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Learn Something from the Upper and Lower Class: Do Not Be Paralyzed by Others’ Opinions

Harrison Barnes
By May 03,2023
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You need to focus on yourself and raise above the standards set by the world around you. When you live your live according to others’ expectations, you blind yourself to your genuine wants and capabilities. Stop worrying about the world and your slot in it; do what you want, the way you want, and you will be much closer to achieving greater heights in your life and career.

A great deal of talent is lost in the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whom timidity prevented from making a first effort; who, if they could have been induced to begin, would in all probability have gone to great lengths in the career of fame. The fact is that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through the best we can. It will not do to be perpetually calculating risks and adjusting nice changes; it did very well before the Flood, when a man would consult his friends upon an intended publication for a hundred and fifty years, and live to see his success afterward; but at present, a man waits, and doubts, and consults his brother, and his particular friends, till one day he finds he is sixty years old and that he has lost so much time in consulting cousins and friends that he has no more time to follow their advice.

-Sydney Smith

Several years ago, I took an interesting anthropology class that looked at class systems in various countries. I learned one thing in that course that is relevant to why so many people in this world do not reach their full potential, and I am sure that there is a lesson here for you as well.

If you take the time to understand the message I am about to share with you, I am confident you will find the job of your dreams. You have a built-in obstacle that may prevent you from learning what I am about to share with you; however, if you can get over this obstacle, you will be a much different person a few months from now. You will be more fulfilled and happy, and will never need to worry about finding a job.

I am very passionate about what I am about to share with you. People who have listened to the message have gotten the jobs they wanted, as fast as they wanted to, and in at least a few cases, they have increased their income more than threefold. Try as I might, though, I have failed to convince very many people of the merits of the advice I am about to impart. I have seen people fail to follow this advice and then lose their homes, get divorced, and fade into obscurity. I hope you will listen.

Your career is everything. You are capable of anything.

My anthropology professor spent several lectures discussing how the upper and lower classes tend to have more in common with each other than the middle class has with either. He was speaking about all people in all different societies and places. For example:

-The upper and lower classes tend to not work.
-There tends to be a higher prevalence of extreme drug and alcohol use in the upper and lower classes.
-The upper and lower classes tend to be poorly educated.
-The upper and lower classes tend to not care what others think.

Getting into discussions about class in America is something that can polarize and upset people. (My intent is not to upset you or tell you that you are in one class or another.) However, one thing that really stuck out for me was the professor’s observation that, generally speaking, the upper and lower classes both tend not to care what others think of them as much as the middle class does. The middle class in America, and in most parts of the world, has traditionally conformed to certain expectations of how to look, act, and behave.

To give you an example, consider someone like Paris Hilton. Paris has had problems with alcohol, has been extremely controversial, and did not even attend college. In fact, she was expelled from high school and had to later earn a GED. Paris was arrested for drunk driving and even went to jail. Paris is considered “upper class” by social measures, since she is from a long line of wealthy ancestors, is socially connected, and is basically regarded as an aristocrat.

Paris’ behavior also shows that she does not care much about what other people think. To a person who is unaware of Paris’ lineage, the young woman would probably appear to be lower class. Very few middle class people would ever behave like Paris does.

For someone like Paris, it does not matter that she did not go to college. It does not matter that she was arrested for drunk driving and spent time in jail. She can essentially do whatever she wants because she is not controlled by anyone, nor is she dependent upon anyone’s approval.

I can guarantee you that Paris would never tolerate this same behavior from the people managing her hotels, her lawyers, and others. People working for Paris in the “middle class” are expected to look and act a certain way to meet the approval of Paris and her family. This is, in essence, a short lesson in the class structure of America. The middle class, together with its schools and other social norms, essentially teaches its members to do everything they can to meet the approval of the upper class.

Paris Hilton does whatever she wants to do. She acts when she wants to act and is not hindered by how her behavior looks to others. She is also extremely successful in her career, getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend club openings for just a few hours. The world rewards people who do whatever they want.

I want you to understand how much there is to learn from someone like Paris Hilton, who doesn’t care what others think. When you focus on others’ opinions, you become paralyzed into inaction, which greatly limits what you can accomplish.

I grew up in a very middle class household. I was told how to act and how to hold eating utensils. I was made fun of if I dressed differently from other middle class kids. I was told what time to study, and was lectured constantly about how my actions looked to others. I was pushed in many directions to help me gain approval from the people I would ostensibly be working for one day. This is how things are for most middle class people. We do what other middle class people, and all other members of society, deem to be acceptable. We look for guidance and are constantly pushed to act a certain way. This is the land of suburbs, 9-5 jobs, regular haircuts, and, in general, predictable American living. This is the world most people in the United States are familiar with. If you are reading this, we are “birds of a feather” because you are also in the working world, and are like most of us, who seek the approval of others.

