top of page

Career Building 101

Hello Friends and Family,

In just over a month the unemployment rate of the United States grew from under 4% to over 15%. Many of you are out of work, or worried about losing your job. It's a tough time for many and many of you have reached out to us asking for guidance. We don't pretend to have all the answers, but we have learned a few things.

We both hit the job market during the Financial Crisis in late 2008. Between the two of us we've worked in industry, government, consulting and entrepreneurship. We've done hundreds of interviews and interviewed hundreds of people. Everyone's situation is different, but there are shared first principles for career building, and we've also learned a few practical strategies for uncovering valuable opportunities. Career building is a what we share here applies to everyone regardless of if you have a career you love or still searching.

First Principles.

To begin...lets start with a few first principles of career building...

  1. Grow your Specific Knowledge

  2. Know what you know

  3. Create Positive Skew Opportunities

Specific Knowledge is everything we know and do that makes us unique. It cannot be taught, but can be learned through experiences. No one lives an identical life to someone else. Your specific knowledge has to come from within ... from all the things that inspire you. It's what you do like breathing ... without even thinking about it.

Your specific knowledge is extremely important because it is what makes you scarce and scarcity is the source of value. Only by discovering your specific knowledge can you guarantee your career security because your specific knowledge makes you irreplaceable.

To learn more about what your specific knowledge is and how to harness it you can check out this post by Sumay:

Know what you know is a mental model for categorizing what we know. During a recent trip to Iowa State University we were asked by a group of college students what classes they should take and what industries they should work in. But that's not the right question.