The main tank, brimful with ideas. Enjoy them, discuss them, take them. - Of course, this is also the #1 place for new submissions!
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By Steve
#2767
Don't know about other people, but I find it particulary rewarding to try out new jobs now and then. I'm not talking about switching companies, but testing my abilities in an entirely DIFFERENT field. After all, everyone has different talents, and no single job or profession satisfies all of them.

One thing I find disturbing is that conservatively thinking employers (the vast majority) make this task unnecessarily difficult. Even if they have a position available, most of them refuse to give a newcomer the chance to prove his skills. They require you to present a list of almost identical positions you have already worked in (although you might have gathered huge experience in other fields which may be of even greater value). Or they want you to spend years working yourself up the employment ladder in their company, for no other reason than that it's always been that way and they can't imagine anything else.

There's only one way to avoid all this: business contacts. Knowing people in the field, or having someone recommend you opens all these doors and makes it much easier to get a chance.

Unfortunately, as a newcomer, you usually don't have those contacts. Sure, you have contacts in the field you last worked in, but they don't help you much here. So my idea is to create a kind of buddy network where you can swap personal contacts with other people who need them.

Let's say I want to write a newspaper column but everyone would just laugh at me because I've never worked as a journalist before. So someone in the network who is a journalist recommends me to a newspaper and lets me use his contacts. In return, I help someone else in the database who is in need of my personal connections.

This idea would need some fine-tuning, of course, but I believe a lot of people would benefit from such a network.

Reward: Let me be the first to use the network!
User avatar
By Michael D. Grissom
#2786
WOW -- what a seriously great idea!!! I've been trying to break into the graphic arts field for years but, my resume is 100% technical and I don't know any graphic artists. I would give anything to be able to work for HowStuffWorks.com but I don't know anyone there and the web sites employment page never has any openings.

This is such a good idea that I have to believe there are contact networking forums like this already out there somewhere. I'll go search for them and let you know if I find any.
By Stig Bakke's brother Stig
#2806
This idea has been around for a while: it's called Yale. Say you only have experience as an incompetent buffoon, but would really like to try your hand in the presidency field... :-D

Seriously, though, this is a terrific idea, Steve! I'm sure someone could make a fortune here, not to mention helping countless people. You could include all sorts of categories: professional connections, geographic contacs, etc. Two thumbs up!
User avatar
By Steve
#2811
Ok, let's make this idea ready for launching. I see a lot of problems with this approach (hey finally I can prove that I'm just as ruthless with my own ideas... ;-) ).

Biggest problem: someone who has no talent or skills and probably isn't even interested in working in a particular job (ab)uses the network. He gets to use sombody's contacts, the whole situation turns out to be very embarrassing and the contacts get damaged. - To prevent this, there would need to be some sort of background checks, some "proof" that there's a realistic chance that the person can do the job. But then again, the whole idea becomes less revolutionary and exciting, instead of applying to some company you'd basically be applying to the guy with the contacts. Hm...

Stig's addon for geographical contacts is great, too. The most obvious application of course would be vacations. You live in Moscow, I live in NY, so let's switch homes for a month and everyone has free housing during his vacation and doesn't have to pay for a hotel. But how could you be sure that all of your furniture is still there when you come back? Of course one could always make this a commercial service - pay a fee to some sort of broker who will bring in an insurance company, check the identities of everyone involved and eventually file a lawsuit in case of trouble. However, keeping this free and personal would be much cooler, of course. ;-D
User avatar
By test
#2816
How about a movie theatre chsir that gives you shocks and releases smells. If I was watching T3 and saw, and smelled, johny conner getting blasted it would be awesome.

P.S. Did Steve invent creativity pool?
User avatar
By Steve
#2818
Hi test - yup, the Pool is my creation.

P.S. Seems like you accidentially posted in the wrong thread, the "movie theaters" idea was somewhere else. ;-)
By Stig Bakke's brother Stig
#2819
Blast from the past, test! ;-)

