《经济学人》:自助,我的远大前程
日期:2011-09-16 11:07

(单词翻译:单击)

Self-help 自助

My big fat career 我的远大前程

How individuals can survive in the new world of work
新职业世界生存法则

Sep 10th 2011 | from the print edition

“I REWROTE MY entire book after my experience of Spain and seeing what is happening in America, to recast it in terms of survival job-hunting,” says Richard Bolles. His book, “What Colour is Your Parachute?”, was first published in 1970 as a guide to finding a fulfilling job and has sold millions of copies. When Mr Bolles went to Spain in March to give advice on dealing with its indignant army of unemployed, he found that nobody had much idea how to get people back to work.

“由于西班牙的经历和当今美国的见闻,我重写了整本书,并用生存性求职的观点重塑了这本书,”理查德.鲍尔斯如是说。他的书《你的降落伞是什么颜色?》作为一本求职指南首次发表于1970年并获得了几百万的销量。今年三月他去西班牙为怨气冲天的失业人群提供指导时,才发现大家对如何帮助失业者重返工作岗位一无所知。

Even in tough times there are jobs to be had, but applicants have to work far harder to get an employer’s attention, says Mr Bolles. The main thing is to give them hope and teach them the latest techniques for looking for work, of which he lists no fewer than 18. They need to market themselves better and consider a broader range of employers than they might have thought of. Not least, they must “clean up their act on the internet”. Facebook is now routinely scrutinised by human-resources departments, which will be instantly put off if they find anything negative or embarrassing.

鲍尔斯提到,即使在很糟的情况下仍然会有工作可做,但此时应聘者需要付出很多努力才能获得雇主的青睐。关键是要给求职者以信心,并且教给他们最新的求职技巧,鲍尔斯列出了不超过18条这样的技巧。求职者需要更好地推销自己且应该扩大原来设想的求职范围;尤为重要的是,他们应该清理其在网络上的痕迹,现在公司的人力部门经常定期检查Facebook,一旦发现任何负面或者不妥的迹象,求职就会被耽搁。

Better the devil you know
恶魔之上

The good thing about the internet is that it offers a vast amount of information to jobhunters, especially once they have secured an interview. Glassdoor.com, a website launched in 2008 that now covers more than 120,000 companies worldwide, lets employees (anonymously) share information about firms, ranging from what people think about the boss to salary levels and details about the interview process. Last year’s annual Glassdoor list of oddball interview questions was topped by Goldman Sachs, which asked a candidate for an analyst’s job, “If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?” One Glassdoor contributor’s suggested answer was, “Ask the government to bail me out,” which would probably not have secured the job.

网络很好的一点就是它为求职者提供了海量的讯息,这一优点在获得面试后尤其明显。网站Glassdoor.com成立于2008年,现在覆盖了全球120,000家公司,雇员们可以在这个网站上匿名分享关于公司的信息,从对老板的看法、薪资水平到面试细节都有。去年高盛位列该网站的年度怪问题清单之首,高盛问一个求职分析员的人“如果你被缩到铅笔那么小并被放进了一个搅拌机,该怎么逃出来?”,网站上有人给出的参考答案是“让政府救援我”,当然这个答案不一定能保证你获得这份工作。

Whom you know has always played an important part in the search for work, but social media are changing it from an art into a science. Last May LinkedIn became one of this year’s hottest initial public offerings, with its share price doubling on the first day of trading, because the social-networking site for professionals started in 2002 has become an integral part of the job market, useful for jobseekers and recruiters alike. It has around 120m members, more than half of them outside America and many of them professionals earning $100,000 a year and above. The website enables them to identify mutual contacts who can introduce would-be employees and employers to each other. Such personal recommendations are thought to have a better chance of success than applications or job offers to total strangers. BranchOut, a start-up launched last year which mostly deals with less exalted jobs, is trying to do something similar, using people’s networks of friends on Facebook to fill the jobs it lists.

