My husband rarely calls the glass half-full. It's just not his nature. Interestingly enough, though, nothing makes a naysayer more cheerful than obstacles and adversity. So as the rest of the nation and economy tumbles around us with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, my husband chortles with glee. He sees The Slide (lets see if we can colloquialize that, shall we?) as opportunity.
He's been hearing a lot of hard luck stories lately. The financial guy who now does landscape for a living. The contractor who can only get part-time work. And me, taking on a writing gig that six months ago I wouldn't have considered for a New York minute. But the husband, he's also noticed a few things. The landscape guy--he loves seeing the results in his new job. That contractor--he was just saying how he has time to take his daughter to breakfast. And I'm excited about my new challenge.
The husband's philosophy goes like this: When meeting an obstacle, clever people will find ways to adapt, to stretch, to learn. And for all that, they'll make a better world.
And damned if I don't think he's right.
Think back a decade or so when the mantra was: The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth. While the rest of us were busy developing social skills, the geeks were snuffling around the wave of the future. And until the dotcom bubble burst, who was driving the Maserati? Actually, now, most geeks I know are still working. They can't afford the latest gaming system right off the first truck, but they're not losing their houses, either. And quite a few of them, upon facing lay-offs, have taken on new work a bit outside their expertise. You know, just to have a job. In that, they're learning and growing and adapting.
Because many Creatives already own such adaptivity, I believe this era is the start to the Creatives' Moment. The downturn doesn't feel so new to those of us in an already crowded writers' and artists' market. We've had to adapt to amoebic pressures that cube-shaped workers can't fathom. Creatives are well-used to adversity, to being on the outside looking in. It's almost as if we've been training for this economic situation. A crowded job market is nothing new to us. While the rest of the world busied itself with office politics, Creatives have been learning how to sell ourselves against all odds.
But that's not our only advantage. If you read this blog, you're likely a Creative. And you probably do not know me, not personally, that is. You might have several friends and acquaintances who you don't know in the conventional sense. After all, creating is a lonely business, which forced us to learn how to connect and network via technology. And so now, Creatives are at the forefront of the newest wave of networking and promotion: internet relationships. Not just promotion and networking via Linked-In, but developing actual relationships. CNN talks about it like it's new, but for years, there's been a class of us who have called that normal.
The bad part? All my face friends have "discovered" Facebook and blogging and are inundating my email with pokes. The upshot? For me and the rest of my tribe, it's business as usual. Now the rest of the world gets to try to catch up to us.