Sunday, March 8, 2009

Discussion of the Week - "What's your hustle?"

Fortune's latest issue has a list of the 100 Most Admired Companies. But the introduction to the article says that being most admired in today's economy is like being "World's Most Trusted Con Men", or "World's Nicest Pit Bull". Their point was that admiration for today's corporations is near an all-time low, both from the public and from employees.

Around 1am on Saturday morning, somewhat blurry-eyed from the FinMgm't case, a classmate and I started talking about how much we trust our current employer and what our future plans might be. Both of us quickly agreed that even the best employees were probably foolish to believe that their employer would keep them around if market conditions changed. The trust between employees and companies has been destroyed over the last 10 years (and especially of late), and that the relationship is ultimately just contract work, breakable at any moment.

Smart people will say that this is common sense, that you shouldn't expect anyone (or a company) to take care of you. I completely agree. We both completely agreed. So, the discussion progressed to how we hedge against having our current contract broken, and more importantly, what are we doing to have the next opportunity ready to hit the ground running? While I'll keep the details of the plans to myself, it became very obvious to both of us that they needed to start now (as a 3rd job, after the paying one and the MBA), and that it needed to leverage the Internet in many ways for the scale. And based on where the discussion went, I wouldn't be surprised if a few of these future hustles didn't interconnect or intertwine in several ways.