S1 EP24: Women Achieving Success in Corporate America. How to Become a Great Leader With Google Director Alana Karen

Alana Karen:
What I see is that sometimes people will look at the gap between they want to get to where they are, and they will decide they have to go back to school.

Lee Michael Murphy:
That is so wrong, and yet you are right on a hundred percent.

Alana Karen:
Like I want to understand a little bit more because as we know, school is very different than work experience. And for you to go off and say, I’m going to go study this thing. Like is that really going to help you with anything that’s work applicable down the road? separately from that, you will pay money for that. And while there are free to cheaper to tuition, reduce programs out there. Make sure that’s really the investment that you need. And what I tend to find is people just have decided they need to get more technical to bridge that gap, I should use words I’m waving my hands around which is going to help nobody. And, and I, time and time again do not agree. I do not look at where they are and where they need to get to, even if they want to go down people management role in a technical group and think learning to code is going to help with that gap. What I see is, you know, how are you dealing with conflict? How do you tell people that you don’t think what’s going on? Is the right direction, how do you strategize? It’s just very often not technical and you’re not going to learn it in school. It’s going to be something that you practice and you learn by doing and you throw yourself out there and you fail sometimes, and I think sometimes why people go to school is that they think it will help guard against that, it seems like a good way to prove themselves. But I don’t think it necessarily does that now, if you love school, by all means, go for it. Like some people just thrive and love that environment. If you specifically want to switch careers and go from say, being a customer support agent to being a data scientist, yeah, maybe, okay, I buy it. But mostly I think that you need to throw yourself out there, volunteer, meet people network, get some experience doing things and grow.

Lee Michael Murphy:
Alana. That’s a brilliant answer. It honestly is a brilliant answer, because I’ll tell you this, this society hasn’t trained people to want to hear that answer. Everyone is kind of lost in their career. It’s like, Oh, go back to school. big applause for you. You’re gonna do it again. All that debt and there’s gonna be gray. Yeah, but you know that the show is all about kind of calling out the Bs, and that is way too bad. It’s way too often. And I love that your perspective on that, especially, you know the solutions that you provided. Get out there more network more. Why don’t we hear about that… school is always the answer. Oh, go take out another loan. More education is the answer , don’t get experience, just get that piece of paper that is gonna cost you tons of money. Yeah, I just love your answer.

Alana Karen:
I will add just a little corollary to it. There are places where I think school is helpful, especially if you’re moving back to more traditional industries. If you’re moving back to like, manufacturing, for instance, or commercial goods. You want to get a job at Procter and Gamble, you want to be in management. Sometimes they really do look for that MBA. So I’m not going to say it’s not a good idea at all, but be rude. really aware and make sure it is required for your goal. Because otherwise, I would look for things where you can keep making money. And you can have more fun learning by doing while you’re doing it.

Lee Michael Murphy:
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About: Mary Amrafique