Reclaiming Work

I receive many story pitches every day, and ignore most of them as being irrelevant. This one stood out today …

Peter Weddle, author of A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, opines about reclaiming work:

“Boomers – and all working Americans, for that matter – feel as if all of the opportunity has been sucked out of the land of opportunity, and they don’t know how or even if they can succeed in this changed world.”

But America is still the leader of the global economy and its future is as bright as it ever was, Weddle says. Why? Because Americans are individually prone to innovation and creativity, and collectively, the most diverse pool of workers in the world, he says.

“For all the unresolved immigration issues we have in the United States, we still have the best workforce on the planet. Our diversity gives us a huge advantage over the competition in the global economy,” Weddle says. “We have every kind of talent the world has to offer, while other countries such as China, India and Japan have very homogenous cultures so everyone basically brings the same talent to the table.”

That talent, however, is being wasted. The U.S. workplace has become an investor-driven market, a place where workers are treated as disposable cogs who are costs to be minimized rather than capabilities to be maximized on-the-job, Weddle says. The only way out, therefore, is something he calls “economic disobedience.” If every American stands up and demands their right to be employed as a person of talent – and if they then elevate that talent and bring it to work with them – they can reclaim the American Dream, Weddle says.

He sees Baby Boomers already beginning to do this. The number of 50- to 64-year-olds enrolled in college jumped 17 percent from 2007 to 2009, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“These are the people who see this time as a moment of liberation – a chance to reinvigorate their talent so they can perform at their peak on-the-job,” Weddle says. “And that self-reliance and individual determination is how our country will recapture its mojo.”

A national human resources expert, Weddle says people don’t necessarily have to go back to school or reinvent themselves. But they do need to identify their talent – their innate capacity for excellence – and take a proactive approach to integrating it into their career.

What can you do to change from being an investor (in someone else’s dream) to being the innovator (in your own dream)?

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