Tuesday, April 12, 2016

We’re not in the market for creative visionaries

I once applied for twelve hundred jobs in five months. And I was rejected from every single one of them. 

It was a fascinating social experiment. Because after the endless onslaught of phone calls, interviews, meetings, video chats, job fairs, aptitude tests and writing assignments, I learned a valuable lesson about modern business. 

Corporations operate like cars. 

Think about it. The average automobile has thousands of parts. But it only needs one driver. Anything more would be redundant. And so, if a candidate shows up to an interview hoping to convince the hiring manager that she’s anything other than one of those thousand parts, she’s in for a world of disappointment. 

Because companies don’t need more drivers. They’re not in the market for creative visionaries. 

Even if the job application claims they’re seeking passionate, ambitious, innovative thinkers. They don’t want any of those things. 

Just parts. Cheap, generic, replaceable components, that do one thing, over and over, exactly the way the manual says. That’s how the system works. In the organization, the individual is the instrument, not the purpose. 

Carlin actually predicted this trend years ago. He joked that companies don’t want a population capable of critical thinking, they want obedient worker bees. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept lower pay, longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect. 

Except he wasn’t telling a joke, he was telling the truth. Companies are capitalist systems. Employers don’t want to hire you, they just want to hire someone. And once you’re aboard their ship, they won’t hesitate to fire you at the drop of a hat for any reason that fits their business needs. 

If you're okay with that, awesome. And if you're not, perhaps hiring yourself would be a safer path. 

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
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