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(Forbes)   Shut up and get bootstrappy   (forbes.com) divider line 112
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2986 clicks; posted to Business » on 01 May 2012 at 8:42 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-01 08:19:19 AM
You know an article is complete and utter horseshiat when the headline reads "The Truth About...".
 
2012-05-01 08:49:42 AM
Yeah, I'm sure the dance major is utterly thrilled with his success at selling shoes. Who are these people?
 
2012-05-01 08:51:29 AM
TL;DR: Shut up and be happy you have a job.
 
2012-05-01 08:53:25 AM
Maybe all those underemployed college grads could get jobs writing for Forbes. Doesn't seem to require any skills.
 
2012-05-01 08:59:07 AM

MorrisBird: Yeah, I'm sure the dance major is utterly thrilled with his success at selling shoes. Who are these people?


Dammit, I was just about to post in before the Liberal Arts hate.
 
2012-05-01 09:00:32 AM
For every success story, there are a thousand "un-success" stories, a thousand "I'll settle for this because otherwise I'm homeless" stories, and a thousand "no matter where I turn I get kicked in the face" stories. In other words, there is a legitimate problem with employment in this country that won't be solved simply by everyone becoming "bootstrappy". The employment sector needs equal cooperation from the private sector, the public sector, and the people who run both. And unfortunately, we as a country aren't getting any of that.
 
2012-05-01 09:03:17 AM
There's some truth to that whether anyone wants to admit it or not. Point is that unless you have a degree in something that's hot in the marketplace (such as the medical field), you're not going to get squat when you graduate. Making your own breaks and taking advantage of opportunities is part of life.

I have a degrees in History and English...which basically qualifies me for jobs that ask, "Would you like fries with that?" I had a variety of careers before I found my way to IT (bartender, manager of a couple pizza places, police officer). My starting pay as a cop was $23k. I started in IT on the help desk at $24k a couple years later. Now I'm in demand and make significantly more than I did 15 years ago. Part of it was luck, part of it was having some good mentors, part of it was careful career planning (remaining flexible in skills), and the other part of it was just being tenacious (laid off 4 times since 2000...never out of work longer than a month). Was IT my first choice of career? No. If you asked me 25 years ago what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have said "author." That being said, I love what I do and I'm fortunate to have found IT as a career.

As much as people deride being bootstrappy, there's something to be said for people that make their own breaks.
 
2012-05-01 09:04:42 AM

MorrisBird: Yeah, I'm sure the dance major is utterly thrilled with his success at selling shoes. Who are these people?


I thought shoe salesman was ABOVE dancer.
 
2012-05-01 09:04:42 AM
But. but. but. I was told that with my art history degree I would get a job right away as the curator of a major museum! I can't pay off $100,000 in student loans as a moody coffee Barista!

/insert occupy comment here
 
2012-05-01 09:06:08 AM
lets get a few of these out of the way:

the plural of ancedotal is not data.

"And over the next few years, she watched, listened and got a bunch of accreditations. Eventually, she evolved in her career and is today one of the top people in her field and very comfortable" we are not talking about the market years ago, the discussion is about the current market. She got a job when they existed and managed to make something of it. Good, try the experiment again without the job even being available.

"But if a person with a 4-year degree can only get a job at Starbucks, McDonalds or a relatively low-level clerical job, they should take it." - news flash, those places don't want to hire the college grad due to the fact they are scared that they will leave at first chance. Would rather train a lifer than a short term employee that realizes its a low-level job. I agree sometimes you just need to take the job and you can gain experience from it, but even those jobs are tough to get (if at all).

"Although for anyone who believes they are underemployed upon graduation, perhaps trade school would have been a better choice" - I agree with this sentiment, but it is not what kids are told: Go to College. Not: Go to College or Trade School, the world will always need plumbers and HVAC techs. Heck here in Georgia, they got rid of the two tracks in high school, now every student is on "college-prep" tracks, so I wonder where they got the idea of they need to go to college.

"None of these people spent any energy worrying about whether the job they could get was "good enough" for them; they just took one step at a time and seized opportunities that were presented to them." - again, take away opportunities or boomers hanging out in the workforce 10+ years longer than they used to and those opportunities are not there.

