Forget about Formal Education

From Rework, Change the way you work forever

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

– MARK TWAIN

There are plenty of companies out there who have educational requirements. They’ll only hire people with a college degree (sometimes in a specific field) or an advanced degree or a certain GPA or certification of some sort or some other requirement.

Come on. There are plenty of intelligent people who don’t excel in the classroom. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need someone from one of the “best” schools in order to get results.

(…)

Too much time in academia can actually do you harm. Take writing, for example. When you get out of school, you have to unlearn so much of the way they teach you to write there. Some of the misguided lessons you learn in academia:

– The longer a document is, the more it matters.

– Stiff, formal tone is better that being conversational.

– Using big words is impressive.

– You need to write a certain number of words or pages to make a point.

– The format matters as much (or more) than the content of what you write.

It’s no wonder so much business writing winds up dry, wordy, and dripping with nonsense. People are just continuing the bad habits they picked up in school. It’s not just academic writing, either. There are a lot of skills that are useful in academia that aren’t worth much outside of it.

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