Recently, Paul wrote a review of my new book – A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream (www.AMultitudeofHope.com) – on Amazon.com. He said some very nice things about the book and closed by adding this: “Wally, if it doesn’t currently exist, has to be created, and needs to be in place as the focal guiding light for our sidelined army of talented individuals.”
Wally is the nickname of the novel’s secret group of online activists who are waging economic disobedience against the vulture capitalists in American business. And while the fictional group does not exist, a real world counterpart does. I call it the Career Activist Republic or the CAR.
What is the CAR?
Well, unlike old fashioned groups of working people, it’s not a union. The CAR does focus on preserving the rights and wellbeing of America’s working men and women, but it doesn’t rely on collective bargaining by a bunch of union bureaucrats to do so. Its approach is both radically different and exactly right for today’s world of work.
The heyday for organized labor was the industrial age, and while manufacturing will always be an important segment of our economy, we’ve now moved on to a different era – the talent economy. What does that mean? Labor is an undifferentiated resource, while talent is an individual one. So, the CAR focuses on teaching individuals how to take care of themselves – how to protect and advance their careers in the hostile environment of a modern global marketplace.
The CAR does engage in collective action, but not with people waving signs and walking picket lines. Instead, it provides its members with the knowledge and skills of effective career self-management, so they can stand up for themselves in the workplace. It empowers them to be what they have the inherent capacity to be – a “person of talent” – and that gives them the strength to deal with employers as equals and achieve “career security.”
The CAR, then, is a rapidly growing group of individuals who are determined to position themselves as the worker employers have to hire and cannot afford to lose. They are Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials, senior executives and hourly workers, seasoned professionals and recent graduates. They are the “fourth generation” in America’s workforce – the generation of talent. And, employers have no choice but to respect and reward their contribution at work … if they want to succeed.
If you’d like to join the Career Activist Republic – you don’t have to pay anything, but you do have to make a commitment to yourself – just email your first and last name, the city and state where you live (sorry, this program is open only to those living in the USA), and your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.