Monday, January 13, 2020

Career advice in five syllables.

Laconic, the Spartan way.

THE GREEKS:"You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

The Spartaephors again replied with a single word:



These days it seems that nearly everyone and their third cousin twice removed is less than sanguine about their careers. 

In fact, half of LinkedIn is filled with ostensible career advice. Even agencies and holding companies are sending out emails I suppose to try help so many of us achieve a greater sense of fulfillment.

There's no shortage of inspirational messages out there. Telling us to "crush it," "go for it," "carpe the diem." Telling us to that "now is our time" and "we can be anything we want to be."

As Alben Barkley once said about being Vice President, that sort of advice "is not worth a bucket of warm spit." That's generally how I feel about platitudes and Hallmark sentimentality. 

It's all generally too bland and too dull to be of any value. I decided to try something different. Stuff I've learned along the way. About being a creative, about trying to do good work. Even surviving.

The difference is, for what it's worth, for digestibility's sake I wrote everything in just five syllables. 

Maybe it will help.

1.    Al-ways read briefs twice.

2.    High-light one key phrase.

3.    One ve-ry short phrase.

4.    That’s what needs say-ing.

5.    Now be cre-at-ive.

6.    Be mem-or-a-ble.

7.    Write down all your thoughts.

8.    Or draw them all down.

9.    Don’t ed-it. Be free.

10. Walk a-way. Come back.

11. Turn it up-side down.

12. Try it back to front.

13. Do it twen-ty ways.

14. Then twen-ty more ways.

15. Try an-oth-er way.

16. Col-lect ads you like.

17. Read and learn from them.

18. Order. Brev-it-y.

19. Wit and clar-it-y.

20. Learn ev-e-ry day.

21. Be cur-i-ous-er.

22. Ques-tion ev-e-ry-thing.

23. Learn things oth-ers don’t.

24. Know what you’re sel-ling.

25. De-tails ot-hers miss.

26. Be-come the ex-pert.

27. Find hid-den de-tails.

28. Don’t stop im-prov-ing.

29. Or at least try-ing.

30. Throw out sen-tence one.

31. Start in the mid-dle.

32. Write a great last line.

33. Write a great head-line.

34. Write it half the length.

35. Write it twice the length.

36. Tear up the pap-er.

37. Start o-ver a-gain.

38. Don’t use ac-ro-nyms.

39. Avoid all jargon.

40. Find out how things work.

41. Ex-plain to read-ers.

42. Be sim-ple and clear.

43. Would your mom get it?

44. How a-bout your kids?

45. When in doubt make lists.

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