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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Today's Big Idea: Summer School for the Real World

The Big Idea for Monday, August 06, 2012

In your 20's, and feeling like you're lost at sea? You're not alone. Approximately half of all recent graduates are unemployed or underemployed. But the answer to your woes isn't more floundering. Contrary to popular belief, the 20's are not just a time to find yourself. They're a time during which you lay the foundation for the rest of your life.

That's why Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist who specializes in the development of twenty-somethings, argues that not all types of underemployment is unequal. Most people don't spend their 20's doing their dream job, especially in a recession. The important thing is to find work that's in a field you're interested in, even if it's at the very fringes of the field, and to work on building "identity capital." Take a job that's interesting and unique and helps you build your identity, even if it pays less than a job that bores you, advises Jay. 

Excitement and enthusiasm are the qualities that every employer dreams of finding in an employee -- but they're the hardest thing to fake. Tom Glocer explains what he looks for in new hires and in the people he mentors. The lesson: even in this tough climate, there are specific actions that recent grads can take to set themselves up for future successes.


  1. 1 Millennials At Work
    Big Think Editors Summer School for the Real World
  2. 2 Thirty Is Not The New Twenty: Why Your 20s Matter
    Dr. Meg Jay Experts' Corner
  3. 3 Nathaniel Rich on Being Young and Working at Old Publications
    Nathaniel Rich
  4. 4 The Millennial Teenager: A Generation of Digital Natives
    An Phung Humanizing Technology

Today's Big Idea: Summer Sc...

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