The “Bootstrapping” Myth

Mike: Earlier this week, we had a feature story about how a person got her job at a public relations firm. Part of that answer, we discover, is through connections this person had. “You should take every meeting,” she said. “Because you never know who’s going to have a job open up over the weekend. That’s a lot of how I got my job.” I appreciate how upfront she was about this because it basically demonstrated how “bootstrapping” is often a myth—the idea we got from Horatio Alger who wrote stories about boys working hard and moving themselves out of poverty and up the ladder. This is a part of the heart of the American Dream, but, of course, Horatio Alger wrote fiction. It’s not as simple as that. Were you raised with a “bootstrapping” mentality?