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lucid thoughts

January 22, 2003 Wednesday

Contractor in fulltime employee clothing

I just received a pdf document from a friend about career development by Tom Peters, the author of "In search of excellence". It's a 15-minute read designed for upwardly mobile executives (like my friend, not me! ). It talked about the impact of globalization and the Internet as they affect the diminishing role of white-collar opportunities. It dabbled on being self-reliant, pro-active and constantly pushing boundaries to gain competitive edge.

I've heard this all before but the timing of this one is uncanny. I'd like to think I'm already pushing borders with what I would call my routine: daily gym workouts, yoga, flute lessons, mutual fund course, French language course, commuting by bike and pushing a concept (and publishing it here, in my Lucid Thoughts). Unlike Tom Peters however, I don't do it for competitive edge. I simply want to be taken where it takes me...a journey into an unexplored search of something...the truth?

Ironically though, there's no effort in the workplace where it should count the most. I've wrongfully regarded the workplace as my safety net - my comfort zone: the paycheck comes and my employment is "secured". How could my logic be more flawed? Why even have a comfort zone to begin with? Why not push boundaries at work too? Why complain about boring assignments from a template-driven site when I can point out site needs and take ownership of my own project? Once again, I become aware of a blind spot (among many that I have yet to be cognizant about).

From a career perspective, I've come a full 180 degrees. Not too long ago, before the bubble burst, I was a free-lance contractor having the specter of unemployment for breakfast. That's how it was with my short-term 2-3 month gigs. Even my long stint at Chapters Online (lasted 1.5 years) kept me feeling on contract was being renewed monthly so I didn't know if I still had a job at the end of the month! But I loved it - every single moment of it...feeling the edge, always alert, always on the lookout for the next gig. I often compared myself to a cold-blooded mercenary in search of a new kill - go land the contract, get the job done clean and fast, learn new skills, get your money, and move on to the next kill - no politics, no attachment, no roots...pure nomadic mobility. It's high time to get that mindset back...a contractor in fulltime employee clothing.

Privacy and Censorship

Who owns an idea or a thought? Can Carl Marx take proprietary ownership of communism? Or is an idea, much like the air around can make us feel cold or hot. It definitely affects us, but we're not able to grab and take ownership of it. It's simply there for the benefit of all. Where do you cross the line in mentioning someone else's thought....even without reference to the person...just the thought in its pure conceptual form? And what is the price worth paying to make that thought available for sharing? The price of a good friendship?

If it were a privacy issue, then it would not have been an issue to begin with. I uphold privacy consideration with an almost fanatic militancy. Period. No ifs or buts. But that's where the difficulty lies: try as I might, I can't see it as a privacy issue.

...just a thought.

It's uncanny how posting my Lucid Thoughts can forge a bond that wasn't even there before and at the same time risk severing a friendship I have come to cherish. But in my search for answers, I need to do what I must. Once again, I find myself alone in a dark and isolated road. The journey resumes.


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