To many, Sarah Palin's resignation was irresponsible, unprofessional, even bizarre. But to Penelope Trunk, it was inspirational! She offers four job tips based on Palin's colossal cop-out — and we offer our own versions, after the jump.
Trunk says: Get out of a job when you're done doing it
We know that the old ways of managing a career aren't working. But it's so scary to try something new. For example, you know you should job hop, but it's not what careers used to be. And it's scary. People are constantly telling you you'll destroy your career if you job hop. [...] I like that Palin refuses to kowtow to the idea that you have to finish a job just because you started it.
We say: Get out of a job before you start it
Actual duties are for losers. Real mavericks "hop" from job interview to job interview, with no actual service in between. The more titles you can amass without actually performing any of the tasks involved, the more successful you are.
Trunk says: Ideas matter, not your resume
We don't need to elect someone based on their resume because the world changes too fast for experience to be a huge factor. On top of that, the internet makes most information available to everyone, so putting in long hours gathering knowledge is not as valuable anymore. [...] Palin knows this, so she's not afraid to break resume rules – like leaving a job in the middle, and aiming for a job largely outside of her experience.
We say: Build your anti-resume.
As commenter egg cream explains, "An anti-resume is composed of anti-achievements, which have the same mass as achievements, but are actually failures." So start collecting anti-achievements, like getting continents confused with countries, being unable to name a single newspaper, and misquoting both Plato and General MacArthur. Get failin'!
Trunk says: Careers are built on teams and networks
Palin knows all this instinctively. She is ditching the governor's job, which, by nature, is about helping people in Alaska, and she is making herself available to help a wider range of people. So smart. She is campaigning across to help people she respects.
And she's building a team, which makes sense because the best way to sidestep the need for experience is with teams.
We say: Get other people to do stuff for you
If you don't know anything and have no experience, get other people to have experience for you. And if the people you're "helping" aren't important enough, ditch them and get new people — people who can provide the qualifications and know-how you so courageously lack. So smart.
Trunk says: No one controls your career except you
She could do what she's supposed to – finish up her job, focus on state-level politics, and talk to the press about ethics problems. But that's not what she wants to do.
We say: Don't let "doing your job" get in the way of just doing whatever the fuck you feel like
Sure, maybe you're "supposed to" check those coolant rods in the nuclear reactor or help those schoolkids cross the street, but is that really "your vision"? What if you feel like making the kids dodge some SUVs — or just knocking off and going fishing? Go for it, maverick!
In general, the more closely your job description resembles that of an inanimate object, the better you're doing. Oh, and if you know anyone named Levi, you might want to act fast and have them sent to Siberia. We hear that's pretty close to Alaska.