For a young person, probably the hardest psychological adjustment to make when entering the working world is realizing that “Nobody cares about you”.
I remember it well. And I didn’t like it. Luckily it didn’t last too long.
After all, once you’re over the initial shock, you start to realize that actually, yes, universal indifference to your own “unique blip of insignificance” is actually quite liberating. It somehow frees you up internally to pursue what really matters, instead of endlessly worrying about the tiresome, political, incestuous, complicated and time-guzzling drama of the “Group Hug” crowd. Life’s too short.
Every young adult has to make this adjustment, unless they want to spend the rest of their lives drowning in a foggy sea of neurosis. And you know what happens when you talk to someone who’s old enough to know better, yet still has serious issues with it. You roll your eyeballs and tell them to grow up.
So, during the Edelman gig earlier today, I started thinking to myself, if this is something that any healthy 22-year-old can work through without too much fuss, then how come so many large companies, with all those smart, experienced, talented people making the big money and the big decisions, find it so difficult?
“Hi, I’m a large company, and I’m going to blow $100 million telling you how great I am. I’m so great. I rock. That’s right. And you like me, too. You really do. You like hanging onto my every word. Group Hug!”
Maybe this is why so many companies find the whole Web 2.0, post-Cluetrain world so painful. Growing up always is, he said, rolling his eyeballs.