Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Too old, too young, too qualified, too non-traditional...


The hypocrisy runs high. Ten years ago, I guarantee that this individual would have been a highly competitive hire due to his law degree, military experience, and the maturity that goes along with these accomplishements.

Oh, how the winds change. Now, 25 is apparently too young, yet 29 is too old - explain that one to me. Law degree, military experience...it's too "non-traditional." Too different. What was interesting and multi-disciplinary is now strange, exotic, and untrustworthy. While this article focuses more on the civilian arena not appreciating the veteran experience and its (imagined) potential shortcomings, it does raise the question: where or what is this mythical, perfect-fit candidate-for-hire, legal or otherwise?

One would be lead to believe that there is a person who has run this fickle gauntlet: someone from the right familiy, who went to school at the right time, at the right age, with the right experiences, at the right circumstances of the job market, with the right connections, with the right backing. Who is this individual (besides Mitt Romney)?

Answer: A theoretical person who does not actually exist. It's a mistake to believe that any person can bootstrap their way through this gauntlet, yet higher education, the work world and even the military will try to entice you that it's possible and is the only way. Don't believe it, as they will all pull the rug out simultaneously as they did for Mr. Pizzo, yet blame him for not being a "sophisticated consumer" prior to good-faith effort and service.

Non-traditionals, don't believe what they say - do what you need to do, education or otherwise, but make your own path. Immediately distrust any advertised results. Just like the stock market, bank on the fact that past results do not guarantee future returns, and look critically at everything - the establishment is looking out for themselves, not for you.

In short, in whatever you do, assume they are lying to you.