There is a paradox in this pocket of our shared history. Economies in many countries are struggling to recover from an all-time historical low, entire industries are caving and for many, the perceived safety of brick-and-mortar financial institutions is crumbling down. What several generations built on manufactured need is turning to dust.
And yet, as one wave comes to shore, another is swelling in the distance.
Over the last 10 years, more technology has become accessible to the greatest number people in the least amount of time than in our entire history. It took radio 40 years to hit 50 million users. TV took 13 years. But the Internet had 50 million users in four years, and Facebook took just 12 months to hit double that -- 100 million users.
So in spite of the dire financial straits so many of us are in, today -- at this moment -- you have the best chance of finding your dream job.
How is this possible? Five reasons:
- Access: The “boardroom barrier” is not as ironclad as it used to be. You don’t need to be standing in the lobby of the company or organization you want to work with to have them notice you. Whether you are looking for a promotion internally, or looking to access an executive or key holder, you have more ways than ever to connect. This doesn’t mean you should stalk them on Facebook; it means you can target the company or person in a personal manner online, tailoring your communication to insights from social networks, newsletters and blogs. Not a social savvy company? No worries -- a lot can be said from someone’s connections on LinkedIn.
- Knowledge: Public libraries may close, but the Internet does not. While your 9 to 5 may already be accounted for, there is little reason you can’t carve out as few as 30 minutes to narrow down the search of what you love, who does it now, and how you can connect with them.
- Risk: If you want to start something on your own, but don’t know where to start, you no longer have to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to manufacture a prototype. From platforms like Kickstarter, to marketplaces like Etsy, to incubators like General Assembly and sites for designers like Dribbble, we all have a global marketplace for good ideas and an unbiased community to showcase them to (and in some cases, pitch them to). This doesn’t mean it will be easy. It just means that you can access a sounding board and a league of potential investors more quickly than ever before.
- Need: We have a lot of broken systems. From food and agriculture, to education, healthcare and global issues like poverty and equality, we need disruption and we need it now. This means out-of-the-box thinkers and people who are crazy-passionate about affecting change, coming up with unorthodox solutions and going against the grain. There is a growing market for disruptive thinkers -- it's called humanity.
- Value: Over the last five years, there has been a major shift in how we have defined value. Today, you no longer have to choose between “doing good” or “making money.” CSR initiatives are booming, cause marketing is a lucrative industry, and new certifications like B Corp are allowing “for-profits” to thrive in an entirely new framework. There are even new platforms that focus on facilitating "impact investing" for the triple bottom line. Turns out you can make a difference and make money.
Bear with me, but I want to close by quoting Confucius: “Find a job you enjoy, and you will never work a day in your life.” A simple statement, 15 words in its entirety, that still rings true today -- after all, there's a reason it's been shared for centuries. There has never been a better time in history to start looking.
Azita Ardakani is the 27 year old founder of Lovesocial, a Vancouver-based communications agency. With a passion for cause-based campaigns, Azita and her team at Lovesocial leverage the power of social media to connect people with brands and ideas that matter.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.