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The Start-Up Of You: Critical Mindset Adjustment for YOU

July 18th, 2011

I got an email from JibberJobber Partner Linsey Levine linking to a terrific New York Times article by Thomas Freidman titled The Start-Up of You.

Linsey has been a JibberJobber partner for at least two years. She really gets it.  Here’s her tagline in her email reads:

I help people in career pain, career limbo, or career depression
Get Unstuck: Get Clear, Get Focused, Get Moving

You can learn more about her at LinseyLevine.com.

Back to the article by Freidman… READ IT! Then read it again. I had to read it three times. It is awesome. Here are some of my favorite parts:

They (the companies he writes about) are all looking for the same kind of people — people who not only have the critical thinking skills to do the value-adding jobs that technology can’t, but also people who can invent, adapt and reinvent their jobs every day, in a market that changes faster than ever.

But you would never know [what companies are looking for] from listening to the debate in Washington, where some Democrats still tend to talk about job creation as if it’s the 1960s and some Republicans as if it’s the 1980s. But this is not your parents’ job market.

Quote from LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman: “No career is a sure thing anymore. The uncertain, rapidly changing conditions in which entrepreneurs start companies is what it’s now like for all of us fashioning a career. Therefore you should approach career strategy the same way an entrepreneur approaches starting a business.

Another Hoffman quote: “For entrepreneurs it’s differentiate or die — that now goes for all of us.””

The last paragraph is brilliant… read the article.

How are you thinking about your career, and career management?  Is it just happening TO you, or are you driving and managing and directing it?

3 Comments »

3 responses to “The Start-Up Of You: Critical Mindset Adjustment for YOU”

  1. Greg Paskill says:

    Many job hunters and careerists are indeed into the idea of versatility, “invent, adapt and reinvent.” They’re more than excited to embrace new possibilities and research them with the ease technology today provides.

    Are the employers of today as fascinated and welcoming of rolling with changes? Not at all, especially when they’re primarily worried about making hiring mistakes.

    It goes beyond the ridiculous of demanding 20 years in Java when the language hasn’t been around that long. It’s the expectation and demand that a job applicant’s history must have absolutely no gaps and that job progressions must show complete logical order. Some of us are thrusted out of our first chosen fields, yet many an employer expects that the major you chose at age 22 must still be the one you’re in at 45.

    Employers aren’t readily willing to explore during interviews how the knowledge and skills you’ve used in other fields can help them in theirs. Instead, they demand you have intense industry experience. Ironically, when some executives of the latest businesses are featured in business press, they admit lots of their plans actually are invented on the fly.

    When employers get over their fear of making hiring mistakes, I’ll believe this talk about going from one line of work to another. Meanwhile, the way I’m seeing this career game being won is to appear as if you’ve been doing it all along, where you convey to the employer a confident and helpful “been there, done that.” (Please note that so few employers want to offer any kind of on-the-job training fearing that you’ll take that to a competitor, and you’ll know what I mean.)

  2. Jason Alba says:

    Greg, I agree with you! As a general statement I think employers (more specifically, their hiring processes) are LAME LAME LAME.

    For many reasons – too many for this comment :)

    Anyway, I think the message here is to be in more control of your career than to just let hiring companies drive our careers.

    Hiring freeze doesn’t mean they won’t hire – I know someone who got an awesome role at a company that had an organization-wide hiring freeze.

    So do we wait until the hiring freeze is over before we try to get in?

    Do we only apply online?

    Or do we employ guerrilla tactics to get through all the barriers?

    Same concept with our “career management.”

    Do we wait for the right things to happen, or do we make them happen?

    Do we trust a company to take care of us, or do we take care of ourselves?

    Do we become agile, and act and think like an entrepreneur has to act and think?

    Too many times we see people are wait to be acted upon, and they are usually not in control. I want people to think about owning their careers more.

    Whether companies are unsophisticated (stoopid) or not, we should all own our own future/careers more…

  3. In 1994, William Bridges wrote “Job Shift”, “How to Prosper In A Workplace Without Jobs?” I browse bookstores and I discovered this gem easily 5+ years ago. I work with individuals in various stages of their career life. College grads to professionals requiring outplacement transition coaching.

    His preface states (in a loosely paraphrased way) that it is not just a certain number of jobs in various industries that are disappearing, it is the very thing itself: “the job”. We are still playing by the old rules of “musical jobs”, the struggle for jobs will seem like an old childhood game of musical chairs with more people left standing without “jobs.”

    He further writes that the modern world is on the verge of a huge leap in creativity and productivity, and the job is not going to be part of tomorrow’s economic reality.

    The good news is that there will always be work that needs getting done but will not be contained in the “familiar envelopes we call jobs.”

    We will all have to learn new ways to work, and the skill in finding a job and a career is through self-management, which means essentially that you are on your own.

    “Today’s workers need to forget jobs completely and look instead for work that needs doing – and then set themselves up as the best way to get that work done.”

    Bridges does provide chapters that are solution driven to manage the inevitable that has shown up, so it is not all doom and gloom.

    We all have new opportunities, we just have to see this new reality with a new eyes.