Friday, July 18, 2014

Writing on careers - by Horwitz, Woolever, Hoffman, Cashnocha & Yeh

There's been a few interesting pieces of writing I've come across over the past month that dealt with the subject of careers & work, each piece doing so in a very distinct way.

On writing as a career, there was the fascinating New York Times opinion piece "I Was a Digital Best Seller!" by Tony Horwitz a month ago. In it, the author wrote of his experience in online publishing and how the exciting new digital world of the writer not all he dreamed of.

Also a few weeks ago was "From Botanical Gardens Intern to Anthony Bourdain’s Assistant" for The Billfold. Written by Laurie Woolever, it's a remarkable first-person walk through Woolever's career and all its twists, turns, ups and downs.

The third piece to note here isn't traditional writing, but rather a slideshow about the new book The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age from LinkedIn Founder and CEO Reid Hoffman and his co-authors Ben Cashnocha and Chris Yeh. One idea from the book that's covered in the slides is how employers and employees should focus on a mutually beneficial relationship based on what each gets from working together and the knowledge that the working relationship won't continue if no longer mutually beneficial to both parties. This approach of "we're both benefiting for now" is in opposition to the idea of employees feeling a company owes them jobs or companies viewing an employee as disloyal if they leave for another job.

Again, each of these pieces very different than the other two, but there's fascinating stuff in all three.

One thing that reading these makes me think of is in relation to my own career I feel good having this blog and three books compiled from it as a body of work. I'd rather have my career progress and work opportunities come from what I've done rather than what I say I can do and the blog is as much if not more of a representation of what I've done than my education or actual work experience.