人脉关系在找工作中一直都扮演着重要的角色,但是社会媒介已经把人脉资源从艺术变为了科学。去年五月,LinkedIn网站成了当年最火的股票首次公开发行,上市首日股价就翻了倍,这是由于这家成立于2002年的专业人士社交网站已经成了求职中不可或缺的部分。LinkedIn有1.2亿会员,一半以上的会员在美国之外,其中很多会员年薪超过10万美元,LinkeIn使得专业人士们能够辨别可以介绍雇主或雇员的联系人,一般认为这样的私人推荐成功率更高。BranchOut是去年新成立的网站,主要处理中低端的工作,但和LinkeIn一样也是使用Facebook上的朋友网络来推荐工作。

Using these social-media tools to find a job is just the first step. According to Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, the site is increasingly becoming a peer-to-peer career-development network. In future, he predicts, members of LinkedIn doing similar sorts of work will “trade intelligence” about professional best practice with each other. “

用上述这些社会网络来找到工作仅仅的第一步。根据LinkedIn的创始人里德.霍夫曼所言,LinkedIn开始越来越像一个对等的网络。他预测,未来LinkedIn上同行业的人会彼此交换职业智慧。霍夫曼说,交换智慧也是一种不断提升自我的方法,比如说,可以(交流)如何能成为一个更好的产品经理。

The growing need for workers to keep upgrading and adapting their skills is one of the themes of a new book, “The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here”, by Lynda Gratton of the London Business School. She argues that the pace of change will be so rapid that people may have to acquire a new expertise every few years if they want to be part of the lucrative market for scarce talent. She calls this process “serial mastery” and notes that the current educational system in most countries, from kindergarten through university, does a poor job of equipping people for continuous learning. There is likely to be a wave of innovation in further education, particularly online, that will cater to this need in a more flexible, personalised way than the traditional degree or postgraduate course. For some people, this evolution will take place within a single firm offering long-term employment. But for a growing number of workers the trick will be to jump from one company to another to take advantage of changing skill shortages.

伦敦商学院的琳达.格拉顿写了一本书叫《转变:未来的工作已在此处》,不断增加的对工人持续提升自我和改进技能的需求是该书的主题之一。在书中她认为,变化是如此之快,以至于要维持稀有人才的位置人们每几年就必须拥有一项新技能。她把这一过程称为“序列掌握”,并且指出现行的教育制度,从幼儿园到大学,在教会人们持续学习方面做得很差。在继续教育方面可能会涌现一波创新的浪潮,尤其是网络教育方面,因为网络教学比传统的学位教育更灵活和自主。部分人可能会在一个公司待很久,这项变革(网络教育)就其间发生;但对越来越多的人来说,这项变革可能意味着利用变化的技能短缺、从一个公司跳到另一个公司。

According to Ms Gratton, people will also have to invest more in their personal “social capital”, which will involve three elements. First, they need to build themselves a “posse”, a small group of up to 15 people they can turn to when the going gets rough, says Ms Gratton. They should have some expertise in common, have built up trust in each other and be able to work effectively together.

根据格拉顿女士所说,人们同时也会在个人的“社会资本”方面投资更多,这主要涉及三个因素。第一,他们需要建立一个大概15人的小“团队”,在困境时可向这些人群寻求帮助;这些人应该有共通的技能,同时彼此之间建立了信任并且能够有效地一起工作。

Second, they need a “big-ideas crowd” who can keep them mentally fresh. This echoes the discussion of “managed serendipity” in last year’s business bestseller, “The Power of Pull”, in which John Hagel and John Seely Brown argued that the successful worker of the future will live in clusters of talented, open-minded people and spend a lot of time going to thought-provoking conferences. Third, they need a “regenerative community” to maintain their emotional capital, meaning family and friends in the real world “with whom you laugh, share a meal, tell stories and relax”.

第二,人们需要一个“大想法团”,这样可以保持思想上的新鲜,这和去年畅销商业书籍《拉动的力量》中讨论的“有管理的意外发现”相呼应;在这部畅销书中,约翰.海格尔和约翰.塞利.布朗认为,未来成功的工作人士应该居住在开放和有才华的人之中并且会花大量时间参加启迪思想的聚会。第三,人们需要一个“再生团体”来维护情绪资本,也即现实中“可以一起欢笑、一起吃饭、一起讲故事和放松”的朋友和家庭。

In a world where more people may work from home, there is a danger that they will become isolated. One remedy is the emergence of “collaborative workspaces” or “hubs” in big cities around the world. These are often more than shared offices with hot desks for people who prefer to be with other people even if they are not working for the same employer. The hub operator may also organise courses for professional development—on marketing or taxation, say—and social events.

