From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

December 2021
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Seeking Jobs. “Present Shock” and “Tour of Duty”
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:50 am

HT and I have known each other for a few years and collaborated
on some projects successfully.  He is looking for a position
and seems overwhelmed with daily pressures.

He seeks a position that will last for a decade or more and
provide a sense of security for himself and his family.  Is that
realistic in today’s economy, workforce demands and personal

Recently, “On Point” presented a segment on “tours of duty”
employment cycles based on a Reid Hoffman HBR article.
While this may not fit everyone’s picture, it is a reality for
several fields and locations.

It is a mindset that “freelancers” share.   In order to be
successful one needs to adopt an entrepreneurial spirit
about your job search.  Douglas Rushkoff has written an
interesting book about some of the forces that generate this
reality in “Present Shock” where HT and others seem “overwound”
with too many pressures.

Rushkoff points out that
1.  we have lost the sense of our life’s narrative and are pushed
into many pressures in the moment– work, car, rent, daily events,
2.  we are constantly interrupted by various communication
media and find we are at the beckon and call of ever changing
things at the same time– constant needs.  (He calls this digiphrenia.)
3.  we relate to global trends (unemployment, advertized “happiness”,
dominance of ‘branding’, loss of beginnings and endings, etc.).  This
leads to despair and loss of hope.  We need to define our separate
agenda and purpose.
(Rushkoff– Fractalnoia)

It is hard to separate ourselves from the tornado of effects
and become grounded.  Reassess what steps to take.
Suggestion:  Do a personal self assessment and pursue
mentors to establish goals and create a narrative.  It may
involve a tour of duty.  Worth considering.

One Response to “Seeking Jobs. “Present Shock” and “Tour of Duty””

  1. site admin Says:

    We are not in the present moment (in a zen sense) but actually
    in fragments between moments that happen to be occurring at
    the same time. The key to avoiding these dislocation, Rushkoff
    suggests, is to understand the difference between time as data
    flow (like a Twitter feed) and time as data storage (like a book.)

    Knowing when to be in “the now,” and when to insulate yourself
    from it can help you reclaim control of your time and attention.

    To the problem of narrative collapse, Rushkoff suggests that
    young people have reacted to the loss of storytellers by realizing
    they have to become the storyteller. The gamer can write his own
    next level. We can be fragmented by allowing ourselves to operate
    on the (non-temporal) time scale of computers or we can program
    our computers to keep us in sync with our own goals and our own lives.

    Technology is, in fact, neutral. It doesn’t “want” things to be a
    certain way. But all technologies are set up by people with certain
    biases, but those biases are often unclear until they play out in the
    real world. So civilians do have an opportunity to intervene in
    technologies that they don’t fully understand because they do have
    the capacity to understand the impact of those technologies on their lives.

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