There are no rules

Recently, and, likely because I just graduated, I’ve been hearing dubious business advice like crazy. Stuff like “Don’t show your weaknesses” and “Pretend to know everything.”

I’m sure it’s all well meaning, but, to me, it’s all garbage. It might be fine if you want to get a job under false pretenses or plan on getting a position that isn’t right for you or your employer.

If I don’t know a certain technology and I get asked about it in an interview, I always say directly that I don’t know anything about that, but I would be willing to learn. And, that’s only if I’m actually interested in learning it.

I want to expose my ignorance. Then I get to learn. If I come into a job acting like I know all about everything, I don’t get that chance.

You might be thinking “This guy has no idea about the real-world job market.” And, you would be right! I think my naïveté and optimism will serve me well. I don’t have to lie or feel pressured to perform in something I’ve never even given myself a chance to learn. I’m not disenchanted, and I can bring passion along with programming skills.

I might not get the job that I thought I wanted. But that’s OK. I have the luxury right now of being able to say no and accepting when companies do the same. I don’t have a family to support or any expenses that a minimum wage job couldn’t float for at least a few years. I simply know I would be much happier working at a coffeeshop somewhere than under the thumb of some corporation that strangles my spirit.

You have to protect your spark of optimism and hope with everything you have. Too many people give up too soon or think that these are just the rules of the business world.

There are no rules. Do what makes sense to you.

Written by David Keck on 13 July 2014