在一个多数人都在家工作的世界,可能会有人和人相互隔绝的危险,一个可能的解决办法就是全球大城市中“协作工作区或工作中心”的出现,而这些地方也不仅仅是供那些为不同雇主工作、同时情愿和大家待在一块儿的人共享的办公地。这些工作中心的运营者也可以组织一些职业发展的课程(比关于营销或者关于税收)和社会活动。

Moreover, working from home will not be so isolating if home is next door to where potential workmates live. As Richard Florida argues in “The Rise of the Creative Class”, talented knowledge workers are choosing to cluster together in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, London and Shanghai so they can interact with each other easily, both formally and serendipitously. This has obvious implications for the price of property and other goods and services in areas where these workers choose to live, work, play, mingle and spend some of their ever-growing wealth.

此外,如果隔壁住着的就是潜在的同事,那么在家工作就不一定是那么与世隔绝了。就像理查德.佛罗里达在《创造阶层的崛起》中说的那样,有才华有知识的工人正在逐渐选择向纽约、洛杉矶、伦敦和上海这些城市聚集,这样他们可以更方便地以正式和非正式的方式互动;这些人将在这生活、工作、娱乐和社交,同时花掉他们不断累积的财富,这对这些区域的房价和物价也会有明显的影响。

Ms Gratton’s main message—that workers will have to take responsibility for their own future—makes good sense. People who work their way up the corporate ladder in the traditional “Organisation Man” way will increasingly be the exception—and that is surely a good thing. “The pleasures of the traditional working role were the certainty of a parent-child relationship. You could leave it in the hands of the corporation to make the big decisions about your working life,” Ms Gratton explains. Now the world is moving towards an “adult-adult” relationship, which will require “each one of us to take a more thoughtful, determined and energetic approach to exercising the choices available to us”.

格拉顿女士传递的主要讯息——工作人士将不得不为他们的未来负责——是非常有意义的。传统在大公司里逐步上爬的“组织人”的工作方式将会越来越少见——而且这也肯定是个好事。格拉顿女士解释到:“传统工作角色的好处在于一种父子关系式的确定性,你可以把个人职业生涯的大问题丢给组织来决定。” 现在的世界正向一个成人式的关系发展,这种关系要求“每个人都用更关注、更坚定和更活跃的方式来做出选择”。

My pleasure
个人乐趣

Karl Marx thought that much modern industrial work was essentially dehumanising, reducing people to factors of production. These days a growing number of people are doing jobs they find fulfilling because they involve things they actually like doing. This has always been true for sports stars, authors and the like, but the idea that work can be a source of positive pleasure is spreading into other fields.

卡尔.马克思认为现代的工业劳作使人沦为一种生产要素,本质上是不人道的。现在,越来越多工作的人找到了满足感,因为他们做的是真正喜欢的事情,这一点对体育明星、作家和类似的人来说尤为真确,而工作可能成为快乐之源的观点也正逐渐在其他领域传播开来。

One indication of this trend is the rapid growth of employment in non-profit organisations, where many jobs offer a sense of social purpose as well as a salary (which in return might be lower than it would otherwise be). Surveys consistently find that many of today’s under-30s in rich countries want to spend their working day trying to make the world a better place as well as being properly paid, and turn down jobs that do not offer such satisfaction. Employers have cottoned on to this and now often mention a “social purpose” in their recruitment advertisements.

这一趋势(工作可能成为快乐之源这一观点的传播)的一个结果就是,既提供薪水又提供社会使命感的非盈利组织的雇佣的快速增加(这里的薪水会比类似但没有社会使命感的工作低)。调查不断揭示,现在富裕国家有许多30岁以下的人想要的工作是既能将世界变得更好、同时又能得到合理的薪水,而且他们愿意拒绝那些没有提供类似满足感的工作。雇主喜欢这一现象,现在常常在招聘面试中提到“社会使命”。

The talented, sought-after few, for their part, are encountering problems of their own as work takes up an ever-expanding part of their lives. The waves of lay-offs that followed the global financial crisis left a lot of extra work to do for those who remained, and the ubiquity of communications tools makes it difficult for them to get away from their job. But most employees just want the opportunity to do something they enjoy and balance their work obligations with other parts of their life. Many mothers of young children would like to keep working, at least part-time, and many older people who are still in good health when they reach the formal retirement age would like to continue in a job they like doing. Such preferences are reflected in the growing demand for childcare facilities and greater flexibility in pension arrangements.

