[The] Economy is the method by which we prepare today to afford the improvements of tomorrow. – Calvin Coolidge
One of my friends said, in this day in age ”it’s not about who you know, but about who knows you.”
This was a very astute observation.
It encapsulates the changing nature of the US market place.
The US has shifted from the industrial age to the information age, or from manufacturing to becoming a service-based economy.
Many are concerned about what this transition means for traditional gender roles at the household level and the overall employ-ability of men.
Some of this angst is just an inherent part of creative destruction. I think that time will reveal how people, workplaces and households will adapt.
We all know that at some point in US history, college educated people and non-college educated people alike, hoped to land a position with a reputable company. They planned to be rewarded for their loyalty, work their way up the ladder, then retire with thanks for their many years of service.
For millennials like myself, this is a quaint idea.
We do lattices, not ladders.
We believe in loyalty, but we know that the chances of us getting a pension, or even health care insurance is far from guaranteed. We expect to work for multiple employers in our lifetime and we’re focusing on meaningful work, flexibility and gaining skills that are more portable.
This is as much as key to our survival as it is a professional growth strategy.
This lattice mentality means that millennials aren’t afraid to move on from a work environment that they do not feel is a good fit. We’re also willing to cross sectors and try our hands at things which we find interesting.
It also means that more and more, millennials are seeking a competitive edge by getting our names out there –on blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, websites, Instagram and the like.
This is what my friend was alluding to when she said it matters, “who knows you.”
The major question that I have, is what does it mean if instead of creating brands, like Henry Ford or Mark Zuckerberg, we’re becoming brands, like Martha Stewart?
Is this blending of our personal and professional lives and the increased opaqueness of where one ends and the other starts, a sign of progress? Or is the personal privacy we trade in for professional success an Orwellian trend that we should worry about?