors stumbled upon while microdosing acid, or in a stretch of intermittent fasting. You can tell they’re full of shit because the tips are never customized for an identifiable role or situation, always addressed to the largest, most generic audience. They can’t conceive of an individual to whom their philosophy doesn’t apply, so they speak as if to the entire world. You’re welcome, faceless crowds!
I won’t lie: Whatever your definition of “making it” happens to be, there’s probably a hard path ahead. But some of the satisfaction will come from finding your own way, improving in the ways you want to and deciding what’s most important. The hucksters who devote all their time to telling you what you’ve done wrong, or could be doing right, haven’t done any of that. Their advice is only the remixed and regurgitated pablum they got from other wannabe executive gurus, a mixture of trashy self-help books and the last TED Talk they listened to at 2.5x speed.
Again, trust me, they do not have the answers — if they did, they’d wait to be asked a question.