Looking for the perfect job after graduation? Don’t, says Mark Cuban

Graduating soon? Get paid to learn, says Cuban.
Graduating soon? Get paid to learn, says Cuban.
Image: Reuters/Brian Snyder
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It’s not every day that you get career advice from a billionaire.

Luckily for us, on Saturday, Mark Cuban—businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks—hosted an Ask Me Anything, or AMA, on the NBA subreddit. While he mostly addressed questions from the basketball community (his biggest mistake, he recalled, was letting go of future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash), Cuban also answered a handful of career-oriented questions.

In one exchange with a soon-to-be college graduate who professed “no f***ing clue” what to do in life, Cuban dropped some serious knowledge.

“You don’t need to find the perfect job,” he counseled. “You paid for college, now find a job where you get paid to learn. It can be anything. It’s not a career, it’s a chance to get paid to be a freshman in the work world.”

Cuban suggests an open-minded approach for young professionals. Instead of trying to find the “right job” after graduation, look for an opportunity that will let you grow.

Since I graduated in May 2016, I’ve been a math tutor, a TV audience analyst, a fantasy basketball writer, and a cryptocurrency journalist. In each experience, I’ve learned what it means to be a professional, how to work with different kinds of people, and what I do and don’t like in a job. While I’ve taken each opportunity seriously and always put in my best effort, I’ve also tried to remember that each job is a learning experience, not necessarily an end in itself.

In a certain sense, it’s a shame that young professionals don’t experiment more early on in their careers. If, as Cuban says, we’re freshmen in the working world, then perhaps we should take advantage of the add/drop period.

Quotes lightly edited for grammar.