Thursday, October 21, 2010

The True Secret of Career Success

You happened to work, and you happened to make some money. It's a coincidence. Correlation is not does not imply causation. The attempt to draw a line between the two things, your work and your wealth, is an attempt to validate yourself, to seize credit, glory, to feel like a better man than those who struggle with poverty. There are lots of people who work hard and remain in poverty and there are people who do less work than you do ("less" in effort and "value") and are still better-off than you.

The whole connection between wealth and hard work is a piece of propaganda invented by those who want to make money from your hard labor, like big business and the government. It's a gimmick that is meant to get parents to motivate their kids to enter the line of people who live and die to turn a profit for a handful of billionaires. Instead of the slave-herder's whip you get to be blamed for being poor, and poor is what you are if you do not work.

The possibility of getting rich because you studied the right thing in school and networked with the right people, and worked nights and weekends to impress the the right boss is a gamble like betting your life-savings at the blackjack tables. You might get rich. Or you might just wind up as the reliable mid-level workhorse-type that keeps industry going while a bunch of rich retards (whose families all know each other) purchase gold jewelry for their dogs and Lotus Elises for their 16 year-old kids. Or you might fail on some rung of the ladder and fall into homelessness.

Making money has to do with being liked by the right people. That's it, and you can't control that. The same way that leadership of a county has to do with whether the electorate likes you more than the other guy and not to do with whether you are competent, your career success has to do with you having the right kind of social skills to handle your employer's insecurities, disarm a supervisor's  paranoia about younger, possibly-smarter people. It's about gambling with how you portray yourself to somebody else, the part you play when around them.

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