The problem with this middle class way of thinking is that it is extremely limiting. Instead of acting how you want, you think of every action in terms of how it will look to others, and whether or not it is something a member of the middle class should be doing.

You should not over-analyze. The more you analyze your actions, the worse results you are likely to have. People never become good at sports like golf, for example, until they stop over-analyzing every shot they make. You cannot act effectively until you release the part of yourself that analyzes everything you do. This is especially true with your job search. Psychologists would say that you need to release part of your ego in order to become more successful and happy.

I am passionate about finding people jobs, and I have learned from experience that certain ways of finding jobs work virtually every single time and in all economies. I spend many of my days trying to tell people the best way to get jobs; however, people looking for jobs are almost always middle class and are concerned about how their actions look to others. As a consequence of this way of thinking, I have seen countless people cease to have good and promising careers.

The absolute best way to get a job is to (1) apply to every single job opening you can locate (regardless of what you may or may not know about the company), and (2) send your résumé (unsolicited) with a good cover letter to every single employer you could possibly work for in the geographic area of the United States you are interested in working in (and in other areas as well). My entire life basically revolves around two services I have developed to help people do this:

-Job sites (Hound.com and EmploymentCrossing.com) which track down and consolidate every single opening.
-Companies that assist with mass mailings: EmploymentAuthority.com and LegalAuthority.com, (for attorneys and law students).

In order to get a job, you need to apply to every single open position.

You need to get your résumé in front of every single company that could possibly hire you.

You need to choose an area where you would like to work, and keep expanding this area until you land a job.

It’s that simple. To make the process even more effective, it is smart to call every employer you apply to and express your interest. Most people are afraid to do this; however, I urge you to.

What does this have to do with Paris Hilton? The services I run all require a fee. People believe they should never have to pay to find a job. This is a middle class mentality that many people cannot get over. These same people would be happy to purchase a reference or research book, but when it comes to their career they believe they should never have to pay for a serious job search service.

Having to pay to access a job search service eliminates probably 98 percent of all job seekers. These people fail to reach their full potential and to learn about all jobs in the market due to their deep-seated beliefs.

Then there is the issue of paying for a service that assists in sending out mailings to companies in an unsolicited manner, which is by far the most effective way to get a job. There are many reasons for this, but I will just outline a few:

-Paper applications (i.e., letters) tend to get opened and read more than email applications sent though online job sites.

-Unsolicited applications often force employers to decide if there is a need and whether they will bring someone in for a position.

-Unsolicited résumés are rarely sent to prospective employers. Most employers that receive an unsolicited résumé from you will believe that you must be very interested in their organization, since there are no advertised openings. Companies and firms are often flattered by an unsolicited résumé.

-Sending out unsolicited résumés ensures that you are applying to all openings you could potentially fill in a geographic area (unadvertised openings, openings potentially being filled internally, and openings that may have appeared in small regional publications you may not have been aware of).

-Job seekers who send unsolicited résumés have the opportunity to speak with every employer in a given city that is interested, and to compare cultures, salaries, and job requirements.

This way of getting a job is incredibly effective and works almost all the time. The problem with mass mailings is that they are often expensive (over $1,000 in most cases) and, consequently, many people believe they are scams, or too complex. In addition, most middle class people only want to get jobs the way others do. They refuse to try something new because they are concerned about how it would look to others. They are more concerned with their reputation than with the fact that using this technique can get them a job.

Incredibly, probably less than one in every 1,000 job seekers ever considers using mass mailings as part of a job search. In tough financial climates wherein there are few openings, this is by far the best way to get a job.

Looking for a job is very competitive. You need to do everything within your power to secure a job, and you should not worry about the opinions of others. It is your future that is at stake and your only objective is to get a job–nothing less and nothing more. Others’ ways of doing things may prevent you from succeeding. The Paris Hiltons of the world are succeeding. Learn from this and you will never have a problem getting another job.


You need to focus on yourself and raise above the standards set by the world around you. When you live your live according to others’ expectations, you blind yourself to your genuine wants and capabilities. Stop worrying about the world and your slot in it; do what you want, the way you want, and you will be much closer to achieving greater heights in your life and career.

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is the Founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter himself. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in a search and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive that gets results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities that its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

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