Recently, I’ve had a few college students ask me for advice on how to find a job. I’m honored to be asked this question because it implies that somehow I’ve gotten it figured out. (I haven’t.) It also implies that I must be getting old. (I’m not, dammit!)
Someone who does have it figured out, or at least sounds like he does, is author Neil Gaiman. Gaiman gave a graduation speech recently to the University of the Arts Class of 2012 (see video below). As far as graduation speeches go, this is the best one I’ve ever heard. In fact, I’ll probably be stealing some of his material if another student is under the false impression that I have things figured out.
Here’s some of the best that I think Gaiman offers, and therefore I will copy:
People will give you work — or in the case of many graduates, you will get hired — if your work is good, you’re easy to work with and you deliver the work on time. And as Gaiman says, most will accept two out of three. If your work is good and you’re swell, you can be a little late. If you’re easy to work with and you get your stuff in on time, you don’t have to be great. Or if you’re really good and you turn your stuff in on time, people will tolerate you if you’re kind of an ass.
I would say aim to be all three. And I would add a fourth bullet: Meet lots of people through your work. Then when you meet those people, be really nice to them. Be thoughtful. Be appreciative. Maintain those relationships. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Because when it comes time to find more work or new work, the easiest way to find that work or get that work is to know someone. And that someone who knows the someone who you want to work for can help you. That someone will be so inclined to help you because you’re a joy to be around, you do good work and you do it on time. That much I’ve figured out.
Before we get to the links, I would like to point out that the Sweet Linkage has been in hibernation and so all of the links might not be so timely this week. It’s sort of a ‘what we missed’ while the Sweet Linkage was on hiatus. It’s good to be back.
- If you don’t click on another link, make sure and watch Gaiman’s speech. It’s that good.
- Now that you’re feeling all warm and fuzzy after that speech, it’s time for the ridiculous. Big thanks to our brilliant tester Andrew for sending me this video.
- Former journalist Martine Postma started a Repair Café in Amsterdam and now 20 across the Netherlands and another 50 are being planned. The concept is a place people can take their broken things – clothes, electronics, toys, whatever – and an expert will fix it. I took two things from this: it’s obvious all great ideas start with a journalist (they’re just all so brilliant!), and someone in Kansas City needs to open a Repair Café stat and get that place listed on Shop Fauna so I know about it.
- A banana is like eating a cookie. Wait, what?! The University of Sydney researches which foods fill you up and keep you full.
- This video is pretty amazing. Only issue I have with it is the absence of some R. Kelly pumped in the background.
- Why you shouldn’t make an app just for the sake of making an app.
- So this guy is trying to tell me that it’s not that cool to let everyone know where I am at all times? That’s just ridiculous.
- Apparently there is a spray that “that causes liquids, ice, dirt, bacteria and basically everything else to simply roll right off of treated surfaces.” So long bibs!
- A hangover cure? Sign me up.
- I don’t own a watch. My phone is my watch. But I must admit that this watch, which gets its data from your phone, is actually pretty cool.
- Obama trying to connect with the youth.
- I was at Kauffman Stadium when some guy I never heard of debuted for the Royals and hit a triple in his first Major League at-bat earlier this month. His name is Irving Falu, and he has a cool story to tell.
- Junior Seau’s suicide caught me off guard a couple weeks ago. Not that I knew Seau. But I remember him as the best linebacker of my childhood and a man who always seemed so happy on the football field. Always smiling. Our first reaction -- and I’m guilty of this too -- is to say suicide is selfish. But before you judge Seau, you should probably read this and this.
- For those who create, read these awesome words from Ben Folds on making music. It’s in the same league as Gaiman’s speech.