Boundless #6 | What does curiosity have to do with the future of work?
#Thoughts: On Curiosity
A book that has helped me evolve my thinking recently has been Curiosity by Ian Leslie. In it, he argued against the notion that schools are stifling our natural curiosity, something built off of the ideas of Rousseau:
"The noblest work in education is to make a reasoning man, and we expect to train a young child by making him reason! This is beginning at the end; this is making an instrument of a result. If children understood how to reason they would not need to be educated."
A current strain takes this Rousseauian idea to the extreme and argues that schools stifle our ability to be curious because they sit us in chairs and make us regurgitate information that will not be useful for us. While there is plenty of opportunities to think about different educational values, I found Leslie's book changed my mind that schools should be spending more time on cultivating curiosity first and foremost.
Leslie shows that a strong foundation of diverse knowledge is a fundamental requirement for high-quality creative and original ideas to emerge. He calls the type of curiosity that drives this "divergent" curiosity. This means that learning across a wide range of domains (even if it may not seem "practical") is more important than prioritizing curiosity and creativity. This would also run counter to the thinking that says we need to teach everyone to code or that everyone should focus on STEM.
As David Deming has shown, jobs that rely on pure STEM skills are shrinking in wages and employment compared to any type of job that requires social skills.
In a world where we need new ideas and need people who can manage the complexity, we need people who study bizarre topics for no reason, explore their curiosity and yes, take those math or social studies classes you're not finding practical in school.
#BoundlessPod: Janet Matta, Fearless Career Coach
Janet created an individualized major for herself in high school, decided to go to college in Canada so she wouldn't go broke and decided to move to Australia and made it happen rather quickly. Her mindset is if she can do it, why can't you? Check out last weeks episode of the #boundlesspod
A couple weeks ago I put my head down for several hours and updated the Career Transition Playbook and turned it into a workbook style e-book that you can use to manage a career transition based on different exercises and other materials I've used with people over the past couple of years. You can print it out and complete it at your own pace. Let me know what to improve so Version 3.0 can be even better!
Work That Inspires Me & Things I Wish I Wrote
1. Andrew Taggart: I have really enjoyed Andrew's Total Work newsletter that has questioned some of my beliefs around our attachment to work and where it comes from. I also really enjoyed his essay "How An Artist Can Hack a Living" which contemplates the art of designing a life.
2. Steven Warley: I have struck up a friendship with Steven who seems to be somewhat of a mission doppelganger for me - I would recommend checking out his story at lifeskillsthatmatter.com and if you are interested in pursuing self-employment you should check out his course.