It is often said, the Internet will change the way we work, just as it had changed the way we live. Not being a social scientist, I had not paid much heed to this bold statement, but there is a very definite shift in the way the world of work is structured fundamentally.
18 years ago, I decided I needed to make serious money to build up a war chest to be able to live the life of my choosing. I ended up being Head of the Japan Desk for Barclays Global Investors Europe, managing over U$800million of assets for institutional clients. As Head of Desk, I made a few trips to Japan to visit the companies that we were heavily invested in. I was very surprised to see some very old guys in the corporate chill-out areas, immaculately dressed, just sitting around reading newspapers and chatting amiably to each other. I was later told that these guys were the very senior executives who had served the company loyally and were now just sitting out their retirements with dignity, rather then being dumped by the company once they past their sell-by dates.
Yes, those were the days of cradle-to-grave job security, where the company cares for you the way your own family would. But these days, it is not easy to find a faceless multinational that cares for its employees like a family member would. Heck, it is difficult to find families who care for each other even! These days, we have parents washing their hands off troubled grown-up children, just as we have grown-up children dumping vulnerable old parents, too busy to visit or to care. If families don’t do it for each other, how could companies (which are merely collections of people) do it for their employees?
From these fractured value system comes a positive backlash (doesn’t it always? – from bad things, good ones arise). More and more people are trying their hand at entrepreneurship instead of working in jobs that no longer feed their inner fire. More and more people are charting their own futures and realising their own personal goals instead of working for someone else’s. More and more people are believing that they can make it work on their own steam and there is a comfort in numbers.
Yes, it has begun to gather momentum.
Entrepreneurship is no longer the domain of the foolhardy. There are so many structures out there to support those who are stepping out on their own for the first time. Start-up-labs, affordable serviced offices, networking groups, cheap packages for just about everything you need. Actually, you don’t need much at all, except a good plan, guts and determination.
Anna will be setting up a start-up support group once we have settled into our new business, so please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be kept posted. Or just follow this blog 🙂
Here’s one meme that explains entrepreneurship succinctly:
(posted by Jacqueline)