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Simon Sinek leads a Master Class on Day 1 of the 99U Pop-Up School. Photo: MACKME.COM

Personal Growth

“Make Your Own Job” + 3 Other Lessons From Day 1 of the Pop-Up School

Lessons from Day 1 of our first-ever 99U Pop-Up School, held in NYC on Sept. 18-20.


“Traditional” career advice is outdated. As the era of working for a single corporation for 40 years draws to a close, we need a new set of common wisdom for a new age of work. With that in mind, we chose “Career Development” as the focus of Day 1 of the first-ever 99U Pop-Up School, our three-day education event that took place Sept 18-20 in NYC.

The first of the three days, our Career Development series focused on preparing us all for the new generation of work, one where change is the only constant, and the ability to acquire new skills is the best skill of all. To that end, we’ve curated some of the best and most popular career development lessons from Day 1 from Simon Sinek, Scott Belsky, Heidi Grant Halvorson, and many more as shared by attendees. Consider it a crash course in the modern career.  

Lesson 1: Be Authentic

We’re in the era of the personal brand, where what you stand for is equally as important as what you can do. Several speakers touched on how important it is to be your true self, and to reflect that in your work.

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Lesson 2: Have a “Get Better” Mindset

A “Get Better” mindset is one where you are focused on improving, not on being the best. Focus on learning and actionable goals and you’ll be on your way to mastery.

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Lesson 3: Make Your Own Job

App developer. Community manager. Engagement Director. These jobs didn’t exist five years, so how can we plan for tomorrow? To quote Alan Kay, “The best way to plan for the future is to invent it.” 

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Lesson 4: Being a Leader Isn’t About You

Scott Belsky leads a session Day 1 of the 99U Pop-Up School. Photo: MACKME.COM

Scott Belsky leads a session Day 1 of the 99U Pop-Up School. Photo: MACKME.COM

Great leadership is required of those hoping to accomplish great things. Great leadership isn’t about the leader, it’s about inclusion and making those around you perform to their highest potential. Mostly, it’s about empathy.

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All Pop-Up School Recaps:

Day 1 recap“Make Your Own Job” + 3 Other Lessons From Day 1 of the Pop-Up School

Day 2 recapStartup Lessons By Warby Parker, Reddit, and More From Day 2 of the Pop-Up School

Day 3 recap“We Now Live In An A.D.D. Culture” + Other Digital Strategy Lessons from Day 3 of the 99U Pop-Up School

Sean Blanda

Sean is the Editor-in-Chief and Director of 99U. Find him on Twitter: @SeanBlanda.

  • Tushar K Motwani

    Highly motivational. I think single-minded focus, personal skills development and fearless execution are the key to ‘making your own job’.

    Thanks 99U.

  • Richard Joe

    let yourself be a master of a few things not all things. for example Samsung doenst make great software, their hardware is their focus.

  • Ishtar

    the kind of inspiration that gets you motivated to work!

  • Michael D Graham

    I think it means that you should be willing to take risks and try new things and not be afraid of failure which expand your mindset and your skills. You may be surprised to discover a new passion or something else that you are really good at.

  • Guest

    Really not much substance here. Just images of twitter posts? Yeah… that’s SO insightful. Not really. Real lazy way of not having to write a real article. Nothing new here either. All these ideas can be seen in greater detail in better articles elsewhere.

  • http://startnetworkingtoday.com/unconventional-networking-strategies/ 10 Unconventional Networking Strategies That Get Results

    […] 1: Career Development Day 2: Entrepreneurship Day 3: Brand & Digital […]

  • http://www.good.co/blog/2013/10/22/7-crucial-qualities-that-will-get-your-career-started/ 7 Crucial Qualities That Will Get Your Career Started - Good.Co

    […] 5 lessons on innovation 3. “Make your own job” 4. A fine […]

  • https://waijingman.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/5-2-1-making-ideas-happen/ Making Ideas Happen | Wai-Jing Man

    […] to conclude, this is a summary of lessons learned from day 1 of the 99U Pop-Up […]

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