The rise of the mercenary and the fall of the guru

Inspiration in a box is my goal for this blog. Honestly, it’s for me but I got out of the habit of using a private journal when I got into college. So, this is my new journal where I store my thoughts and journey to find meaning, to make sense of it all – or at least most of it. About a month ago, there was an entertaining discussion on Hacker News, where the participants linked to a job search site (I forget which one). The point of the discussion was that memes like rockstar, ninja and guru were on the decline. Or maybe everything was down except for ninja. I’ve never had rockstar training, nor guru training but I did take a class in ninjitsu once upon a time. I also owned a ninja costume which i used for halloween and ran around in when I was about eleven years old.

Why mercenary is a far more appropriate metaphor for an expert in today’s job market

When I was in school, the theory of having the, “career,” for life in a given profession at a given company was still very strong. However, among people I know personally, the average tenure in a given role is only a few years. Talent acquisition is a huge deal and in the valley, it’s gotten increasingly competitive to get the right people. Selling your skills to the highest bidder, for so long as they are able to reward you justly, well, that’s a very mercenary outlook. It’s blaise to use the term, “It’s just business,” sometimes. But in the context of hiring, growing and building up talent it is just business.

The other side of the issue is intriguing, as well. Growing up, a read a series of books called, “The Wheel of Time,” and it mentioned, more than once, a mercenary force gets paid extra if they ever go into battle. So not only do you have to pay to acquire talent, but if you use the talent, if you leverage those skills, it’s going to cost extra. A fitting parallel to RSU’s, options and bonuses based on performance, don’t you think?

Sometime later this week, I need to update my LinkedIn. Full time ninja, part time mercenary. 😉