Careers: An Invention of the 20th Century (Pt. IV)

April 27, 2009

We Must Change

It’s time to rethink our formula. It just won’t work in this new future.

We can no longer plan on coming out of college and getting good jobs right away, at least ones in our field. And if we do get those jobs, what are the chances – really – that we will actually have the opportunity to realize that career path that has been laid out before us? Are you willing to bet your life on that in the cold, cutthroat world of bottom line?

We’ve been told to go to school, get good grades, get a good job. The end, right? But as we’ve discussed here, that’s an old and outdated model. So, what to do?


Our society has trained us to be worker bees. Cogs in the machine. But in the future landscape, the machine will break down. Our institutional thinking will leave us broken down as well.

What we must do is change our minds and attitudes about our work and life. We must loose our entitlement mentality and replace it with something much larger and healthier. We need to dip back into our past to change our future.

We adapt.
We fall in love with learning and growing.
We quit taking life for granted.
We become epic.

We need to shift our focus away from being worker bees buzzing around a hive that is sitting at the edge of a rotting branch.

We’ve seen that for thousands of years, people were entrepreneurs, running their family business or small skilled labor shops. Then, during the 20th century, the whole model of work was thrown on its head. And now, in the 21st century, that’s happening again, and we’re all right in the middle of this shift.

If we want to continue to lead the kind of lives that we’ve become accustomed to, then we’re going to have to build our own business. We cannot and should not rely on an employer to take care of us. That ship has sailed.

But what does this look like? Should we all plan on renting out a space on Main Street and selling cookies or fixing flat tires?

SpaceBankers on This Human Epic

Use What You’ve Got

Some of us will choose to do just that. We’ll always need bakers and mechanics and delivery people. I’m not suggesting that these things won’t be around in twenty years.

What I’m talking about is knowing your gifts and then taking action to position yourself in such a way that when someone needs the service or product you provide, they automatically know that you’re the one to see.


In this new future, it will be in our best interest to know and understand our niche. We must learn to become the expert at whatever it is we love, know, and do, and then build a business around that.

In my opinion, this is the only sustainable course for our lives. While it is a harder path initially to take, in the long run it is one that offers much more freedom and security than being a worker bee.

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