The industrial age emphasizes these three qualities. We were all tempted to adopt them while in organized school, and it’s easy to imagine that the world still wants it.
When work is geographically limited and the assembly line is efficiently paced, this is precisely what is sought. Your resume certifies that you have what it takes to check the boxes, and the recruiting firm adjusts its salary offer to get the people they need, when they need them.
But now the rules have changed, suddenly and possibly for the long haul.
There are still companies, many of them, searching for HCW. But we don’t really want them.
When your work is digital, when you can work from home, there is no such thing as an “elephant”. This means that the company is either going to hire the cheapest possible person in perhaps a billion worldwide, or get a computer to do it, or…
Or they have to hire someone special.
Someone with significant skills.
They can be traditional types of skills. That you are really good at coding or design or engineering. You’ve completed reading, produced a piece of work, and earned the respect of your peers. You’re not saying, “You need someone, and I’m someone,” but instead, the craft is demonstrable and good enough.
Or they can be real skills, which some call soft skills. That you employ mental labor, thoughtful analysis, care, humor, equality, or other difficult human activities. Significantly more than most people. If you’re off this list, it’ll be worth it by the places you’ll be happiest.
The good news is there is a way. The hard part is digging in and getting better and better.
Not better than good at everything, or even better than good for all. Simply better than good for someone.