Nathanial Garrod

Thoughts on the World of Work

I have been reading this book for my internship, “The Start-Up of You” by one of the guys who started LinkedIn.

In the beginning of the book, he paints this grand image of Detroit at its height. American innovation, the United States at its peak – creating the most effective and unique way to build cars that were affordable in every home. More than this, he describes careers where individuals step into a job out of college and stay loyal to the company for the rest of their lives – working their way up a career ladder.

In the modern world, it seems that the career (as it was once known) no longer exists. Yet the epistemology that goes along with what was once known as the career is still engrained in our heads. I have had conversations with dozens of people who have college degrees, but do not have jobs because they do not want to be locked into a career.

Ultimately, reading between the lines, what is at stake here?


Everyone wants happiness. We want to know that we are productive, useful members of society.

Our world has changed from the stories we heard growing up. Transferable skills are more important than ever. People change work fields every few years now.

And some of the most successful people I know, who love their jobs more than anything will tell you that they have days where they dislike their job, where they are not happy.

Thomas Edison created many things that did not work during his efforts to create the lightbulb. When asked about his failure afterwords, he said (paraphrased) “Those aren’t failures. Those are ways that did not work.”

You may not find work that you like immediately. But at least you know what work you do not like.

Do not be afraid to fall, for when you fall you have a chance to pick yourself back up.

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This entry was posted on August 1, 2012 by in Thoughts and tagged , , , , .