Welcome to Career Hack.
Our mission is much deeper than simply providing creative international recruitment strategies.
We strongly believe that an entire generation of Americans needs to go and explore opportunities abroad, for both themselves and their nation.
This is our manifesto.
The Case for an American Diaspora
America is an idea.
The idea of America is a frontier. And Americans are pioneers.
What we now know as America was built upon New Colossus Principle:
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
At some point, your ancestors immigrated to America. They were people who saw that something was wrong in their native country. They saw that the circumstances in that day and age would not provide them with the right opportunities to survive and thrive.
It may have been religious persecution. It may have been the desire to seek lucrative ventures abroad. It may have been to seek political asylum. Whatever the reason was, our ancestors, despite their differences in race, language, and philosophy, all carried the belief that the current system in their home country would not help them maximize their potential. They had the will and the energy but lacked the opportunity to shine.
They looked across an ocean and saw a frontier. It may have been across the Atlantic, towards Boston or New York. It may have been across the Pacific, towards San Francisco. The image of how their opportunities would pan out in this frontier varied widely in their minds, but one thing was clear:
“It’s increasingly clear that I am not entitled to anything in my home country. I’m not valued at home. There is no place for me here. I’m willing to sacrifice and toil, sweat, cry, and bleed. But I am not willing to idly slide into a life of irreversible mediocrity. Against all odds, I will survive.”
You were bred and born of this stock. You have pioneer blood. It’s in your genetics. Even if you hated the idea, there would be nothing you could do about it. You are descended from courageous people who threw themselves into a world they didn’t understand and, against all odds, survived and lived to tell the tale. They weren’t held to conventional wisdom because, in a frontier, nothing is conventional.
In a frontier, everything is being built from scratch. In a frontier, nobody is forcing you to conform to their particular brand of success, because they are all too busy crafting their own success stories.
It’s because of this that America is the home of Silicon Valley, the indisputable center of technological innovation in the world. Silicon Valley, in turn, is a success due to a history of clustering brilliant and diverse minds combined with a frontier mentality:
“We’ll try and we will probably fail. We will learn from this and try again. Eventually we will succeed. Other people will try and also fail. That’s fine. They will try again and eventually succeed. What we all know for sure, though, is that repeated failure is infinitely preferable to idle mediocrity.”
This culture in which we not only forgive past failures, but brandish them proudly as battle scars, is one of the reasons America became a great nation. It’s because America was at one point nothing more than a harebrained idea that had no practical chance of working. We tolerated the outlandish. We poked, prodded, and pushed. We endured and eventually broke through.
We are the ultimate startup success story.
Things are not well at home. Our young nation is in trouble. We have a massive deficit that we owe to creditors who are also our biggest rivals on every global stage. We are sorely lacking leadership in our capital. Our policies are increasingly steered by vested interests that gridlock true progress from happening.
Our best and brightest minds are being burdened with staggering levels of debt to graduate into the worst employment market since the Great Depression. They are funneled into jobs that neither nurture their talents nor fulfill their dreams. The skills they will pick up in many of these jobs will not prepare them for the realities of surviving outside of a large institution.
The skills and experiences they pick up in these careers will not prepare them to compete in the 21st century. They are one pink slip away from destitution. They will spend the rest of their lives toiling to pay off the largest national debt in the history of the world.
The system is massively broken.
The template “high school-college-job” isn’t working anymore. Politicians won’t solve this for you. They can’t make opportunities for you out of thin air.
They can ink off ineffective legislation with creative acronyms, but feel-good press isn’t going to pay your bills. It’s not going to equip you with the skills you need to compete in the 21st century. It won’t clothe or feed you.
The system is massively broken. And it doesn’t care if you survive or not.
Young Americans: we are entitled to NOTHING.
Nobody told us to take on 40,000 dollars of debt. Nobody guaranteed us jobs. We assumed we would get jobs. We assumed the economy would stay afloat. We assumed that university would provide us with the skills and credentials we needed to survive. We assumed that the job market would be favorable upon graduation.
Instead we are wallowing in misery, wiping off tables at Sizzler with our bachelors in economics, wondering where it all went horribly wrong.
This is our crisis. This is the crisis that will define our generation.
The so-called Great Recession will have long, deep, and wide-spread impacts that we can not yet comprehend.
This is our crisis.
I am here to tell you that our crisis is also our opportunity.
The last generation that faced a crisis like this endured, defeated Hitler, and ushered in decades of unprecedented prosperity and progress.
That was their crisis and that was their opportunity.
They were The Greatest Generation, and they were bred from the same pioneer stock that you are.
Your ancestors came to America with nothing but a dream and the sheer will to survive, knowing that their motherland could not provide the right environment for you – their descendent who would never be able to thank them.
Whatever turmoil in their motherland forced them to go abroad was their crisis. It’s what compelled them to go seek better opportunities in a strange land.
You have pioneer blood. You were born and bred of frontier spirit. It’s time for you to seek, identify, and seize extraordinary opportunities in a foreign land.
What would happen if you sought job opportunities in New York when your only marketable assets were a bachelors degree and the ability to speak English and use a computer?
Chances are, that is the situation you are facing.
