With workers day just passing on May 1st , 2020 stirs up a challenging future for the working class, which Marxists tried fighting for. The Covid-19 has worsened an already excess supply of labour in the economy. With current restructuring , retrenchments and high unemployment. It raises the question what has happend to that positive straight line graph. You know y = mx + C.
The pattern dictated as a measure of success as the years pass by. But upon closer inspection labour success has shown a different pattern as of late. More of a scribble across the page , a scatter plot of dots going about, a few ups , left turns , circular patterns and downs . Not your common incremental corporate ladder right? Where are we going and how must we look at careers going forward? With the model of lifetime employment that was championed by the Japanese according to Leigh Universities Michael Bellinger, increasing becoming less popular in this current economy. How do we view the value of our human capital going forward in this difficult age of securing employment?
David Stevenson, author of Secrets of Wealthy People , goes back to the way investments are usually implemented for minimising risk and getting return. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket “a phrase commonly attributed to diversification. Diversification in human capital by viewing your career as a portfolio rather than a ladder. Stevenson suggests two models for this type of diversification. 1) The classic portfolio defined by Charles Handy – having a core occupation and then juggling other jobs on the side. Which may be the most popular one. Let’s face it old habits do die hard it is all in the name, ‘classic’.
2) The lifefolio is spending your 20’s getting your fundamentals in one trade, the next decade dedicated in learning another skill to master, possible from another firm or trade. Making sure by the time you reach your 50’s you are still employable , having built up a diverse set of skills and experiences. Hakeem Seriki commonly known as Chamilionaire, comes to mind as an interesting case study. Often overlooked because the Ridin dirty chart-maker has not been popular in the music scene as of late. Many thinking he has fallen off…
Well lets look at this 40 year old’s career portfolio. Hakeem’s first studio album was a collaboration with Paul Wall in 2002 and by 2006 collecting MTV awards for best rap video for the number one hit, Ridin Dirty to his last project being released in 2013. Totaling 11 years in the mainstream music industry. At the core of being a hip hop artist is the inner ‘hustler’ to sell yourself as an artist. So its no surprise that Hakeem would simultaneosly pursuit a more formal title as an entrepreneur while being involved in the music business with Fly Rydes (an auto dealing and customisation company) – which I do not doubt for a second that Fly Rydes would contribute to the music video of Ridin dirty in the later years. By 2009 he would become a venture capitalist / investor selling some of these companies for millions .To names such as Amazon and Walt Disney .With Upfront Ventures being his current core strategy. It looks like a stronger leaning to the lifefolio even though it started off as a classic portfolio.
The classic portfolio in a football setting is like a teams core focus on winning games , while accounting for any deviation or the side hustle would be the tactical formations the team would make during the game, should the current result not meet the conceptual targets that are set. Allocating more players in an attacking position or defensive position for optimal performance would be similar to allocating those other times to grow your capital .For another perspective on the subject of careers we look to Douglas Kruger from his 2019 book Poverty Proof. Kruger speaks of three principles to view your career as a wealth creation vehicle.
1.How you orient your own thinking about your career. Are you working to maintain a lifestyle of expenses or working to accumulate assets rather than working to maintain a standard of living through liabilities. This is a song heard in Many books of Robert Kiyosaki’s – Rich Dad Poor Dad and his famous cash-flow quadrant.. Does your income go to income generating assets or does it feed the expenses and liabilities?
2. The degree to which you raise your value. The question being how will you offer more to the table. Continuous development could be learning the lifefolio way or classic way mentioned previously by Stevenson.
3.The ability to divorce the link between the hours worked and the money gained.Set amount of hours gets you a set earning but the potential for other deals or that one big deal that will divorce the relationship with the per hour earnings. May look at utilising the time used for maximum results allowing for more free time in the long run.
Well Umoja Bingwa’s celebration of Africa day, her youth and entrepreneurs in 2019 was not short of these portfolio builders mentioned above. Ranging from Future Leaders 12 year old Thandolwethu’s side hustle outside his core learning in school. Thulani Masebenza co-founder of Young Aspiring Thinkers with his speech on Entrepreneurship being for Everyone to live performance acts by , Boiza Chuta , Colin Magwedze and Sleeky Juniour of XVK Entertainment – Live Your Passion. If there are any positives for this global pandemic, it is the feint gift of time to find those passions and connecting in other ways through technology. Covid-19 or Corina if she were a glimmer of hope in Pandora’s box, has fast tracked the pace of technological interaction and slowed down time for concentrated focus of the essentials, like reviewing that portfolio and how it needs to be reconstructed for our passions to be lived and not panic buying toilet paper.
This year we will be celebrating Umoja Fest again on the 23rd of May 2020. Adhering to the global social distancing, we will celebrate online thanks again to Corina. Even more people can now join Umoja from all over the world by not being landlocked to a Southern African location. RSVP in the link below on the left to reserve your spot . Once we have reached room capacity and your spot has not been reserved, you can still join us via live-stream.
For the time being , stay healthy at home , reconnect with your passions and build those skills to your portfolio.Give meaning to your time and work. An excerpt from Khalil Gibran on keeping up with the way the world turns through work .Not just working mindlessly but with love. Pamoja Bingwa
“And what is work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart , even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.It is to build a house with affection , even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. “Khalil Gibran, The Prophet Page 14 .