There is no question that the US is lagging behind other nations in science, technology, engineering and math. While this may be troubling to some, Americans possess one skill that provides them with an unheralded advantage; that is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial skills cannot be easily taught or learned. And while most Americans don’t know it, entrepreneurship is a passively acquired trait that most non-Americans would “kill for.” Unfortunately, the recent recession and increasing global competition had dampened Americans entrepreneurial enthusiasm to the point where risk-adverse business behavior is threatening to stifle US innovation.
Peter Sims addresses this issue in a NY Times piece entitled “Daring To Stumble on the Road to Discovery” where he laments “…our education system emphasizes teaching and testing us about facts that are already known. There is much less focus on our ability to discover, create and reinvent.”
He contends that Americans can no longer expect that jobs will be waiting for them and that everyone needs to think about “inventing” their own jobs. While this may seem unlikely for many jobseekers, he offers the following to those who may be willing to try.
“INVENTION and discovery emanate from the ability to try seemingly wild possibilities; to feel comfortable being wrong before being right; to live in the world as a careful observer, open to different experiences; to play with ideas without prematurely judging oneself or others; to persist through difficulties; and to have a willingness to be misunderstood, sometimes for long periods, despite the conventional wisdom.”
Further he offers:
“All these abilities can be learned and developed, but doing so requires us to unlearn many of our tendencies toward linear planning and perfectionism.”
In other words, take risks and dare to be different. The worst thing that may is happen is that you fail. And, if you ask many successful people what contributed most to their success, they will likely tell you about their failures and how they helped them to “get it right” the next time.
Until next time…
Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!