A job. So archaic. What is a job? Let us define. Forgive me. A few definitions courtesy of Definition.com:
A paid position of regular employment
A crime, especially a robbery ?!
An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life
Interested in pursuing a profession rather than devoting all her time to child care and housekeeping ?!
An intense desire or enthusiasm for something
A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation
A strong urge toward a particular way of life or career
Natural aptitude or skill
Thank you for reading. Oh, one more definition, this time courtesy of Wikipedia.org:
Industrialisation is the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one for the purpose of manufacturing. Industrialisation also introduces a sociological attitude change towards our perception of nature.
Where am I going with this? No one, in my assertive opinion, wants a job. I am 35 years old, living in North America and in touch with my social media side. I know what’s happening, who’s doing what and who’s fed up with industrialization’s stubborn vestiges.
We are a generation ready for change. Forgive the cliché. It is true. What happened, the way it happened, why it happened, does not suit us.
Mass production of stuff, the hijacking of natural water sources to create water sold in disposable plastic bottles, pesticide-, hormone-, steroid-, vitamin-pumped produce and animals are not what our parents and grandparents rave about. They have consternation for the life and challenges facing us following decisions that were obeyed, and not halted. Obey authority in all its forms – governmental, religious, institutional, societal – is the eroding governing mentality.
Now, we know. This doesn’t work. However, it almost seems like people aren’t ready for the new, the unexamined. “Well if it’s not capitalism, and it’s not communism, then what is it?! Will we all die?” some chant.
No, we will re-invent together. A lot of ideas are brewing in many places. Just go to any startup festival, or to Notman House on Montreal’s Sherbrooke avenue. These entrepreneurs, many impressively 20 and 30-somethings, are corporate refugees and self-proclaimed proudly unemployable.
This is what I heard over and over at this summer’s gloriously sunny second annual International Startup Festival hosted on the Alexandra Pier at Montreal’s Old Port July 11-13, 2012.
“We are unemployable.” “I am unemployable.” “I started 5 startups. Three failed, but I ain’t stopping.”
This is not undiagnosed craziness. This is entrepreneurship. You start something because you feel like it and because an idea has taken root in your brain and, as entrepreneurs will often say, in your heart too.
An idea is not a harmful thing. Why not dream? Why not try? I started noticing a shift when my friends, one by one, were leaving corporate positions with the 9am to 5pm schedule, a tie and suit dress code, a cubicle seating, a fixed time to eat and a job description that is sometimes respected, sometimes not.
The corporate pick up line no longer works: “Looking for dynamic, innovative, team player with autonomous, driven attitude, ready to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.”
Hmmm, let me jump off a bridge. With a bungee cord of course.
It’s an age where we’re admitting to ourselves and out loud that we do not want this. Don’t try to lure me, big company, with salary, dental and massage insurance and promises of a promotion if I’m good.
We understand that our education, our academic degrees, our world experience, work ethic and our passion and drive are to benefit us. I have a lot to contribute. And not to a company or to a boss who wants my productivity report every week, and not my ideas, my passion and my personal ethics to feed the collective good.
Entrepreneurship is a new breed. Don’t be afraid.
And if you are looking to hook up with the talented and the crazy like you, job boards and online searches, and ancient CV submitting, may not help.
How often do you hear: “I found my job through an acquaintance, my brother-in-law, my cousin, my friend’s roommate, my housekeeper, my boyfriend?”
All these people are contacts you’ve collected on social forums like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. If your entire rollerdex and their friends are at your fingertips, and you know how you can’t stray away from your social news feed, why not capitalize on what’s naturally of interest? People!
Whether you are an entrepreneur, a manager or a recruiter seeking that person who will thrive in your company or whether you know what you excel in and enjoy and are looking for interesting people to excel with, the convenience of using all your contacts to help you find what you’re seeking professionally is out there.
Gotta give props to a Montreal startup that is greatly facilitating professional connections. matchFWD leverages your social media contacts and adds personalized recommendations to bring you to where it’s at. This team of barely 20 and 30-somethings understands that it’s not about finding a job. It’s a fit that we seek.
It took me decades to finally admit to myself that the team is the crucial piece. Aren’t we all like this? You’re not working with a machine, unless you’re a drone operator.
I was happy to hear a university instructor say in class: “If I can give you any true advice: only accept a professional contract when you feel like you could invite this potential client or colleague to your home for dinner.”
I cannot agree more. Why can’t you enjoy the company of someone whom you’re considering working with over dinner? Can we shoot the shit and find intelligent things to say? Shouldn’t this be the ultimate sign of a good interview?
* photos Jeremy Barwick (flickr), icanewfriend.com