Friday, December 2, 2011

Applying Education

I realized something yesterday, I have had more short term (daily and weekly) consistency for longer in my life since moving to Iowa than I perhaps have ever had. My reasoning is that in school there were semester breaks and class changes and long summers. Considering that, I have been doing somewhat the same thing for eight months.

It is strange because I still feel like it is new and I have not yet arrived at the end of the semester yet there is no clearly defined next semester although some may argue retirement. This is now the application of what I learned through years of school. Lest my discussion be misunderstood as complaining, I suppose I never really explored the concept of acquiring a position of optional complacency.

People often talk about the corporate "ladder" but I feel a pyramid is really more descriptive of the advancement process. The ladder illustration implies that everyone climbs equally in single file which is clearly not the case. Instead many people remain well below the top of the pyramid. Our education system is in fact designed to accommodate this. There is no bachelors of Chairman of the board. I am not saying that anyone's aspirations are misguided. I am suggesting that the dynamic nature of our education system does not adequately prepare entry level employees for the consistent nature of big businesses. The only suggestion I can think of is a multi-semester class such as "Math and Physics for Engineers" which would last for two or three years, at the same time of the day and week with the same instructor for the entire class. (Sure, they can still have four month summer breaks, but that is a different topic.) I think injecting some long term consistency into the lives of young people, who might be missing that consistency at home would help develop better professional manners, long term relationships, and perhaps even some accountability.

In other words, I do not expect to be in the same position in 30 years because I have never had that kind of consistency. However, that is a possibility that would still be considered a huge success in my view. Many people do not use their degree within their career and in that respect I am more fortunate than most. This journey is continually interesting!

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