Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Finding of White Collar Work & Scott Belsky Creative Meritocracy Piece

A topic I've thought quite a bit about over... I don't know, the last few years, is that of finding white collar work.

My thinking on the subject has been how difficult it is for many white collar works to quantify or even demonstrate outside of their organization their value and skills. Someone can give their title and the company they work at and those they've worked for, but I'd posit it's more difficult for the white collar worker to showcase and explain their value than a blue collar worker... such as say a mechanic or plumber.

Even within the broad category of white collar workers, there's some fields that lend themselves more easily to demonstrating value and skills than others. An engineer, writer or design person can often have either portfolios of their work or can at least speak to what they've done. For many white collar workers, though, the profession can become a bit of a trap if what they do is "manage things for their company." This jack of all trades business type role can be a difficult one to both break out of and to advance in if care isn't taken to showcase both work done and ability to do work going forward.


I've been meaning to post on this, but finally compelled to do so after reading an interesting article by Scott Belsky. The author of "Making Ideas Happen", Founder and CEO of the Behance Network and guy who posts interesting stuff on Twitter, Belsky seems a good person to write about the area of work.

From his aforementioned Twitter account, I found Belsky's post "Welcome to the Era of Creative Meritocracy" on recognition and advancement of creative work and talent. Some might view it as overly optimistic, but it's a fascinating concept he puts forth. Basic idea is that as we move forward in the Internet age (my words, not his), the best creative work and workers should rise to the top because (among other reasons) more people can view their output online ("The Wisdom of Crowds" idea) and there are more places for one to post and demonstrate work.


If you take Belsky's Behance Network as an example of where a white collar worker can display their work and further this "Creative Meritocracy" it makes sense, but I think his idea has practical applications as well for those white collar creative professional type who aren't necessarily Creatives in the traditional Advertising/Design sense of the word.

Even with keeping in mind that some things might be company confidential information about projects or clients, there's a ton of opportunities someone can have to put forth their work so that it's more than just lines on a resume. Portfolios don't have to be limited to the industries that speak in that language every day. Rather, anyone with access to a computer can set up a free blogspot account and create a website about what they've got to bring.

Maybe it's gonna take a while to reach Belsky's vision, but it's definitely a direction that can and should be moved in by people. Solid stuff...