At IgnitED, we are laboring over the writing of a "Creating Change" manifesto for school students.  It's tricky because we want to keep it short-ish, and yet include some of the myriad of ideas we have to inspire students to make thoughtful, systemic, useful, real change.

There are increasing opportunities for young people to make positive impact.  We want them to see how they can incorporate skills they have learnt in their core subjects, marry them with their passions or maybe just their curiosity, to create a project plan which systemically addresses an issue they understand and care about.  In the implementation process they have the potential to develop many skills they will need upon graduating - including empathy, team work, leadership, lateral thinking and cross-cultural communication. They may even make something remarkable happen.

Last week, Seth Godin published the following blog post, "No Direction Home". He gives yet another reason why creating one's own trail of magic is not a waste of time.

No Direction Home - Seth Godin

There are millions of college seniors beginning their job search in earnest.

And many of them are using the skills they've been rewarded for in the past:

Writing applications

Being judged on visible metrics

Showing up at the official (placement) office

Doing well on the assignments

Paying attention to deadlines, but waiting until the last minute, why not

Getting picked

Fitting in

The thing is, whether you're a newly graduating senior (in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt) or a middle-aged, experienced knowledge worker looking for a new job, what the best gigs want to know is:

Can you show me a history of generous, talented, extraordinary side projects?

Have you ever been so passionate about your work that you've gone in through the side door?

Are you an expert at something that actually generates value?

Have you connected with leaders in the field in moments when you weren't actually looking for a job?

Does your reputation speak for itself?

Where online can I see the trail of magic you regularly create?

None of these things are particularly difficult to learn, if you are willing to be not very good at them before you're good at them.

Alas, famous colleges and the industrial-education process rarely bother to encourage this.

See blog post at link below:

Image c/o Trine Pedersen (2015)