Horses and Choices

If you ask me what you should learn and where you should work, my answer will be simple: Learn what makes you feel smart, and work where you feel valued. Do what makes you feel good.

The world of employment has changed; job security has nothing to do with your employer, and job seekers are quite similar to horses.

I like horses. They are noble, they have a strong fight-or-flight response, and most importantly, they can sleep both standing up and lying down. Basically, they are the best evolution could do.

That being said, I don’t like carriage horses, the ones who run with blinders on. The reason for the blinders is that, by nature, horses have wandering eyes. They tend to travel in whichever direction they are looking, so the blinders keep them focused on the path chosen for them. Not all horses have choices.

Which leads me to us, people. If you look at an average, basic timeline in the Western world, we find that there is a period of about ten years during which we have to make a lot of tough decisions – what to learn, where to work, who to marry, where to live, and more. And we do have choices.

Social conventions push us into mediocrity while convincing us that this desire is internal. One of the lies we tell ourselves, that society has convinced us of, is that we need stable work – we need job security.

My grandmother used to tell me, “Find a stable job. Job security is the most important thing.”

There used to be a logical relationship between your degree and your career, with a clear path after college.

Attaining a Bachelor’s Degree effectively guaranteed employment with regular career progression until retirement. The employee was responsible for their own security, for maintaining a job and getting paid on time.

Today, we live in a world where employment options can best be defined as micro-careers.To find a job you have to develop and project confidence; confidence in your interests, in what you like to do and what you are good at doing. Who you are. Confucius said it long ago: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

So how do you navigate a world full of opportunities?

Although it sounds materialistic, people should look at themselves as a product.

Understand your strengths and skills, and find appropriate niches in the job market. Every job you take will add tools to your personal toolkit and ultimately help you become better at what you like and want to do. Thinking is a daily activity, and the one who falls asleep with a box of film will get up in the morning in a world full of digital cameras.

The day you understand that you are an entrepreneur and view your career path as your own personal startup, you’ll find creative ways to develop and brand yourself.

The world is full of new opportunities. In the startup world you can find desirable professions that never existed before – Community Managers, Growth Hackers, Mobile Marketers, and more. These are professions that allow creative freedom and independence to work literally from any place on Earth (as long as you have an internet connection). The best thing about the future of opportunities is that most of these jobs have not yet been invented. According to Thomas Frey, futurist and author of Communicating with the Future, “60% of the best jobs in the next ten years haven’t been invented yet.”On the other hand, Frey said there are 2 billion jobs that will disappear by 2030. Technology eliminates jobs on the one hand, and produces options on the other hand. Now is the time to choose the right hand.

So go out and learn. Do it online and offline. Understand the skills that are becoming relevant and invest in them.

Remember that you have the right to choose and life is short. If you waste opportunities, you will not forgive yourself.

Remember the horses? Don’t be a carriage horse – take off your blinders, second-guess the things that you hear, and look around. Don’t let your environment and social conventions dictate your way and make you look in one direction only. And live. Just live.