Sure, it’s great to have purpose in your work. But don’t sweat it if you don’t. Three tips for the purposeless.
“I’m not here to give you the standard commencement about finding your purpose. We’re millennials. We’ll try to do that instinctively,” Mark Zuckerberg told Harvard’s Class of 2017. “The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.”
Baloney. A sense of purpose is like an appendix. If you’ve got one, good for you. If you don’t, you’re not missing anything important.
Give your employees the most precious resource: Time
It’s no secret that the idea of employee loyalty with a company is being redefined in our world today. People are job hopping more than ever before in history. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has said that the average tenure for an American worker currently sits at 4.2 years. Probably better than you were thinking it might be. But this doesn’t tell the whole story. The real story is the breakdown by age groups.
There is a stark contrast between those beginning their career (Millennials) and those ending theirs (Baby Boomers). The 25–34 age range shows an average of 2.8 years in a job, while the 55–64 age range averages 10.1 year. Quite the difference, and has given the older generation something to frown upon when looking at the younger generation.
No one ever said that this business of doing business the right way was going to be easy. The “shareholder value uber alles” philosophy of management that took hold in the 1980s remains powerful even as we’ve seen the rise of alternative visions that add other stakeholders’ interests to the equation.
Now there’s a wave of setbacks for idealistic firms like Juno, the ride-hailing platform that scaled back its profit-sharing plans after being acquired, and Etsy, the handmade-goods marketplace that fired its CEO and laid off workers to try to boost its share price.
Comma.ai is a startup that set out to build autonomous driving tech for hackers and hobbyists. In October, when regulators sent stern warnings to founder George Hotz — known for his exploits cracking iPhones and PlayStations — he shut down the announced product. But now he’s reviving it as an open-source effort (The Verge).
Yesterday, the code for self-driving software called Open Pilot, along with plans for complementary hardware called Comma Neo, went up on Github. Like so many open source projects, this one doesn’t provide a finished product; it’s more a framework for makers to build on. Right now, Comma’s tech works only with selected models of Acura and Honda vehicles — and only at certain speeds. At the start, at least, it will take a special kind of open-source true believer to turn the wheel over to collaboratively developed software. But longer term, Hotz says he’s laying the foundation for a kind of Android for self-driving cars.
Making It…Making the life and livelihood that we choose.
Breakdown… When the previous ways of Making It no longer work.
Breakthrough…When new ways of creating a life and livelihood emerge, often in totally unexpected ways.
Two enthusiastic, tech savvy millennials cornered me last weekend, immediately after my talk on “The Future of Making It — Making the Life and Livelihood that we Choose.” They wanted to share their fears and concerns for the future and they were happy to see someone recognizing the career dilemmas they face…
No, you’re not crazy for going independent. Chasing a job you don’t really want, to work for people you may not like, doing work that may hold no meaning for you, for an industry that might change radically…that’s crazy.