Career Reinvention: Nothing Has Changed

In my class at the university, I often tell my students if we were to sum up the course in one sentence, it would be “COM 611 is a class about how we talk to each other.”

The things we most often discuss have not changed much in the last 6,000 years:

  • food
  • sex
  • religion
  • work
  • relationships (personal and family)

The tools that we use to have these conversations, however, have evolved to a point where the machines are just about ready to talk for us. When you think about pre-scheduling tweets with your social media dashboard, that’s not only already happened, it’s already been proven a bit inauthentic.

The act of reinvention has not changed much either.

We used to do something. Circumstances either within our out of our control caused us to do something else.

That’s really all there is to it.

I recently read “The Handbook of Short Story Writing”. (1970) I thought it would be intriguing to see what advice aspiring authors were being given, their nascent media creation world then comprised of typewriters and three television networks.

Funny how we are still talking about the same things.

As it relates to writing, the authors told us the following:

I know of one woman who, in addition to doing her own housework, is working at two other jobs to support herself and her three children. But she didn’t fold her creative hands and say “I can’t.” By scheming and planning, she was able to pare a minimum of 15 minutes free time for herself every day. Only 15 minutes  – but she is writing and selling!

In 1970, a single mom was working three jobs to support her family. Sad that in 2013, we are still describing our struggles the same way. More proof that nothing is original anymore –  I wrote about a 15-minute strategy in a previous article.

The point was (and is now), we do have time to reinvent. The book gives many examples of people finding a little sanity and satisfaction by getting off their butt and doing something about it.

This is why I am not in the self-help business. Nobody needs an infomercial solution. The solution is widely known; we need to stop stalling and start doing.

If only the doing part was easy.

Steven Pressfield, my career advice rock star, says this about the here and now; “The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”

Either do it, or don’t. It’s up to all of us.

John Scott is a media studies instructor and the career services manager at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University San Francisco. John’s book “Destination: Reinvention” is on sale in the Amazon bookstore. The hardcover edition is at Lulu. Audiobook available on Audible and iTunes. Follow John on Twitter@johnscottsf.

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