The Bermuda Triangle.
OR, my day today. First off, had an awesome speaker in the entrepreneurship class today. She reminded me something important. She was discussing her career and how it morphed into the mass empire of what it is today (or at least it is to me). Then we were talking about building social capital and the importance of networking. She shared this:
In the first part of her career after grad school, she worked very hard on the inside of her career. That is, she worked on the industry or profession itself, and usually within the profession itself. She loves what she does, and naturally she wanted to learn everything she could and can about it.
Next, further on in her career, she became an inside-outsider, in that she already knew a lot of people in her profession, but she didn’t know other young professionals like herself (moving and shaking up her profession) but in OTHER professions. (She’s in life sciences, but she didn’t necessarily know rock stars in law, or accounting, or media et al.) BUT, once she reached a certain point in her career, she realized that she had to become an inside-outsider to get to the next level. (And inside-outsider is not my term, Joseph Bower has a book on the topic.)
My point? There is a sort of evolution to one’s social capital. Now, on the flip side, sometimes the universe just won’t let you escape from your education…even if you try!
We’ve been learning both in Property and Con Law about the 14th amendment primarily in the past week. Honestly, I’m a little crispy from school and I’m really glad there is a break next week. Tonight I tried to quiet the mind a bit by reading some easy stuff, and I’m finishing 50 Cent and Bob Greene’s book, The 50th Law. (I like the non-fictiony stuff with a little philosophy thrown in.) A couple of pages in tonight, but what do I read? A story about none other than Thurgood Marshall. (And yes, my property professor talked about him as well.) Fifty’s book talks about how Thurgood actually turned down a scholarship to study advanced legal studies at Harvard, and instead put out a shingle in Maryland after law school to learn the ropes.
And he certainly did – via a degree from the school of hard knocks! He learned to learn the inside of a network–to understand and perfect the craft of law so well that he could focus on all the unwritten laws to abide by. His briefs were works of art, he always dressed to the nines, etc…so he could remove all the potential problems for him to not be able to advance within his profession.
Fifty cent’s book even put in Brown v. The Board of Education around the Marshall section, which is the case we read tonight in Con Law.
In conclusion, here’s what I learned today:
1. When you first get into a career, be an insider. Try to be as impeccable as you can within your profession so you can better understand the unwritten rules of it too.
2. When you advance in your career, become an inside-outsider. Get out of your professional comfort zone and have lunch with people NOT like you. Meet professional peers in other arenas.
3. One can never really escape what the universe wants you to hear. In my case, I can’t get away from Con Law and Property – even while reading 50 Cent…!