I am disconnected from society, and when you have poor networking skills, as I have, finding a job anywhere but the grocery store can be a challenge.
Fortunately, there's hope...
The hope lies in a new type of business venture called a "distributed employment agency."
A non-a2k friend recently told me about an idea she had for this new type of agency.
Now, the problem I've always had with employment agencies is that they are too impersonal. They don't know the individual's strengths and weaknesses the way a neighbour would. They have folks fill out check-lists of ready skills and don't recognise what people's innate aptitudes are -- in areas where the job seekers would
excel with just a little training. Meanwhile, the problem I've always had going it alone stems from what a poor networker I am. I don't know the job market the way an employment agency would. Finally, the problem my better-networked neighbours have with connecting me to work is that they lack any real financial incentive to do so. There is no way my friends and neighbours can guarantee themselves a substantial cut of my salary the way an employment agency could
, so why should they stick their
necks out for me in this dog-eat-dog world?
Here's a solution, then, to the threefold inadequacy of our current job-hunting system:
My friend calls this model the "distributed
(because the agency's job of finding work for people gets distributed
among many well-connected free-lance socialites around the world).
The main players involved are
(i) the unemployed person (call him "John"), who is seeking work;
(ii) his well-connected neighbour (call her "Jane"), who knows where all the open jobs are;
(iii) the agency, with the resources to handle the legal and formal side of what temp agencies usually do (call it "Central Office");
(iv) the company where John would be a good fit (call it "McDisney").
Here is how it all works
*Central Office draws up standard contracts and "employment kits" which systematise the process of connecting people with jobs.
(An employment kit is like a "legal will kit", except the person using it functions like an employment agency, instead of like a lawyer writing a will.)
*Jane hears about "Central Office" from an advert, realises she has numerous useful and wealthy connections, and applies for a kit.
*Later, Jane meets John, and hires him to tutor her son in Math.
*Based on the fact that John is able to teach her son Math at 5 times normal speed, she realises John may have some
*She uses the Central Office employment kit and connects him with work at ... McDisney.
*For as long as John is employed at McDisney, Jane takes a fixed percentage of whatever he makes above the poverty line
*She gives part of her share of John's income to Central Office to compensate them for letting her use their employment kit.
Flexibility within the standard contract
*John and Jane could decide together how large her percentage should be. (In John's place ... I'd agree to give her 50%.)
*The revenue sharing agreement could be indefinite or could expire at some point, depending on John's and Jane's preference.
[She'd stop earning money off him if he got a job somewhere else, OR if their agreement expired.]
*John and McDisney benefit from working together.
*Jane benefits materially from connecting the two.
*Central Office makes money off the contracts, the kits, and the technical side of things.
*Society benefits, because the most capable people are able to find appropriate jobs.
Ways in which this fixes the current mess
*Instead of relying on a bureaucratic corporation to know my talents and place me, I can rely on friends and neighbours, who know me better, and who in some cases may already work for the company where they would want me to work.
*I no longer have to network on my own, which is something I struggle with.
*My neighbours can reap material benefits from finding work for me, so that I will no longer have to rely on people's altruistic goodwill to get jobs.
(Even if I have to give up half my future earnings to some girl who will find me a job; even then, 50% of $80k per year is better than 100% of $10k.)