This book, “Mash-up: How to Use Your Multiple Skills to Give You an Edge, Make Money and Be Happier,” is DEFINITELY going on my reading list.
The future of business is project-based, rather than role-based, and the people who will thrive in this kind of economy are labeled by Fast Company as “Generation Flux” – adaptable, multi-talented people with “a mind-set that embraces instability, that tolerates – and even enjoys – recalibrating careers, business models and assumptions.”
Didn’t realize there was a term or even a definition for people who feel the way that I do about work. That is, that the old fashioned ‘career’ is soon to be a thing of the past. The folks who are going to be successful with this new paradigm are the ones who are able to quickly recognize where their passions and skills match up with new opportunities and remix that into a series of different jobs for which they are best suited.
These people—those of us who are adaptable and have a broad range of skills—are always going to be filling some need before there’s a proper job title for it. Hence the ‘project-based’ business versus a ‘role-based’ one that the book outlines.
I would argue that small (and even some medium sized) businesses are already project based businesses in some ways. I know from experience that at small businesses, roles and titles are less apt to get in the way of projects because there isn’t the luxury of super-specialization (and a lumbering bureaucracy) like there is in larger companies.
Having this kind of flexibility is the way I like to work because it allows me to explore what I’m interested in, to move faster, and test more. And I when I’m intellectually curious about something, I do my best work and I’m at my most creative.
Not only does this scenario sound like it will make for happier workers and better outcomes, it’s probably more efficient for companies to operate in this manner. I should restate that: I think this will make the best workers more happy. For other workers who have a narrow range of skills or those who have a ‘coasting’ mentality, this environment will most likely cause some anxiety.
However, I do think there is some danger that this kind of working environment might ‘freelance-ize’ more and more of the workforce (such as happened with many graphic design and writing roles). And I see that as a negative only in the danger of that is the lack of benefits and protections for freelancers. And especially for most US citizens for whom no benefits means no healthcare.
Anyway, I will pause further speculation until I actually get to read the thing. I’ll report back once the book is released.