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Polymathic Monthly - Issue #35: Career Advice, China, Lagos and Slack.


Polymathic Monthly

June 2 · Issue #35 · View online

A curation of articles, tech, books and innovation strategy to enrich your career and personal lives.

It’s graduation season and I’ve gotten the opportunity to chat with a few grads (undergrad and postgrad) as they jump into the next phase of their lives. I’ve shared the thoughts below. I realize they still apply to me, after 20 yrs in the grind, as much as they’ll apply to them.
  1. You can get by in your career without mentors, but definitely find your champion(s). You will definitely not achieve your potential without a champion. I’ve only ever had one career mentor (in the true sense of the word). I’ve had a few champions, interestingly all female, and I’m eternally grateful to them. ps: pretty certain I suck as a mentor.
  2. In your 20’s and 30’s you’ll worry what people think about you. At 40 you’ll stop caring what they think. At 60 you’ll realize they weren’t even thinking about you. I wish I’d heard this one earlier in my life. It probably wouldn’t have rung true though… I hope it does for these grads.
Enjoy your dose of random articles, new and old (very old) exceptional books.

  • Black Moses, by Alain Mabanckou, is the natural pairing for Binyavanga Wainaina article above. Filled with believable caricatures, the title character’s journey is extremely dark and amazingly hilarious at the same time.
  • With all the talk of tariffs and trade wars, you’d do yourself a favor by reading Evan Osnof’s riveting and revealing ‘Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith In The New China’. The book shows how individual ambition (ye xin or wild heart), fostered by the government, led to the growth and is reminiscent of the ‘self-made man’ approach to US capitalism. Things will only get more interesting…
  • Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds (free PDF), written in 1841 by Charles Mackay, might as well have been written in 2019 about our times. We see the same mania he talks about evident in response to products (iPhone release day queues), political extremes (pick a country) and our willingness to ignore reason just to be seen to be in alignment or agreement with groups we desire to stay in or belong to (social media). h/t to my brother, Lekan, who bought the copy I read.
Have a great summer! As always, do send your recommendations!
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