Don’t allow GPA to Determine your Success
How to Get a Job at Google
In the article from the NY Times, “How to Get a Job at Google,” Laszlo Bock argues that landing a job at a high achieving company such as google is not solely dependent on the caliber of your degree or the rank of the college you attended, but rather the qualities you possess. When determining an employee’s success rate at their company, education proves itself to be irrelevant. Rather, employee success is often dependent on one’s ability to show key factors including: holistic thinking, ability to learn, leadership skills, and other characteristics aside from GPA.
While most people believe that going to a high achieving college and graduating at the top of your class allows for automatic success in the job sector, Bock challenges this traditional idea in stating that “your degree is not a proxy for your ability to do any job” (Bock) . Along these same lines, today people view college as the place to go just because it’s what they’ve grown up being told to do. The opportunity not to go to college never even presents itself to the majority of people due to an emphasis since birth on the importance of a college education. In fact, in many cases it is looked down upon to drop out or avoid college, and many owners will avoid application that do not present a college education.
However, if perception of these non-college attending individuals is altered, it could actually change the world.
Bock mentions how finding those individuals that did not attend college and are still succeeded are actually the most “exceptional human beings” because they proved their ability to make it on their own and handle problems that can present itself.
Furthermore, as the years go on, it is becoming prevalent how the ways in which you challenge yourself and the qualities you possess lead you way further to success than many of the skills you obtain sitting in a classroom. Bock goes as far to state that, “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless” because all they reflect nothing else but your ability to do what you are told and study concepts you’re taught. These qualities provide nothing when it comes to showing how you will succeed in a work setting which is why “research shows that many graduates from hotshot business schools plateau” (Bock).
While many interpret this in the wrong way and believe that they can ease their way into a job by showing leadership through basic opportunities such as being “president of the chess club” that is also not the characteristic Bock stresses that they are looking for. While those experiences may have shaped who you became and allowed you to have experiences, the main quality employers look for in their workers is their ability to get themselves out of a difficult situation, face consequences head on, and work as a part of a team.
Along with basic leadership skills and ability to work together, one of the main characteristics Bock discusses is the ability to be strong willed and argue your point. He points out that those that will succeed are the ones willing to “argue like hell” (Bock) and that have a “big ego and small ego in the same person at the same time” because it will enable them to argue their point, but learn other perspectives at the same time. Those that are experts in what they do tend to be close minded and believe they know best. While the ability to learn and have an open mind will usually be the ones who succeed at the highest level.
Furthermore, the most important lesson for individuals looking to get a job at either Google, or companies run similarly to their style is that academics aren’t everything. Going to college can easily be an investment worth while if it is something you are passionate and driven towards. However, Bock places the importance on not going to college for the sole purpose of believing it is “the right thing to do” (Bock) rather focus on gaining experiences that allow you to challenge yourself and gain qualities past your GPA.
Thomas L., Friedman. “How to Get a Job at Google.” New York Times 22 Feb. 2014. Web.
LLC, U. (n.d.). Reviewed. Retrieved December 03, 2016, from
Why you Shouldn’t Go to College. (n.d.). Retrieved December 03, 2016, from