What you don’t realize is that this specific profile is highly valuable on the other side of the world.
If you booked an 800 dollar plane ticket to Korea, Taiwan, or Bangkok, you would find yourself in a very different situation. If you left to Thailand, as featured below, your lifestyle and job prospects would radically change. All it takes is making that leap.
Suddenly your bachelors degree and status as a native English speaker would put you in high demand.
Suddenly, you would be courted to seize opportunities as an English teacher, to children who could grow up to see you as their mentor. The English skills you take for granted can change the lives of hundreds of professionals in Asia who seek to better interact with, understand, and cooperate with Americans, ultimately helping your country.
You will have the benefit of being paid enough to live at an equal or superior standard of living that you would have received in a large American metropolis. You would probably also have the luxury of not having to go into debt to finance that lifestyle. In fact, you could pay off your student debts.
In New York, you could make 5,000 dollars a month and somehow end up further in debt.
In Thailand, you could make 1,500 dollars a month and have a much higher standard of living than you’d have back at home.
In Korea or Taiwan you could actually destroy $30,000 USD of debt in 3 years or less with some discipline.
If you go abroad with work experience, language abilities, or technical skills, you can work on incredible projects that will astound you. You will grow immensely as a person and individual.
You could get involved with venture backed startups in Vietnam, at the front lines of the region’s hottest e-commerce companies. You would learn how to operate in a totally foreign environment and, if you wished to go home, you would return with extremely valuable information about a consumer market that will be increasingly important to America.
If you work at the embassy or chamber of commerce in Turkey or Brazil, you will be at the front lines of the development of our foreign policy and relations. You will forge contacts and a network that you can only get by being on the ground. You can help Americans enter and thrive in consumer markets that will increasingly be critical to our wealth and economic growth.
These are the types of careers that forge you a path to becoming a future trade representative, international entrepreneur, or ambassador. That won’t happen by sitting around in Los Angeles, blindly sending your application to monster.com and hoping for the best.
If you work in an engineering firm in China, you will work on some of the most innovative and mind blowing renewable energy and clean tech projects in the world, the scope and scale of which could never be imagined in the US or Europe. The insights you gain will help you see your homeland through a new lens. You will come back with fresh ideas on how to revolutionize our own infrastructure.
It’s up to you. It’s your choice. That is simultaneously the best and worst thing about being American. Since we have choice, there is always the possibility that the choice we abandoned could have been the better option.
However, given that you are battling in the worst job market of your lifetime, is your first option working out spectacularly well? Is this where you imagined you’d be at this point in your life?
The system doesn’t want you right now. It doesn’t value or need you right now.
Don’t take it personally. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand.
If you are not demanded where you are currently are, you have to go seek opportunities where you are seen as valuable.
You need this. America needs this.
The era in which America is the dominant power is over. We will be “first among equals.” That does not bode well for us, since every country in the world is accustomed to learning English and accommodating an America-centric world.
No more. We are not entitled to anything anymore.
We are not even entitled to the idea of America. America is earned, not given. We are so diverse and distinct from each other that we can’t rely on race as our unifying factor. We can’t use our language as our unifying factor, as English is spoken by many countries around the world as a first or second language.
Our unifying factor is that we are all descended from pioneers. Our ancestors endured unimaginable hardship and challenges in their lifetimes to bring us from a colonial backwater to a thriving nation that landed a man on the moon and a rover on Mars.
Your ancestors crossed oceans on wooden ships.
Your grandparents defeated mass genocide and fascism in Europe and Japan and then sent a man to the moon.
It’s time for us to take a small step for ourselves and a giant leap for our generation.
To have a fighting chance of creating a resurgent America, we have to reinvent ourselves and our value to each other and to the world.
Like the Chinese who went to Singapore, Malaysia, and San Francisco all those centuries ago, you can go and seek extraordinary opportunities in exciting lands.
Like the Chinese that fled Mao’s bloody purges in the Cultural Revolution, you can flee a system that doesn’t need you and does not value you.
These Chinese gained diverse and valuable skills and many brought these skills back home. The ones that did not go home set up enclaves in all of these exotic destinations, serving as a community for their countrymen who ventured abroad. The ones that came back did so with priceless knowledge and skills.
The Chinese Diaspora has been instrumental in China’s resurgence.
This is what we need. America needs an American diaspora.
We need to understand that leaving America is not abandoning America.
We need to accept that the majority of us will not thrive and grow at home.
We have to understand that emerging markets are becoming increasingly influential. We can choose to ignore that and assume our continued dominance or we can explore these frontiers as our ancestors explored the frontiers of their eras.
You can thrive after seizing opportunities in the places that DO value you.
When you return, your stock will have skyrocketed. You will be in strong demand. You will be battle tested through your challenges, failures, and successes.
You will also have the most fun you’ve ever had in your life.
Your ancestors faced different challenges, failures, and successes coming to America. The challenges may have been avoiding disease and starvation, incarceration, slavery, hostile natives, natural disasters, brutal winters, and wild animals.
They endured. You can too.
But you have to choose to endure.
You also have, quite literally, a world of opportunities right in front of you.
It starts HERE and it starts NOW. What are you doing to secure an extraordinary career?