Landing the right job and moving up the career ladder used to entail a tiresome and limiting process. Today, its really just a matter of collaboration.
Author and think-tank queen Rachel Botsman presents us with the idea of collaborative consumption and the shared economy: the idea that the power of technology can unlock the capacity and value of all kinds of assets, such as objects, services, skills, and even kindness. This is a concept and product that most of us knowingly take part in but not many of us consciously think about it or understand it.
One’s profession used to be highly dictated by geography and the jobs available were extremely limited. Oftentimes, your skill sets did not match the needs of where you lived and you were left with a job that you did not want to do, are not qualified for, or no job at all. With collaborative consumption, a world of previous strangers and opportunities can suddenly become available to you through the networking capabilities of technology. Whether it is through social media or through apps, we are suddenly able to instantly reach not only friends but strangers, too, with one press of a button.
Collaborative consumption accomplishes three things that would have been considered wildly impossible back in the 19th century:
Collaborative consumption not only connects strangers to build human relationships with each other but it also provides them with mutual and context specific benefits based on their own available assets and needs. The job search, for example, has transformed from a tiresome and time-consuming physical application to virtual submissions of resumes, portfolios and even the conducting of interviews.
Our network of potential relationships has vastly expanded beyond our families, communities, cities, and countries and the relationships we have with this new network have multiple tiers and dimensions to them. Someone from across town can help you with your household accounting while someone else from across the globe can teach you a new language necessary for a new job.
The scale of our connectivity alone would be inconceivable to the dwellers of the 19th century, but our usage of this connectivity has allowed us to virtually accomplish tasks in the real world. The push of buttons can now equal what used to be a day’s work. Unthinkable! So for those of us whose lives require a bit of juggling, working from home or managing two, sometimes three, jobs at once is not only possible but there are endless options for these kinds of jobs.
Job seekers now have a virtually unlimited amount of options with the added convenience of connectivity. They can find these jobs on the virtual marketplaces like Kalibrr or the jobs themselves are virtual.
Botsman’s theory is that the currency of the new economy is trust. This trust comes in the form of reputations. Our credibility, our legitimacy, assets that cannot be purchased, have become major determinants in how people will perceive and consider us for roles within their networks. We build up our reputations in order to somehow trade them in for assets that benefit us. In rei-magined ways, we’ve brought back the barter system. Within the job hunt, your profile is no longer limited to your printed resume because there are several other virtual avenues you are present in and companies can further access you in through these platforms. You are no longer limited to one or two pages.
In the 21st century, the Collaborative Revolution will be as significant as the Industrial Revolution.