Bad Career Advice: “Do This… It Will Look Good on Your Resume”

Bad Career AdviceThis summer, following my freshman year at Ohio State, I’ve found myself really starting the push to get my future career on the road. What does that mean exactly?

The answer is: I’m not sure.

Am I working to put myself out into the public? Begin building a personal brand? Spruce up my resume? Establish a network prior to graduation? Of course I am… all of the above

Every internship or job we get as college kids means something for our resume. It means that we can flush out the old and begin with the new.

But the cliche of taking on a project just because it “looks good on a resume” to me simply has to go. There has to be something better.

Am I really working as a part-time landscaper during the summer to have it “look good on a resume”? Absolutely not. Until this point in my life, every job that I have worked has been about one thing and one thing only: cash.

I love me some cash.

That is why I don’t mind working hard… even at jobs others might consider menial tasks. Like much of everything in life, money is at the core. You work everyday to make a living. You work as an intern for a company because one day, you want to get out and make big bucks. You pay attention to the stock market because to make even more cash.

Everything revolves around our heavily-inflated, worthless dollar… and I love it.

So why am I telling you something that you already know?

Because I’m getting tired of people saying,”do this… it will look good on your resume”.

I’m sure that if I word it in the right way – and focus on those soft skills everyone talks about – a landscaping business would look pretty good on my resume. But that is the thing: it doesn’t look good unless you make it look good. And once you make it look good, then you have to talk about how you made it look good.

If one day down the road, I want to work at a sports advertising agency, how can I say that Watts Landscaping looks good on my resume? Ultimately, mowing lawns and pulling weeds has a very minute effect on my career.

It’s just cash. And that has to be okay.

I’m not writing this to bash the current system of career building or the process of landing a job (although that system is flawed because it seems like more jobs are given because of who you know, and not what you actually know). I’ll leave that for another day.

I’m writing this because as I find myself starting to blog and develop my brand, along with some other ideas that I’m working on, I find that I’m working to create something I can actually show, and I’m doing it for fun. My blog isn’t for the cash… my internships don’t pay well (yet)… so cash – as opposed to what I’ve done so far in my life – isn’t the primary motivator.

I’m just working hard on things that I enjoy doing.

Just recently, I have started to find the meaning behind, “When you’re doing something that you like to do, it isn’t work”.

I have heard that saying my entire life… but I didn’t really know if I would find it, especially this quickly in life. Maybe I haven’t found what I want to do down the road. At the moment, however, I’m focused more on doing what I can talk about in depth, with passion and excitement.

It seems that will get my career going faster than doing something just because it may look good on a resume.





MackAbout the Author: Mack Watts is heading into his sophomore year at The Ohio State University. He’s one of the Social Media Outreach Interns at YouTern. In his spare time, Mack is a big sports fan, and enjoys listening to music, and hanging out with his family. In addition to blogging for TheSavvyIntern, Mack also writes for, and manages, a blog, 6 Rings. Follow Mack on Twitter!



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