This means we may need to change our expecations, change our training and change how we engage with the future. Still, it’s better than fighting for a status quo that is no longer. The good news is clear: every forever recession is followed by a lifetime of growth from the next thing…
Job creation is a false idol. The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. It will change the fabric of our society along the way. No one is demanding that we like the change, but the sooner we see it and set out to become an irreplaceable linchpin, the faster the pain will fade, as we get down to the work that needs to be (and now can be) done.
This revolution is at least as big as the last one, and the last one changed everything.
Godin says in a more intelligent, eloquent and much less expletive-ridden way what I was trying to say a few weeks ago. The country is experiencing a fundamental shift away form manufacturing, away for service and toward entrepreneurship driven by digital connectivity. if you’re depending on a big company that makes things to keep you employed and keep you happy, you’re going to be disappointed. The next economy — which is coming, but isn’t here yet — will be based on an individual’s ability to think creatively and innovate, work in small teams and create products (using the term loosely here) not paperwork.
This is going to be a difficult transition for many Americans, and many will be out of work or have to transition to lower-paying menial jobs. It will disrupt everything from how we educate our kids, to how we power our society, to how (or even if) we get from point A to point B. Lots of Americans will suffer from this change, but many more will eventually live more prosperous, fulfilling and balanced lives based on their own ingenuity.
Now is not the time to tear down the social safety net, cut back on education spending, environmental regulations, or provide tax breaks for businesses and industries that are so clearly on their death bed and acting in opposition to the revolution that is coming. Now is not the time to try to inject a terminal patient with the false panacea of “jobs.” Now is the time to recognize what is ahead, clearly articulate the changes and challenges that are coming and invest in the things that are going to make that transition as easy and painless as possible. I have yet to see anyone with the political will or skill to do all three.
(Photo: Abandoned marble factory (10) by Flickr user Joelk75. Used under a Creative Commons License.)