Crafting Career Serendipity
Many things in life come down to meeting the people you should meet at the right time. That serendipity is the basis of our relationships — whether it’s your partner, spouse, friends, employers, employees, business contacts, etc. And that is what my two prior posts (see here and here) about what I have called serendipity platforms are ultimately about.
An important context where this is particularly true is career and business, and such platforms can pay huge dividends there by broadening our circles to meet the right people wherever they are and at whatever time, based only on the content of our ideas and talents. An early theme on this blog was better platforms for finding, matching, and broadcasting talent than the ones we have now. For example, I posted:
Resumes are backward-looking documents, and are great for when people are looking to do something similar to what they have previously done. They are not great at communicating all-around or cross-functional talent, and the ability for many folks to do something completely different. Currently, they act as historical anchors, making it more difficult for people to make interesting moves.
Some entrepreneurs believe that it’s best to take someone who is super-smart and talented and throw him or her into a challenge, even if the person has no experience in that particular area, over someone who has experience but does not sparkle in an all-around way. For football fans, this is the Antonio Gates theory (despite Gates not having played college football, he will end his career as one of the best tight ends in NFL history).
Despite this, the way the recruiting process often works is very conventional and it takes a narrow view of things and it can whittle unconventional candidates out of the talent pool. My thesis is that this is causing a huge economic and human deadweight loss to our economy and society as talented folks don’t get to move around or it takes them too long to make a cross-functional move.
Clever ideas about crossing social data with platforms that encourage serendipity can help achieve the goal of matching future potential with the right people and ideas. For example, an outlet to share ideas can help folks show their future talent or help them find support for their ideas. Imagine the personal and social growth resulting if people could audition their visions directly to those who can help them achieve it, creating new and productive relationships, instead of through the more cumbersome, stilted processes like resumes, HR screens, and traditional networking that dominate today.