"Today's college-bound students should not think of getting into and graduating from university as the end-game. They should review their tuition bill closely if they think the contract they are entering into entitles them to something other than the opportunity to create their own futures" - see points above, this is all they are told, why shouldn't they believe it. Also, they never see the tuition bill thanks to financial aid and the idea they are told "you will make enough in the future to not worry about it."

I agree with her on the unwarranted prestige placed on the idea of a college education, but don't only blame the students who have heard that college is the key to life for their entire lives.

/end rant
 
2012-05-01 09:08:19 AM
Many of my friends are underemployed. Working at Arbys, Longhorn, Chilis, IHop, various crappy restaurants (maybe not Longhorn), sitting on their degrees.

I won't say they all have ambition, most are content to complain. Others are the good ones who are really getting out and "hitting the pavement", or however you do that in the digital age.

We are stuck in a very wrong place as a generation. I got out, i got my 9-5 real person job and my life has taken a significant boost in overall quality since then. To those of you all with sons and daughters, nieces and nephews who seem to do nothing but watch youtube clips and complain about their job...

Please just listen. We are frustrated, we know you all had to go through similar time. We want to relate to your experience, not feel ostracized. We want to do something with our career, most of us have no idea and are just too proud to ask for help.

Stay strong brothers and sisters, and for the love of god, get the help you need.

/hid in grad school during the worst of the economy
//got hired by my school
//still took 7 months of searching, but i'm glad i had support.
 
2012-05-01 09:13:28 AM
"bootstrap it" == "I have no idea how to solve this problem"
 
2012-05-01 09:14:26 AM
And if these kids had just become engineers this all would've taken care of itself!
 
2012-05-01 09:19:04 AM
So when I was younger and I was told "work hard, study, and go to college so you don't end up in some crap job" it actually meant "shut up and be grateful for your crap job". Thanks guys.
 
2012-05-01 09:19:11 AM
I guess these student loans will pay for themselves with unicorn farts. Thanks lady!
 
2012-05-01 09:20:46 AM
FTA: It's not clear where the concept of being "underemployed" came from. But it's damaging and counterproductive.

Uh, isn't it a pretty much widely accepted concept in economics? The Bureau of Labor Statistics also defines it as the difference between the U6 and the U5 unemployment measures, doesn't it?
 
2012-05-01 09:23:49 AM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: "bootstrap it" == "I have no idea how to solve this problem"


It's not very useful, but neither is whining that someone else isn't taking care of your problems.

Many of the occupiers were self entitled douchebags. Their solution to everything? Give it to me free!
Because obviously a i-phone with an unlimited data plan is a basic human right.
 
2012-05-01 09:25:25 AM

Marcus Aurelius: You know an article is complete and utter horseshiat when the headline reads "The Truth About...".


My first sign is when I see the word "Forbes" in the URL.

Sure must be nice to be paid to sit on your ass all day typing out articles of your opinion, telling other people who aren't so lucky that the reason they have no jobs is because they suck.
 
2012-05-01 09:26:23 AM
Also, anyone find it sort of ironic that she's lecturing college kids to be bootstrappy considering that her father came from a prominent "Boston Brahmin" family who went on to become the CEO of Fidelity Investments?

Johnson had every advantage going for her in her life and she's telling college kids to stop complaining because they're about 100K in debt and can only get a job at Starbucks. Maybe she'll tell them to borrow money from their parents next.
 
2012-05-01 09:26:53 AM

Dr. Manhattan: So when I was younger and I was told "work hard, study, and go to college so you don't end up in some crap job" it actually meant "shut up and be grateful for your crap job". Thanks guys.


Yea, I think you missed the part when you were told you need to major in something that will have marketable skills when you graduate.
 
2012-05-01 09:27:32 AM

RexTalionis: Also, anyone find it sort of ironic that she's lecturing college kids to be bootstrappy considering that her father came from a prominent "Boston Brahmin" family who went on to become the CEO of Fidelity Investments?

Johnson had every advantage going for her in her life and she's telling college kids to stop complaining because they're about 100K in debt and can only get a job at Starbucks. Maybe she'll tell them to borrow money from their parents next.


