Do It Because You Want To — Not Because of Your Resume
Building a resume is now the equivalent of playing Super Mario Run. One needs to collect as many activities and develop as many skills as possible to hope to win the game and free the princess — I mean find a job.
The more lines, activities, and experiences you can line up on your piece of paper, the higher the chances to be “picked out” by potential employers for your dream job.
This has led generations of graduates to join workshops, enter fraternities, and participate in career-oriented events for the sake of “enriching their CV”.
However, these extra-curricular activities seldom turn out to be positive and end up as a drag you’d rather hide rather than a boost. Impressive resumes are a collection of activities oriented towards the same purpose — your purpose. They shouldn’t be a list of workshops you took because “it’s good for the CV”.
Here are 7 other arguments outlining why you should never get into a project for the sole sake of “your resume”.
Life Is Not About Others’ Desires
Don’t choose a hobby for the sake of pleasing other people.
You will suffer because you’ll know you won’t be genuine with yourself. You’ll regret it when you’ll realize whatever activity you applied for does not bring you any fun or interest.
Life is not about molding yourself into who society expects you to be. Instead, life is about fully embracing who you are and pursuing the activities you deem valuable.
You’ll always be more productive to society when you practice something you enjoy than when you don’t.
Doing something only because others expect you to is no good advice. In the end, you alone will pay the price.
Life Is Not About Getting a Job
Yes, not having a job sucks. It’s difficult not to think about it. But you have to remember that the purpose of a job is to earn money so you can live.
Not the other way around.
Being part of the finance association when you would have preferred joining an art club is a wasted opportunity.
In 60 years from now, you’ll look back on the activities you enjoyed doing throughout your life. Not on the ones you chose for the sake of being accepted.
Telling your grandchildren the story of how you practice a hobby everyone warned you against will be much funnier than telling the story of how you caved in and conformed.
You Have Better Things to Do With Your Time
“We are the sum of our choices”.
This quote reminds us that where we are now is a consequence of the choices we have made.
Joining a writing program because you have always felt you wanted to write is a smart use of your time.
It will teach you a skill you are passionate about and for which you won’t hesitate to make a lot of efforts to succeed. It’s a skill that will yield results because you enjoy it.
But joining a writing program so that it appears on your resume, without any intention to write anything ever is a waste of time.
You’ll go to the meetings and won’t listen to anything that will be said.
Instead, you could be learning something that interests you and for which you would be motivated to create real value.
You’ve spent the first 20 years of your life at school to join the workforce.
That’s a lot.
Don’t use the rest of your free time for your resume. Use it for your hobbies
Knowledge Loses Value Faster Than an Ice-Cream Melts in the Sahara
The truth about skills is that you are no longer required to master them as much as you are expected to learn them. Translation: your capacity to learn matters more than what you know.
In a constantly evolving world, where products and technology shift at a rapid pace, what you do during your studies will hardly matter a couple of years into your job.
Chances are that everything you thought you knew will have changed by then.
Don’t choose an activity you are not interested in for the sake of your resume. By the time you graduate, it won’t be relevant anymore.
Companies Tell You You’re Part of the Family Until They Have Books to Balance
I had the chance to befriend a 43-year old woman who was studying with me during my master’s in political science.
When I asked her why she had come back to school, she explained she had “dedicated her life” (her exact words) to a company that ended up firing her after 20 years of service (and many unpaid additional hours.)
That was brutal to hear. But that was the truth.
Open any newspapers nowadays, and all you will see are foreclosures and redundancies.
Instead of learning a skill that will help a potential employer, shouldn’t you learn a skill that may come in handy in case you no longer have an employer?
You Are More Than a Piece of Paper
I am not a fan of CVs.
I find judging people based on their resume the equivalent of judging a cheese based on its smell: it’s only half the picture.
Human beings are complex. We are constantly evolving, sometimes towards a positive direction, sometimes towards a negative direction.
If there is one thing we can be certain of is that you are not who you were yesterday, and you will be different tomorrow. A resume is only a partial image of who you were at some point in your life, an incomplete portrait saying none of your potential or future abilities.
It is not an accurate representation of reality, even less so what could be the reality.
In the 21st century, what matters most is not what you have done, but your attitudes, beliefs, values, and motivations regarding what you are about to do.
Unfortunately, this is not something that appears on your resume.
The Bottom Line
Value = passion + work.
Humans are much more productive and deliver much more value when they work hard at a project they’re passionate about than when they don’t.
Think of what would have happened if Mozart had been forced to do math, and Einstein forced to do acting?
Contributing to society is not about doing what society expects you to do. It’s about finding that which you excel in. It’s about identifying what you can do better than others and have fun doing it.
You’re more than your resume.
You’re more than a piece of paper.
And you do much better work when you find it interesting.