September 2, 2013

Are jobs coming or going?

This Labor Day, Fred Wilson has an important post about how technology is affecting employment.

There's so much to say about this and so many ways that the future could play out. I do believe the future of employment will change dramatically. It already has. Here's my path in the last 20 years as a laborer:

My first job was at my Dad's restaurants. I got it because I'm his kid.
My second job was at Kaplan. I got it because I had a college degree and good test scores. I found it on Monster.
My third through sixth jobs were on political campaigns or government agencies. I got all of them through friends because of my volunteer work and personal interest in politics.
My seventh job was in non-profit communications. I got it because I had a personal connection to the org and I knew the person who was hiring.
My eighth and ninth jobs were for tech companies. I got them because I was friends with the founders and had stayed in touch with them over the years.

If I had to rely solely on my degrees or online job boards, I'd be nowhere. There is no way I'd be in the role I have now without building a personal network over time, taking chances on new fields, and constantly improving my skills in management, problem solving and communication. I don't know if this is a method that works for everybody, but I'm in my dream job now, and that's how I found it. I encourage every student or job-seeker I meet to start doing side work now, make friends with people who are starting companies, and keep in touch with people from your past, because you never know.

I stand in solidarity with the worker.