Oh, yeah, and her father became the CEO of Fidelity Investments because his father was the founder of Fidelity Investments.
 
2012-05-01 09:33:04 AM

RexTalionis: RexTalionis: Also, anyone find it sort of ironic that she's lecturing college kids to be bootstrappy considering that her father came from a prominent "Boston Brahmin" family who went on to become the CEO of Fidelity Investments?

Johnson had every advantage going for her in her life and she's telling college kids to stop complaining because they're about 100K in debt and can only get a job at Starbucks. Maybe she'll tell them to borrow money from their parents next.

Oh, yeah, and her father became the CEO of Fidelity Investments because his father was the founder of Fidelity Investments.


Not to be pedantic or anything, but you've got the wrong Abigail Johnson.
 
2012-05-01 09:33:12 AM
I will never understand why or how being bootstrappy became a punchline. Hard work and perseverance are not bad things.

Being lazy and or complaining about how other people have all the luck will get you nothing. If you chose a major that has almost zero career prospects, you made your own bed.
 
2012-05-01 09:33:14 AM
"It's not clear where the concept of being "underemployed" came from."

Didn't it come from economics? Doesn't it refer to people who are either working a job that is below their skill level or working part time when they would prefer to be working full-time? It's not like this is some term that unemployed slacker college grads pulled out of thin air.
 
2012-05-01 09:33:28 AM

BigBooper: Yea, I think you missed the part when you were told you need to major in something that will have marketable skills when you graduate.


Lots of majors provide all sorts of great skills or indicate same skills, that employers can't recognize that is not the fault of the people with those majors.
 
2012-05-01 09:34:18 AM

Yellow Beard: . Hard work and perseverance are not bad things.


No one is saying they are.
 
2012-05-01 09:36:14 AM

wisher21: I guess these student loans will pay for themselves with unicorn farts. Thanks lady!


The real problem with student loan debt is that the government is subsidizing four and five year parties for children who have no idea how to manage money.

I know people who worked their ass off to get through school with little to no student loan debt. And I know people who lived on debt for four years. Hey guess what, the people who lived in their means and worked like slaves in crap jobs for four years are all doing very well after college. And those who lived the good life.... well I know one who hasn't declared bankruptcy yet; she became a trophy wife.

/yes she's hot
//no kids, no job, and she's a "housewife" ?!?!
 
2012-05-01 09:36:49 AM

TV's Vinnie: Sure must be nice to be paid to sit on your ass all day typing out articles of your opinion, telling other people who aren't so lucky that the reason they have no jobs is because they suck.


You'd prefer it if they told them from a treadmill?
 
2012-05-01 09:37:01 AM
Those 4 bullshiat examples really sold me. "Look kids, you aren't going to make a 6 figure income straight out of school. Just "work real hard" and found the next Microsoft and you'll be fine!"
 
2012-05-01 09:37:24 AM
fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net

If the chart on the right, looked like the chart on the left, we wouldn't really be having this problem.
 
2012-05-01 09:37:48 AM

Yellow Beard: I will never understand why or how being bootstrappy became a punchline. Hard work and perseverance are not bad things.

Being lazy and or complaining about how other people have all the luck will get you nothing. If you chose a major that has almost zero career prospects, you made your own bed.


If all college is is job training, then why not get rid of it altogether and just convert the entire system to vo-tech training? Hopefully at some point during that exercise you'll realize how idiotic it is to view college as nothing more than job training. College is (or should be) about learning how to learn and think critically, while concentrating your studies on a field you enjoy. We need artists as well as engineers, and when people like yourself view it as nothing more than training for a job, we all lose.
 
2012-05-01 09:38:08 AM

wisher21: RexTalionis: RexTalionis: Also, anyone find it sort of ironic that she's lecturing college kids to be bootstrappy considering that her father came from a prominent "Boston Brahmin" family who went on to become the CEO of Fidelity Investments?

Johnson had every advantage going for her in her life and she's telling college kids to stop complaining because they're about 100K in debt and can only get a job at Starbucks. Maybe she'll tell them to borrow money from their parents next.

Oh, yeah, and her father became the CEO of Fidelity Investments because his father was the founder of Fidelity Investments.

