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Gerard McLean asks Do you know how to do anything?

He says people with identifiable skills to fall back on will be better placed to survive the downturn.

I’ve already found this is true. After a spell in management, I’ve gone back to my roots as journalist and freelance writer. I now earn a decent crust writing thousands of words each week. That’s because I know how to do something.

McLean isn’t perfect. He spoils his otherwise insightful post finishing with:

We don’t need more knowledge workers or consultants or bloggers. What we need are people who can actually do things like write code, design stuff, make pottery, edit video. And we need people who can do more than just one step in the process.

We need craftsmen. And lots of them who can also lead.

Well that’s just plain wrong. People who write code, design stuff and edit video are all knowledge workers by just about any accepted definition of the term. People who can do more than one step in the process are higher level knowledge workers. So are craftsmen. And craftswomen too.  Those who can do these things and lead other people exist even further up the knowledge worker food chain.

2 thoughts on “Skilled survive downturn

  1. Ahh… I had meant to put “knowledge workers”, “consultants” and “bloggers” in quotes to indicate sarcasm. I acknowledge people who write code, design stuff and edit video are knowledge workers, but they are not the “knowledge workers” definition that gets flung around by the “quasi-entrepreneurial-GenY-I-wanna-get-paid-just-to-think-up-crap” workers.

    While video editors, coders and designers may fall within the definition of knowledge workers, I am referring to the “old school” folks who know what an A/B roll, a pica ruler and a slide rule is.

    Does that get me off the hook? I’m only striving for near perfect. What doesn’t work, I’ll craft later. 🙂

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