Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Find a Job.


I had a great time recently speaking to the students at CBU Graphic Design class on How to Rise Above the Crowd.  My presentation was about how to transition learning into a career. My expertise comes from my experience as a person who has to create a job each and every day as a solopreneur in the New Normal.

Young people can certainly get a lot of advice these days on how to get a job.  Most from people who live in the Old Normal and don’t walk the physical or digital sidewalks of the New Normal.

You can listen to politicians who largely live an entitled life and whose hearts don’t beat in the New Normal.

Your college professors will give you advice as well but if they have never worked in the business world and strictly have an academic background their advice will be largely theoretical. Like a nun advising you about birth control. I love you Sister Mary Agnes.

Your parents will give you lots of advice but there is a good chance that if they have been employed for more than ten years with the same company that they found their last job in a newspaper  and not from a recruiter calling them because of their Linkedin profile.

You can get advice from your peer group but that will largely be peer wisdom.  Better for a bar.

First, young people need to understand that your focus shouldn’t be about getting a job; it should be about creating your long term personal brand strategy in the working world of today.  You see in the New Normal you will have at least 12 jobs at different companies but your brand will be yours forever.  Twenty years from now there may be no employees only contract worker bees. You need to focus on developing a long term career strategy versus just a job at just a company.

You need to be a brand within a brand.  Even if you work at Apple you need to have your own personal brand and your own unique identity and it needs to be coherent.  Consistency is key in branding.  Your brand says everything about you.  Your brand includes the way you dress to your personal branding material to your on line social media strategy.  Your social media thought leadership should amplify your brand.

Here are the mandatories for young people today and into the near future.  You must have your own personal website.  You must have your own personal business cards and carry them at all time in addition to the business card of your employer.  You must rock on Linkedin because it is the social media channel of business.  You must own the first page of Google.  All ten postings with a presence that is consistent with your personal brand.  All of the digital platforms that you use must be based on your name and not an alias.  Do not tweet about tacos.  Tweet about show how smart you are.  Most important, develop a powerful personal network that others don’t have that reflects your brand and the resources you uniquely offer.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin


Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

You can watch a video by Hank on Networking Tips for Young People.

You can also read some other blogs that may be able to help you.

Graduating Into a Recession

The New Glass Ceiling.

Why Graduates are Looking for Jobs in All the Wrong Places.


13 thoughts on “Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Find a Job.

  1. Great article. It broadened my perspective on life. The world is indeed vastly changing. Young people should anticipate what might happen 10-20 years from now; do not merely expect what might happen 5-8 years ahead. “You need to be a brand within a brand”. This sentence sums it up. Thank you for sharing this article Hank.

  2. Anju James

    Dear Mr. Hank,
    I do agree that what u have said is true. But I don’t know if at least 5 out of 100 want to build their future. Still we cant blame the rest of 100 if it is here in India. Because here, even if the youngsters wish to go behind their career, they are forced to take a job which first comes to them due to their debts and responsibilities. I can say that some are confused between need and want, while some are forced to choose “need” even after knowing what they “want”.

  3. Martin

    Hank, for someone like myself who does not have a twitter that is focused on branding and business, should I create a new twitter for this or transition my “taco” twitter? Basically I have a personal but I don’t have a business twitter.

    • Thanks Martin. Depends on what your strategy is. My brand is me so my personal and business is one platform. I do have a personal Facebook page for my personal stuff. Take care.


  4. Dear frank Hank,

    You saved me from wasting frustrated energy reading those sometimes-smug LinkedIn articles centering on recent grads and commencement advice. Thank you for verifying my intuition on being a “brand within a brand.” Your writing is at once frank, true, compassionate, and humorous.


  5. Hank,
    You hit the nail on the head with this one. As someone who mentors college students, i am continually encouraging them to build a professional resume and start connecting with friends, family, professors, classmates and everyone they meet on LinkedIn, while they are in College and meeting people. The way of the future is truly self-branding !! Thanks for the wisdom.

  6. I always enjoy your articles. Sometimes when I’m caught up in the corporate world I lose sight of my personal brand. And then I come across your articles and it gives me a new light of optimism. Keep them coming!
    Thank you,

  7. Sheetal Sharma

    Creating a personal brand identity is the most important step in getting a dream job. It is a long term investment for future which will enable you to catch recruiters attention and give you benefits of a smart professional.

    Sheetal Sharma

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