Not to be pedantic or anything, but you've got the wrong Abigail Johnson.


So I did, never mind.
 
2012-05-01 09:39:00 AM

BigBooper: worked like slaves in crap jobs


Yeah there's something really worth promoting. How about just making it so no one goes into deep debt or any debt for college?
 
2012-05-01 09:40:43 AM

WhyteRaven74: BigBooper: worked like slaves in crap jobs

Yeah there's something really worth promoting. How about just making it so no one goes into deep debt or any debt for college?


Making it so no one goes into debt for college means that you take college away from the poor, who serve to benefit the most from it. Making it more affordable is a good thing, but if you're poor your choices may well be mountain of debt or no education.
 
2012-05-01 09:41:20 AM

BigBooper: Dr. Manhattan: So when I was younger and I was told "work hard, study, and go to college so you don't end up in some crap job" it actually meant "shut up and be grateful for your crap job". Thanks guys.

Yea, I think you missed the part when you were told you need to major in something that will have marketable skills when you graduate.


So fark you, teachers, academics, artists, and people who promote the cultural value of society.

If you aren't making money off the misery of others, that's your own damn fault.

We told you as kids, go be whatever you want to be. Sadly you didn't know we meant be anything "profitable" that you want to be.

Hell, we don't contribute to society, (unless there's a networking opportunity to be had in charitable donations), but we're only trying to make enough money to flee when we have sucked the marrow out of this host body.

We wanted you to go to college so we could make money off your student loans. We wanted you to be home "owners" so we could make money off credit default swaps. We've now out sourced every job we can, and we'll be taking our fortune and be on our way. Thanks for the tax cuts, it really sped up the process.
 
2012-05-01 09:45:56 AM

Expolaris: Please just listen. We are frustrated, we know you all had to go through similar time. We want to relate to your experience, not feel ostracized. We want to do something with our career, most of us have no idea and are just too proud to ask for help.

That's the problem right there, previous generations haven't had to go through this crap. The stock market tanked, takign retirement savings with it, so now recent grads are competing with people who are putting off retirement or coming out of retirement. Since the market tanked, there are fewer jobs out there overall for everyone to compete with. And to top it all off, companies are looking for ways to cut costs by moving anything and everything they can to cheaper countries (I'm looking at you BRIC).

You're whole generation is getting screwed and no one knows how to "fix it". Anyone who doesn't admit that the current generation leaving college right now isn't getting screwed is out of touch with reality.

 
2012-05-01 09:46:33 AM

wisher21: Making it so no one goes into debt for college means that you take college away from the poor,


There are lots of countries where no one goes into debt for college and poor people have no problem attending. The whole thing is, what people are expected to pay is very little.
 
2012-05-01 09:50:15 AM

wisher21:

If all college is is job training, then why not get rid of it altogether and just convert the entire system to vo-tech training? Hopefully at some point during that exercise you'll realize how idiotic it is to view college as nothing more than job training. College is (or should be) about learning how to learn and think critically, while concentrating your studies on a field you enjoy. We need artists as well as engineers, and when people like yourself view it as nothing more than training for a job, we all lose.


I was unaware that a degree in dance would improve one's critical thinking. I don't think of college as solely a job training exercise but isn't actually supposed to prepare you to do a job?

I have interviewed quite a few people in my career and actually hired as many non-college grads as I did grads. The reality is that no amount of college will ever replace experience actually doing the "job". To get experience, one must actually take a job and do their best at it. Sometimes, one must even take those nasty jobs that some feel are beneath them. This has been the reality I have experienced my entire adult life and the sooner the recent crop of college grads grasp that concept, the better off we will all be.

Yes the world needs artists too but much like pro sports, the odds of making a great living doing it are pretty bad.
 
2012-05-01 09:50:40 AM

WhyteRaven74: wisher21: Making it so no one goes into debt for college means that you take college away from the poor,

There are lots of countries where no one goes into debt for college and poor people have no problem attending. The whole thing is, what people are expected to pay is very little.


This could never work in the Greatest Country on Earth because it sounds an awful lot like Socialism. Next thing you know you'll be pointing out how we actually don't have much social mobility and how universal healthcare would be a good idea. Perish the thought of actually making education free for all, that's crazy talk. Don't you realize how much bankers make off of private student loans?
 
