Saturday, January 6, 2018

Rising in the ranks

Typically, you can be rewarded for talent and intelligence and reliability by getting a job and rising in the ranks.  We tend to look up to the manager.  But what if nobody is hiring?  What if you get a job but you won't be promoted because your family and you are Muslim?  What if you like the basic work, whatever it is, but you don't like managing people?  Maybe you did get a job and you found that the basic work was boring, uncomfortably hazardous, too demanding.  

Once, our people were hunter-gatherers.  Then, we became farmers.  Then, we started manufacturing.  We only did the farming during the last 10,000 years.  We only did manufacturing during the last three centuries and mostly for only 1 and a half to 2 of them.

In 1698, Thomas Savery, an engineer and inventor, patented a machine that could effectively draw water from flooded mines using steam pressure. Savery used principles set forth by Denis Papin, a French-born British physicist who invented the pressure cooker.

Who Invented the Steam Engine? - Live Science

To go from hunting to farming to being on the job when the whistle blows in order to receive some money (what's money?) involves many steps and changes of mind, habit and social norm.

I find young pupils charming and interesting so I enjoy teaching. When you teach people, you get a chance to study a variety of subjects but you get a bigger opportunity to study the people.  In many types of work, the product is not a living thing and certainly not a precious, loved child expected to grow up to be a happy, valuable citizen.  Because I happen to live in a time when children go to school and also a time of science and investigation, I didn't rise in the ranks.  Instead, I went back to school and studied ideas and methods for investigation and experimentation.  I am an example of the possibility of engaging in research and analysis in any sort of work, something that may be an alternative to rising in the ranks.

There is plenty of evidence that jobs and managers are still needed but there are many worries that robots and artificial intelligence are about to create conditions where humans won't be needed very much and managers will have to administer departments and organizations with few humans and many machines.  A person can't rise in the ranks if there are no ranks.

Meanwhile, the hot idea and a popular subject is entrepreneurship, a long word that looks French but basically means starting one's own business.  A young person need not join the ranks but could create them.

According to an article in FastCompany, "Why Most Venture Backed Companies Fail," 75 percent of venture-backed startups fail. ... In a study by Statistic Brain, Startup Business Failure Rate by Industry, the failure rate of all U.S. companies after five years was over 50 percent, and over 70 percent after 10 years.Feb 18, 2017

Why Some Startups Succeed (and Why Most Fail) - Entrepreneur

High schools, youth organizations, college business departments, books, private courses and workshops abound that teach some of the basics of getting funds and backers, avoiding pitfalls and creating a viable business.  

This country and the world have been experiencing job and skill related migration where people with appropriate personalities and skills move to new locations, even to other nations, because of job offers and opportunities.  For instance, France has been working at finding scientists in this and other countries that might be willing to move there or work distantly from here with modern methods of communication and computation for a French company.

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