It’s official. The second of the Happen Vancouver Member’s Forum-Peer to Peer Coaching works. As member’s shift their focus from being employed to creating employment through entrepreneurial initiative we are seeing some very creative progress underway. Take Andrew C. Jackson’s www.MyFunStudyGroup.com. An engineer and project manager, Andrew came from the U.K. via Japan to Vancouver thinking he would find a project management position that would engage his engineering degree and expertise. (We have a lot of international and local talent and expertise in this field that is not being engaged.) Andrew decided that rather than wait he might as well initiate and create so he started MyFunStudyGroup.

He was the first to use The Member’s Forum as a place to gather marketing ideas and feedback on his website. He took that input and has been translating it into steady growth ever since. Most importantly, he is having fun! And so are the kids who are his clients.

Andrew isn’t the only person to shift to creating his own employment. Marko Wolf-Pany is also actively reorienting his breadth and depth of engineering and project management experience toward a formal consulting role.

What does this tell both employers and those out on the job market?

As Cliff Hakim pointed out in We Are All Self-Employed, published in 1994, the social contract has changed (what was true then is truer now) and so must the mindset that goes with it. We are shifting from the employee as dependent on companies for their well-being, financial security (what’s that?), and socializing to a much more independent and interdependent state of mind. This means that self-awareness and the capacity for expanding self-knowledge be actively engaged for the shift to take place. Doing so means exploring the beliefs that drive results.

Where do you stand? [*Adapted from Cliff Hakim’s book]

Dependent: My boss is in charge. If they are wrong it’s their fault things didn’t work.
Corollary: Customers don’t know what they want. It’s my job to influence them (sometimes called leadership) till they see things my way.
Self-Employed: The process of change starts in me.

Dependent: If I work hard I will be safe from uncertainty. They owe it to me.
Self-Employed: I actively face my fears and replace them with passion. Through inquiry and sharing with my colleagues I gain clarity and focus on what I bring.

Dependent: The Company will look after me. They know what I do best. Whatever job offer I get, I’ll take.
Self-Employed: I am myself; no apologies. I choose the job and the working environment/business culture that is right for me. The interview will determine if there is a match.

Dependent: It’s my job to do what is expected. If I focus on my successes then I’ll be happy. I know how to work the office politics so I won’t get burned. If something I don’t like comes up, it’s my job to suck it up.
Self-Employed: I will join an organization or choose clients who value my competence. My personal growth and commitment to continuous learning is an integral part of expanding my thinking and capacity to contribute.

Dependent: I am just here to do my job. I leave my spirit and passion at home where it is safe.
Self-Employed: I create work that holds meaning for me. I am an active goal-oriented team member.

The shift in mind set is not only one that serves you as a job seeker, entrepreneur, employee; it is also one that serves the companies you might work for. How can you tell them from the crowd? This is not a comprehensive list but asking questions about how company values are put into action will offer insight.

Choose companies:

Which are decentralized over centralized and bureaucratic,
Which share information over hoarding it to leverage advancement (note: these will also be able to engage GenY better),
Which are focused on service over self-serving,
Which see profit as a means to an end rather than an end in itself,
Where leaders are seen at all levels not just at the top,
Where performance is leveraged by inspiration over executive know-how.

Remember, if you can’t find a qualifying company, you can always make one to fit you and your aspirations, talents and lifestyle!

Submitted by Dawna Jones, www.FromInsightToAction.com