2012-05-01 09:53:10 AM
A young man we know got a joint dance and business degree. What, exactly, do you do with that? No worries. He got a job selling ladies shoes on a commission-only basis; today, he is the top sales person for a leading retail chain and well on the way to success.

What success may look like:

www.bundyology.com
 
2012-05-01 09:53:39 AM
My sister has a Theater Fashion degree and she always had an interest in language. She used that degree to join the army as an officer. As an officer with foreign language skills, she was able to get trained as a Russian interrogator. She screwed her knee up and had to leave the army. She leveraged her Russian Interrogator background into a job at the listening in on conversations in the USSR for the NSA, yeah, she was a spy. She had a couple kids and left the work force for a bit. When she wanted to get back into the work forces, she leveraged her spy background to get a job with the FBI. She was on medicare fraud but has since been promoted and can no longer tell me what she does. Bottom line, it isn't the degree that is important, it is what you do with it.

That said, I agree with the person who said that for every success story like my sister's, there are hundreds of non-success stories. And the other thing that is important to remember is that luck is always involved in any success story.
 
2012-05-01 09:54:00 AM

Yellow Beard: the better off we will all b


Or perhaps instead of telling people to eat shiat and like it we could work on making sure they don't have to eat shiat, like a civilized country.
 
2012-05-01 09:55:40 AM
And people wonder why the new generations are upset about the Baby Boomers....

It's because people like this Moran use anecdotal evidence to try to prove their point.

Heh, she talks about a culture of "entitlement", yet she is guilty of the same.
 
2012-05-01 09:58:15 AM

tdyak: no one knows how to "fix it"


There's a handful of very basic things that would go a long way towards fixing things.
 
2012-05-01 09:58:37 AM

WhyteRaven74: BigBooper: Yea, I think you missed the part when you were told you need to major in something that will have marketable skills when you graduate.

Lots of majors provide all sorts of great skills or indicate same skills, that employers can't recognize that is not the fault of the people with those majors.


Yeah but when the market is competitive in times such as these, I'd rather hire someone whose degree states exactly the position I'm hiring for, let's say software development should have Computer Science, not telecommunications or a skill that is tangential.

You are competing against other peers and if you make choices that are less in demand than your peers, it is not "big business'" fault.
 
2012-05-01 09:59:27 AM

WhyteRaven74: Yellow Beard: the better off we will all b

Or perhaps instead of telling people to eat shiat and like it we could work on making sure they don't have to eat shiat, like a civilized country.


and who exactly is telling anybody to eat shiat and like it?

To quote Drew Carey; Oh, you hate your job? there's a support group for that. it's called everybody and they meet at the bar at 5"

As a general rule, work isn't supposed to always be fun. If it was they would call it play and we'd have to do it for free.

What country has the jobs where it is all fun and games and no hard work or stress?
 
2012-05-01 10:00:29 AM

Starfly: I'd rather hire someone whose degree states exactly the position I'm hiring for


And you'd be missing a lot of very good people by taking the lazy way out.
 
2012-05-01 10:02:12 AM

Yellow Beard: What country has the jobs where it is all fun and games and no hard work or stress?


I can think of many countries where there's no such thing as working over time without extra compensation, where everyone gets good vacation, medical and family leave, no one worries about health insurance and so on.
 
kab
2012-05-01 10:04:11 AM
FTA:
It's not clear where the concept of being "underemployed" came from.

Probably from the ever-widening gap between average pay and cost of living in many places. Given the author(s) current job roles, I'm quite sure they're personally clueless about such things.

But it's damaging and counterproductive.

Actually, what's damaging and counterproductive are schooling costs in the first place.

More articles written by people who believe that anecdotes = data, and that wealth is an infinite pie.
 
2012-05-01 10:06:38 AM
"First, when people get a job, there is nothing stopping them from making their own luck."

This is true. When you're riding the bus to your job at McDonalds, there's nothing stopping you from rubbing the driver's fat belly and wishing for something good to happen. But you just shuffle off to work, and then complain about how unlucky you are. Whose fault is that?
 
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