Movie theater chairs like that were once very much en vogue in the golden age of pulp skiffy shockers, but died out a long time ago...
By gruitamarius
#2833
If that one gives you references after he check yours, it's OK. I don't think that if you have good references as truck driver you will do a real mess as web designer. At least you can't design anything but still does not mean that you will do it that bad. I think that who need someone for a position, he is more concerned about stealing, cheating, this is a cheat too somehow, loosing money. If you can manage to keep your position for the trial period, it works. Problem is that, usual, references are checked, in this case you will need another identity. This is bad! :-/
User avatar
By Steve
#2834
This may be different from country to country. Where I live, getting a certain job is really often more about knowing people in the right areas and hey, do me a favor if I do you a favor. Even with the same curriculum vitae, a good word from someone can completely change their perception from your glass of qualifications being half empty to it being half full. ;-7
By Jim10
#3060
Great idea Steve. Leads me to another one, although unethical and possibly illegal. In the interest of stimulating this thread, I'll expand: What about creating a company on the internet possibly that would supply bogus personal and professional references. I, for one, have had trouble coming up with real people from my past...that were contactable (is that a word?) I can envision all of these people sitting at phones...ready to take calls from perspective employers..."Oh yes, I remember Joe Bloe...a fine brain surgeon he was...or was he that excellent physicist that went on to receive the Nobel? (oops...wrong script!) Sorry about that...here it is...Yes...Joe would make a fine custodial apprentice...he personally raked leaves for me and nary missed a one! Well, you get the idea. Steve...this does kind of interface with your solution...many people could sure use reliable references...ps: it is possible that bogus reference supplying companies already exist. Another name for them: "reference mills"...taken from the term: "diploma mills" .
By Jim10
#3061
Steve...I can relate to your interest and history in trying out new jobs. (this may be a trifle off topic) I have had many different careers...the most recent being a professional writer. I answered a newspaper ad for a degreed, professional writer to assist in ghost writing a book. I answered the ad and after several interviews got the job. Although I am unpublished and undegreed in writing, I submitted writing samples...most of which I wrote before the interview. Before hand, I made up my mind that I was indeed a qualified writer and perfect for the job...and to my surprise, it worked! On yet another topic...have you ever thought what your ideal career would look like? (Reply if you please, I am curious) For me it would be an internet-based free-lance creativity consultant. I would live in Kauai, HI on the beach with my lap top and take queries from around the world. The subject matter would not matter. I absolutely love problem solving of any kind...an do have a talent for coming up with solutions. I do not have a track record of doing this professionally. This is where your "invention" may come in handy. ps...I do live right now in my second favorite place on Earth...Sedona, Az. Also...I just found this site and love it...just what the creativity doctor ordered! Thanks, Jim.
User avatar
By Steve
#3063
Good idea about the reference mills. ;-D Actually I think as long as those references can't be proved wrong, such a service might not be too illegal anyway. ;-)

The ideal career? Hm... not sure if it exists. Maybe that's why I like to try something new now and then. It's not that the new stuff is better per se, but it's simply different and keeps your mind open. Being a creativity consultant guru in Hawaii would be my dream job as well - but only for a while. After that I would miss the teamwork and the big cities and the travelling. ;-)
User avatar
By FlatTop808
#3066
For my Blue Sky career, I would like to ride all over the world on somebody else's motorcycle (the manufacturers loaning me something appropriate for the locale) and once a month writing a couple of thousand word column about my adventures. I'll even take pictures.

Or do what Erik Buell did:

http://americansportbikenight.inspireds ... yReader$85
By Jim10
#3124
Steve and others: Thought I would do a little brainstorming (although I dislike that term...maybe "contemplating" instead) about this whole topic of employment and how either creative or inventive people can make a living. Understanding that creatives and inventors tend to be mavericks, may not necessarily be team players and may not necessarily work or communicate in traditional ways. This may be a little far afield from Steve's original post...but related hopefully. As I see it, one needs to make an honest assessment of one's own talents, abilities, attributes, desires and anything else that comes to mind (one can also add or delete later). So with some contemplation, one can come up with a list. For me, off the top of my head: organization, writing, working alone for the most part, creative thinking, working with apparent unsolvable problems, a desire to float from project to project...leavig some bits behind to be looked at later, love design...either practical or aesthetic...and in the aesthetic area a preference for the minimal, like to take ample breaks from work...and have found that the breaks offer fertile ground for seeing in a new light, am positive and progressive and encouraging to myself and others. (to be added to or subracted from later!) What I do not like: Working on a project I have no interest or ability in, forced to work out some technical problem in a technical, specialized way, forced to work under a tight deadline...although sometimes this is condusive to real progress and practical rewards, working with others that are not "out of the box" people like me. Another great question to ask oneself is : "What do you really want to do? Your responses should be really, really wide open: My spontaneos answer for now is: (and realizing this could change 5 minutes from now) Work as a creative consultant in Hawaii or Switzerland, or anywhere...takes queries from other creatives or inventors...come up with solutions myself or...help them un stick themselves...help them to untie, perhaps, a personal knot they have unwittingly tied...and have become caught in...in an attempt to solve a problem or achieve something. Anyway, enough for now! Feel free to add to this, make your own list..."contemplate" in your own way...Jim
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