What’s Really Important: Pearls of Wisdom from Mike Rowe

Mike-RoweA “blue-collar hero” and generally outstanding guy, Mike Rowe is one of our go-to guys for advice on all things sensible, including manufacturing, following your dreams, hard work, and more.

He’s worked tirelessly to draw attention to the plight of the manufacturing industry in its need for workers, and how working smart and hard can help young adults follow their dreams. He’s a salt-of-the-earth, common sense type of guy, and has been recognized as a major influence among generations of workers looking for career advice.

In addition, he’s fairly constantly making the news for spouting out unconventional advice, or throwing a loop in the way we think. Here are a few of his more recent additions to a list of interesting tenets, life advice, and more.

: Do you know who the Seabees are? No? For Mike Rowe, that’s a problem. In a recent Facebook post, he gave due honor to the branch of the military that nobody thinks to thank: the Navy’s construction workers. Their work rarely makes the front page of newspapers, but is exactly what enables the Navy and Marines to do their jobs all over the world: “I was going to tell you about the many physical challenges of the day, and rave about the skill and work ethic of these extraordinary people. But at the moment, I’m preoccupied by their physical toughness and refusal to complain. As I ride to a nice hotel in New Orleans with delicious heat blasting on to my frozen feet and into my frosty face, these guys are hunkering down for another evening of 5 star luxury under the invisible stars, in a place the Mississippi Tourism Bureau doesn’t feature in their brochures,” Rowe says. In other words, it’s the careers that don’t make the papers, but that are truly valuable to the world, that are the ones that really matter.

Rowe went viral after responding to an accusation that Governor Scott Walker, who left Marquette during senior year of college, wasn’t well-educated enough to be president. For Rowe, the idea that a president must have a college degree is a complete fallacy: “I think a trillion dollars of student loans and a massive skills gap are precisely what happens to a society that actively promotes one form of education as the best course of most people. I think the stigmas and stereotypes that keep so many people from pursuing a truly useful skill, begin with the mistaken belief that a four-year degree is somehow superior to all other forms of learning.”

For Rowe, who started out working at a movie theatre for $2.90 an hour, the minimum wage controversy is something that somehow supports designations of jobs as either “good” or “bad” based on wages, when that simply isn’t the case. The point of having a job is to acquire skills or talents, and eventually find a vocational inspiration right for you: “Some jobs pay better, some jobs smell better, and some jobs have no business being treated like careers. But work is never the enemy, regardless of the wage. Because somewhere between the job and the paycheck, there’s still a thing called opportunity, and that’s what people need to pursue.”

Read more Mike Rowe posts on the blog, here! Any favorite quotes or pieces of Rowe-ean wisdom? Leave a comment in the section below anytime!

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