Taking Charge of your own Development

I was interviewed by Rob Paterson (podcast at link) this week and we talked about work, jobs and taking charge of your own professional development. Rob summarized our half-hour together with these points. It is a real pleasure to have someone else encapsulate what you think.

  • The Change in Work – It’s not just factory workers but even Doctors that are going to be automated or outsourced. So how will you make a living? Only truly creative work will pay.
  • So what is Creative Work? – It is not just design etc but will include making valuable things and even growing food – and new sites such as Etsy enable you to find a market
  • The Industrial World Deskilled work – It all became assembly – Anything like this can be automated and will be
  • The jobs cannot come back
  • Training works well when you want to learn how to drive a car – you can train to be a carpenter but making the shift to be creative or to stand for themseleves – you cannot train for that

What is the new?

  • So what helps you be this new person?
  • Apprenticing – complex things cannot be learned except by shared experience
  • The crafts communities have never lost this – learn the rules and then learn how to break them – look at studios – very little teaching – mainly doing
  • Then you have to get connected to your community
  • All sorts of studios will emerge that will help you where clusters of people who know aggregate
  • The Knowledge Artisans have to take charge of themselves

What about advice for you?

  • Learn REAL skills – not just how to make it in an organization
  • Learn how to have a network – in the job world we don’t have them – many of us don’t know anything about this if we have had a job – so start now
  • This must be diverse and be about your interests
  • Put yourself OUT THERE
  • You are as good as your network
  • Think of yourself as a Freelancer for Life – and so always nuture your network  no matter what – avoid getting lulled into a sense of false security

His [my] advice to his [our] kids

  • Find the sweet spot (Dave Pollard) Find out your passion, what you are good at and what people will pay you for
  • You have to have all three

Rob just wrote a book, the first in a series, called You Don’t Need a Job. If you could spend an evening with Rob, I am sure he would share much of what he has written here. But for less than the price of buying him a glass of red wine [his preference I would guess] you can purchase this e-book for only $2.99. Rob provides an interesting way to look at the changing nature of work, and how people are reacting to the fact that the economy and society have fundamentally shifted.

We can see the world now dividing into three camps. There is a camp in Phase I [childhood]. They want simple answers. They want the good old days where women know their place and God rules the natural world. All who are not with them are against them. There is a camp in phase II [teenager]. They want to belong. Status is granted to them by belonging to the system. They want structures that can be predicted. The natural world is only a resource. They want control. And finally there is phase III [adulthood]. Here people need to express themselves. They need to be part of what is going on. They feel connected to all people and to all things.

There is lots of good advice in this first manual for the network era. You may not need a job, but we all need to work together in creating better structures for exchanging value. This book can help. Rob’s next book, You don’t need a Banker, will be out soon. Rob is also an ex investment banker, and has seen the inside of the beast, so I am sure we will learn much from him on this subject.

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