“If your participants are so good, why don’t they just go get jobs on their own?”
I get this question occasionally when pitching new Praxis business partners. They hear how Praxis participants can create value for their businesses on day one, how they are courageous, ambitious go-getters, and how they are people excited about working with builders and makers. This is a fair thought — what more does Praxis bring to the table than just the opportunity to work at a high-growth company?
The Praxis experience is more than just being plopped into a high-growth company and working with executive team members. It is more than just three months of training and personal/professional development before joining these companies. It is the opportunity to build your career around value creation, not just titles and credentials.
By participating in Praxis, high-caliber young people get the opportunity to join much more than just a company — they join a full experience that accelerates their career and independence.
At the core of the Praxis experience is a community of like-minded, high-caliber young people excited about creating value for others. That’s a rare enough find in general but is particularly difficult to find if you were just to jump right into a job (take this from somebody who has essentially done that). Joining a community of people who have the same forward-tilt and who are excited about accomplishing similar things is important even for the most individualistic high-performers. These people work as inspirations and mirrors against which you can measure your progress and your development and are those you can work with in the future on more projects.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from high-caliber young people who leave school to start something on their own is that they lack a sense of community and are lonely. Not so with Praxis. Praxis participants are instantly plugged into a network of current participants and alumni and are connected to strategic and business partners in the cities in which they work. Cities like Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco, and Charleston all have multiple current and former participants living and working in them and we continue to build up this community every day.
This is a big thing for a young person looking to get started early in the world — when you don’t have a tribe to plug into, it’s easy to lose your way. Thankfully, Praxis is that tribe.
Participants work directly with a Praxis advisor throughout the program and this advisor’s core duty is not to act as a teacher or as a lecturer but is to provide shared accountability for the participant. What this really means is that when participants set goals, those goals don’t just float off into the ether and the participants are not just expected to hit their goals and get there on their own. Praxis advisors are experts in setting goals, breaking those goals down into discernible chunks, and getting to them. Participants use their advisors as people to push them and keep them on track — keep them accountable to their business partners and to themselves — not as people to mark grades for them.
Compare this to somebody who just goes and finds a job at a high-growth company. Without the right tethering and the right person keeping them accountable and to whom they can report and request information and assistance when necessary. I meet far too many high-caliber young people who are drifting through their next projects when they don’t have somebody around to just be there for them to discuss ideas with and to get from A to C (and finding the path from A to B is the first step).
Resources for Acceleration
Praxis brings with it a library of resources and connections for career acceleration. Our business partner network of over 300 businesses all across the United States includes companies in any industry one can imagine. Our curriculum library is curated with some of the best resources available for economics, philosophy, and history, as well as resources on business, IT, fundraising, sales, and marketing. Participants have this and more to choose from in building their lives and their careers. There’s no need for them to sit around and wait a few years until they can access these resources. Praxis brings it to them today.
Compare this to somebody who just goes and finds themselves a great job somewhere. They have to shuffle through all of these resources available online, reach out to people for introductions that they are not sure they can get, and then still work day in and day out to organize these resources.
A Praxis participant can make use of their advisor and the Praxis education team to curate this content for them — they can use the business development team to curate introductions for them — and they can use the alumni network as a way of crowdsourcing new information from a hivemind of high-caliber, ambitious young people who have been there, done that.
“Why would somebody do Praxis when they can just go get themselves a job?”
They would do Praxis if they really want to ignite their career and their independence.