Success is a function of your willingness to have uncomfortable conversations.
Last week, I quit my contract job. Without another one to go to.
I had been working flat out for a year, with only a couple of short breaks. My mental health was suffering. I wasn’t enjoying the work at all. My weekends were spent recovering from the week, just in time to go back in for more punishment Monday morning.
A confluence of unexpected family circumstances meant that, if I quit before the end of the contract, I’d be able to recharge, do some much-needed DIY around the house, and enjoy a holiday with my youngest daughter before she shoots off to start university.
And I’d be able to rethink what I do, and why I do it. I’d have some time to write posts like this one.
I had to bid farewell to colleagues I’d been working with for a year. One or two of them, I’d grown quite fond of.
Very interesting post from Tim Ferriss. He’s up in arms over the Washington DClocal council‘s decision to protect the local (and purportedly corrupt) taxi services from upstart startup (pun intended) competition. And he’s calling for people to hound the council politicians, until the decision is overturned.
The idea being: Competition is always healthy, and any initiative that stifles it in the name of protecting fat-cat monopolies is inherently evil.
Not being American, I won’t be taking the action Tim Ferris requests. I do think he is right to feel angry. Whenever the powerful few collude to protect their privileged position at the expense of the hungry many, we are right to feel angry.
Look for this kind of story to occur more frequently over the coming years.
As the revenues of governments and many traditional business flatline (or decline), the temptation will be strong for them to collaborate, legally or otherwise, against anyone threatening further erosion of those revenues. Continue reading →
Here’s a cool site: They Don’t Teach You This in School. Articles and short videos by people, some famous, some not, each expressing what they wish they had learned a lot earlier. All of them very inspiring and motivational.
It’s a site created by a 17-year-old. Mighty impressive. I wonder what he’ll post on it in 30 years’ time?
Can’t help but wonder, though, if there should be a sister site, They Shouldn’t Teach You This in School?
Early on in life, I somehow got the impression that the customer must always be the one holding the money.
That’s was true in a world that was short on cash and opportunities, but long on time and attention span.
But in so much of the world now, the reverse is true. (That’s not to say that we all have plenty of cash, and no time. But we generally have plenty of options for acquiring more cash quickly with the time they have available.)
A couple of days ago, a freelance colleague asked me if I know any freelance engineers who are currently out of work.
I don’t. (A year ago, I knew a few that were out of work. None today, in the UK at any rate.)
He replied to the same effect, then added that a recruiter friend of his had over a thousand openings for permanent-staff engineers that he simply couldn’t fill.
From a purely selfish standpoint, this is good news. I’m on the winning side of that equation. I’m as busy as a freelancer could wish to be, and I regularly have to disappoint recruiters calling in search of a solution to their particular problem.
It isn’t good news, of course. This is a big problem. The economies of the western world are struggling to grow, governments are (seemingly futilely) trying to balance their budgets, skilled and unskilled people are out of work.
Here’s an interesting quote. In the July 2011 issue of Freelancing Matters, Julia Meyer (CEO, Ariadne Capital) says, “I don’t know a single person under 30 who wants to work for someone else.”
This does not bode well for traditional mindset companies that need to backfill their retiring baby-boomers.
I’m finding the same thing. Most of the teenagers I know are aiming for careers as freelance something-or-other. The last thing on their minds is a traditional career in accounting, law, medicine, science, engineering, etc.
Old-school HR managers have still not clued in.
To ensure the future, old traditional-culture corporations will have to take one of two options: