Show Me the Nerdy!

Stopping is Not an Option

There’s so much I have to accomplish. If there’s none (or just little), then I should already be a self-made corporate mogul, spending my early retirement at Monaco. Or Japan, whichever is cooler.  But I’m not.

Right now, I’m still a University senior who can’t afford to drop out (like what Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates did) to seek bigger endeavors. Unlike Mark Zuckerberg, I do not have the aptitude and luck to be the “World’s Youngest Billionaire.” (Due to the recession, he lost the title, but is poised to enter the billionaire’s list again.) Realistically, unless I win millions in a game show this year, I won’t bring home truckloads of money anytime soon.

With this circumstance, I will have to graduate first, and then work my way toward my desired end: a fantastic future.

The uncertain end for my unprepared self

Senior year is particularly troublesome–I’m stuck between being a conceited adolescent and a naïve adult. I’m smart enough to stay in the University without flunking, yet am I smart enough to breeze through adulthood fabulously? And while I can already hear voices in my head telling me, “Of course you can! And you will!,” or “Fishing!,” I am not reassured.

2 years in prep school, 6 years in grade school, and 4 years in high school has prepared me for the university life. By now, graduating is not an uncertainty–it is the graceful good bye (or perhaps, the see you in post-grad!) to be given by the academe after the long-term educational relationship.

Once I exit academe, I will progress to the next logical step in my life: entering the corporate world. I fear, though, that the corporate world exists on an entirely different dimension. I know too little to be confident, and can only make guesses as to what will happen in my future.

And why won’t I be scared for my future? Currently, I am slouched on my bed, with my work netbook propped on my lap, typing away whatever enters my head, deleting phrases here and there, listening to 90s pop, and waiting for a friend’s SMS. Every five or fifteen minutes, I walk away from my bed, and go to my torrent rig to check on my downloads, emails, tweets, or anything remotely interesting online. Then I see the tasks I posted on my torrent rig’s desktop, and I obediently go back to my work netbook. For several minutes, I let my mind wander, my fingers tap the bed restlessly, and I take deep breaths. I don’t want to write. So I rest my head on a pillow, and close my eyes. But I can’t sleep. I have to write, I have to finish this entry because I promised to be productive tonight. And so I write these words, just so I can say I’m actually writing.

My problem is, even now that I work in familiar territory, that I attempt to write about what I already know–I struggle. What’ll happen when I enter my future money-providing organization? I can only imagine my hapless self, scrambling to be productive in the work place, and attempting to try a bit harder to adjust to the work standards.

Perhaps, I’m not ready for the “real world” (Directo, 2009).

Working for Google, from

Working for Google, from

Putting on a brave face, looking forward to the future

I will not be completely daunted.

The Wikinomics chapter on the Wiki Workplace was exciting, to say the least. I was frightened by the idea presented by Wikinomics that: yes, companies must continually add value for their consumers, making work more cognitively complex. But my fear was displaced by a much an interesting prospect: as the requirements of work changes, so does the manner by which work is accomplished.

The Wiki Workplace is a fusion of my generation’s habits (eg peering, use of web-based and hi-tech tools, etc) and the existing workplace functions (eg teaming, time-allocation, decision making, and resource allocation). A new framework for organizing businesses is emerging, one that customizes the familiar workplace functions for the Net generation.

And just now I realize (thank you, this entry is finally getting somewhere!) that I am being prepared for the Wiki Workplace. My OrCom life mirrors much of the values–like creativity and massive engagement–found in the Wiki Workplace.

1. We take up the best learning resources.

From business communication practitioners, multinational organizations, alumni, to even politicians, we OrCom students verify book-based insights and theories ourselves.

We go beyond the classroom walls, and into actual business to learn better. We are given guidelines about the types of information we need, of course. But how we acquire, organize, and present our research in the most creative yet substantive manner possible is up to us.

2. We collaborate often, and not always with the same people.

I love being group mates with my brilliant friends, but in most cases, we’re grouped randomly. Most of us have been in at least one group activity with each other–the OrCom program presents plenty of opportunities for group work. Work outcomes are contingent on the effort given by each member; along the way, we really learn various group dynamics and styles to be successful in our collaborations.

And so we brainstorm long and hard, bring out all our gadgets, and use the niftiest creative tools at hand. Since each person contributes to the research preparation and execution, an astounding quantity and quality of ideas are brought in the group. This pumps up the overall quality of the end result.

3. We fulfill various roles depending on the need.

What does an Organizational Communication student do? Write? Speak? We’re good writers and speakers, but that’s just the on surface level.

We listen intently to assess an organization’s problem accurately; we align an organization’s actions and words to its goals; we create communication plans (for PR, advertising, marketing) that are sound in principle and practice. OrCom students are strategists, well enough to know what should and shouldn’t be done amidst organizational uncertainty.

I am given hope. My spirits are lifted by the idea of the Wiki Workplace, the future of organizations. I’m not as ill-equipped as I thought–my fear is (slightly) unwarranted.

For now, I shall meekly accept that my desired end (a fantastic future) will always depend on my present, which means I’ll have to make at least teensy bits of progress daily. I’ll continue to work, work, work–so the definition of work better adapt to my generation’s habits soon!

*title inspired by the line “nothing is in an end state,” as said by Ross Mayfield, Socialtext CEO and Founder, on the collaborative approach to innovating products and services in the Web.

Stopping is not an option, but we’re allowed to take breaks. 😛


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

My theory is that college actually makes you LESS productive. I became nearly useless a couple months into college. I am better at spending 3 hours/days/months avoiding doing something than just doing it in 30 minutes than I am at doing anything else.

Anyway, the fact that you’re actually thinking about whether or not your prepared probably means you’ll be fine when it actually comes down to it. 🙂

Comment by missra

Oh, I know what you mean! In college, there’s just always something you can do (academic + non-academic), so putting off work is too easy! I was never good with deadlines. :\

Comment by mostlynerdy

Although some people have been successful without college education (some Bill and Mark is in my head), it usually is better to have it to succeed in life. Which is why I agree that studying OrCom really provides valuable knowledge and skills for us to use after we graduate.
The Directo thing is funny, BTW. 🙂

Comment by Jemi

Yes yes yes just a few more months, Jemi, and we’ll have our degrees already! :>

Comment by mostlynerdy

Stopping is not an option, but we’re allowed to take breaks.

Definitely, Alvina.
Even if OC has been pushing us beyond our limits, and maybe beyond the real world’s borders, we continuously find more reasons to keep on going.

And with the essential principles of Wikinomics–mass collaboration, a different workplace, a whole new way of accomplishing tasks–yes, stopping is not and can never be an option.

Comment by mydiamondring

Since stopping is not an option, I hope we’ll be equipped and resilient enough to keep going brilliantly! :O

Comment by mostlynerdy

having read this twice, i still think the preamble to the meat of the post is too long. two paragraphs are enough to drive home the point. 😀

still, i’m convinced this is one of the better reflection posts on the subject because it does not parrot what the author wrote. not parroting the reading is big deal to me. BIG deal. 🙂

Comment by barrycade

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