Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Things I lost. Things I found.

It is one year since I stopped coasting. One year since the luxury of not thinking was taken away from me. Professionally, that is. In matters of family and friends, the cogs were meshing away, but I had lost any pride in my work, had no sense of belonging to the core of the company and a vague sense that well, they just owed me because. The longevity defence.

But when WPP decided to pull the plug, the option of not thinking anymore was gone. I was suddenly Keanu Reeves in the Matrix. No, not that one. I got to be the blinky, slime-covered one, finally dumped from the pod of mental gloop and needing a serious power download into my skull.

In the intervening year I have stopped feeling stupid about shameless networking, because networking makes the world go round. It did before me. It will after me. It should be shameless. And in the process I have met some of the most brilliant, energised and focussed individuals. I use the word pointedly, because now I see how individuals can operate within the hive but without the hive mindset.

If I hadn't lost my job I could not have possibly found myself, because I was hiding behind the fucking thing. But I am never going to regret that, because that would be wasting more now, and my now has way too much great stuff in it, because I lost my job. Funny old life.

I have no fear of recession, because I know how rich we are as a country. But I do get upset for those losing their jobs, because it's a terrifying step off a cliff. I feel (a bit) sad for the hive minds, because I haven't quite forgotten the mindless comfort of it. I get infuriated with the 'Nothing to do with me' legions operating within our vast and sluggish civil service/semi-state marshes. And by fuck are there plenty, still sucking at the full-cream tit with no regard for those who cannot, hung up on scales and benefits and grades and petty competition and living a daily obsolescence. A friend of mine has just been fortunate enough to get a contract with one of these government services. One we all know. She came from the real world. In Week 1 she was told three times that 'this isn't a performance-based company like your last one.' You know what? I believe that they believe that. And something else? They are terribly wrong to think that way, because nothing is too big to fall.

Okay, spleen vented. What actually prompted it all was this Slideshare presentation by Charlie Hoehn. It's his guide to getting any job you want within a year of finishing college. It has such wisdom, foresight and level-headedness from one so young that I can only sit back and applaud him. The prick. When I think of how I wasted my twenties. Aah, maybe he'll screw up his forties and the karmic wheel will trundle along nicely.

Can't see it somehow.

Discovered via the equally was-probably-always-together Seth Godin.

And and and. You know who you are. Thanks.


  1. Great post Nick - insightful and inspiring in all the right ways. You may be interested to know that there's a few heads thinking of organising a Blogcamp that will not only provide a shameless networking event, but wiould finally get the two of us in a room to talk about all the blog stuff we've been threatening to do for the last 6 months!

  2. Fair play, Nick. Congrats on a great year.

  3. Love posts like this that inspire people to strive to do what they love doing - graduate or not. Will send it round with abandon

  4. Blogcamp sounds just about right up Nerd Street, where I live in fact! Make it so, Christian.

    Markham, thanks. It is most assuredly a work in progress.

    Shenda, great to hear from you. Yes, he's a little bit inspiring alright, and I'm inclined to trust anyone coming through the ranks of 'I did it myself' much more quickly these days.

  5. Hey Nick, nice post. Very spontaneous and encouraging. I also flicked through the slideshare presentation and unless I missed a core point, what I do think is that anyone making the effort this guy did/does for free would probably not last long working for somebody else down the line. I agree that even if the whole social media/employee/worker's skills exposure through activities like blogging doesn't bring about pure entrepreneurship, it may as well produce intrapreneship, or something along those lines that is totally incompatible with the non-thinking-luxury as you say. And that is great. Good things are definitely happening :)BTW: Happy anniversary

  6. Joe: I thank you.
    Facundo: couldn't agree more. Cream will rise to the top. And thanks for the good wishes.