Really, a book review, after a lengthy silence for more than a month ?!? “YES, a book review.” Never underestimate the power of a good book. Any by good, what I’m really saying is that a collection of written words that have the power to move you or inspire you.
Such is the book of Taylor Pearson, author of The End of Jobs. This book is not very new; it’s been in circulation since 2015, but I decided to pick it up at a time in my life when my professional comfort zone was challenged recently. It’s a surprisingly easy read, especially to those who enjoy a bit of a historical perspective.
The End of Jobs, in a nutshell, emphasizes this plain truth: “The rapid development of technology and globalization has changed the leverage points in accumulating wealth: money, meaning and freedom,” (excerpt from The End of Jobs). The book retells the origin of wealth accumulating economic activities throughout time, from the Agricultural Economy of the 1300-1700s followed by the Industrial Economy of the 1700-1900s, then the Knowledge Economy of the 1900-2000s. Today, we are at the stage of the Entrepreneurial Economy, where knowledge workers are shifting towards entrepreneurial or business-minded work, which naturally drives focus to the self instead of a company or corporation, and ultimately establishes the Entrepreneur as the dominant player rather than the President or CEO.
But how does one become an entrepreneur? And why should you? Pearson gives a very good argument for entrepreneurship: “Globalization means you are no longer competing to be more knowledgeable than the person down the street, but more knowledgeable than seven billion people around the world,” (excerpt from The End of Jobs). With the rapid development of technology, many simple tasks have been replaced by automation, driving more people to do more complicated tasks – tasks that have never been done before, or tasks that no one else can replicate. This is where the individual comes in, what makes a person uniquely him or her. The author is convincing us that there is no better time than today to invest in entrepreneurship. You might argue that not everyone has the skills to become one; but being an entrepreneur is an acquired skillset, it can be learned. Similar to investing or accumulating wealth, this particular skill can be attained through acquiring knowledge. It is, in fact, an asset that can be invested in, and over time will help us reap a reward. Entrepreneurship, according to Pearson, “is more accessible, safer, and more profitable than ever before in history.”
There’s so much more to cover about the book, but instead of going into that, I’d like to relate this to those of you working abroad. What does it have to do with you? This book is an eye opener to many who still believe that the only way to gaining wealth and enjoying a comfortable life is to be employed by a good company or principal. While it held true during the Knowledge Economy, the world is shifting, tilting towards an era where employed workers can probably be replaced with machines or computer programs, or even apps! You don’t want to be caught in that likely scenario 10, 15 or 20 years from now; you want to be prepared. And the book is simply telling us to prepare for that eventuality.
Many of us consume various things – some may be needed, a lot are wanted, and mostly desired. But have any of us actually desired wanting to gain more knowledge? To gain more education, or skills to improve who we are? Pearson is enlightening us that gaining knowledge has never been easier, faster or more affordable. Everything is available on the internet! We just need to rethink what we consider worthy of our hard-earned money. Investing in online courses, in books, or in learning sessions while abroad or back in the Philippines are all geared towards helping you become better, and more prepared for life after working abroad.
So here’s what I want you to do…think back to yourself when you were 8 to 10 years old. What did you want to be? Think of where your passion and heart were at that time. Is that something you want to pursue, or revive? Or is there something else (other than what you’re doing now) that you would find worthy investing in? When you answer what that is – invest in it, acquire the knowledge to be good at it. Acquire new skills, and practice. After all, you can never tell for sure what’s going to happen, or when.
Visit ofwcoach.com for tips and information to empower you to come home, for good. Subscribe to my mailing list to get updates straight to your mailbox, and feel free to check out the tools section for useful resources. If you have a personal OFW experience you’d like to share, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you! Coach signing off until next time!