对有才华的稀缺人才而言,他们面临着工作占据了生命绝大部分时间的问题。金融危机之后的裁员潮使得留下来的员工承担了很多额外的工作,而通讯工具的无孔不入使他们很难逃离工作。但大多数雇员都希望能有机会做些他们中意的事情,同时平衡好工作职责和生活其他部分。许多小孩的妈妈都希望能继续工作,至少能兼职;而许多老人达到退休年龄时身体也不错,他们也想继续从事喜欢的工作;不断增长的托儿所需求和退休金的灵活安排都体现了这些偏好。

Success by association
结盟取得成功

What about the people who do not command any kind of premium in the marketplace? One strategy could be to find a high-flyer and stick close. Even if joining their posse is out of reach, there are still horses to be fed and watered. The time-poor new rich are generating demand for household staff, and this sort of work can be very well paid. A private secretary and general factotum can earn up to $150,000 a year nowadays. Salaries for standard butlers range from $60,000 to $125,000 and a head butler can make as much as $250,000, according to the website of the Butler Bureau.

对于在市场上没有任何优势的人怎么办?一个策略就是找到一个有大抱负的人并紧密跟随,即使加入这类人的小团体很困难,但他们总有日常琐事要处理。时间宝贵的新贵需要家务助理,而且这类工作薪水还可能很高。一个私人秘书兼家务总管现在年薪可达15万美元;根据管家办公室的网站,普通管家的薪水在6万到12.5万美金,而总管家的年薪则可能多至25万美元。

As more and more people live to a ripe old age, demand for home-care workers is likely to soar. America will need 2m more of them in the next decade alone, says Ai-Jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, an organisation that represents those who work in other people’s homes. But there are winners and losers even among domestic workers. As Ms Poo points out, many of them are badly paid, get little or no time off and are vulnerable to injury because they have had no proper training for lifting immobile people. A high proportion of them are illegal immigrants who have no come-back against ill-treatment. Unless the pay and training of home-care workers are improved, observes Ms Poo, ageing baby-boomers may have trouble finding competent people to look after them in their dotage.

随着越来越多的人步入老年,家庭护工的需求可能会急剧增长。全国住家工人联盟的朴爱珍认为,接下来十年美国可能会需要超过200万的家庭护工。朴女士指出,大部分家庭护工薪水都很差、没有休假而且对伤病很脆弱,这是因为他们没有接受移动残疾人士的合适训练,他们大部分都是对虐待没有退路的非法移民。朴女士观察指出,如果这些护工的报酬和培训得不到提高,不断老去的婴儿潮一代将会发现他们找不到能干的人来照料自己。

The traditional way for workers to protect themselves against exploitation has been to club together to form a trade union. In rich countries unions have been in decline in the private sector, but they remain powerful in the public sector and there are pockets of growth among people in vulnerable occupations. The National Domestic Workers Alliance, which was formed only four years ago, has already got the state of New York to adopt America’s first bill of rights for people working in family homes, guaranteeing overtime pay, protection from discrimination and harassment, a minimum of one day’s rest a week and a minimum of three days’ paid leave a year—not much, but better than nothing. Similar legislation is being debated in California.

工人保护自己免受剥削的传统方法是形成工会,富裕国家的工会在私人部门不断衰落,但在公共部门却始终强势,而且对于弱势行业的工人来说工会还有很大发展空间。全国住家工人联合会成立仅有4年,但已经成功地让纽约对住家工人施行了美国第一权利法案,保证加班工作、免受歧视和骚扰、每周至少一天休假以及一年至少3天的带薪假期——这些权利不多,但有总比没有好,同样的法案在加州也正在讨论中。

America’s Freelancers Union has also been growing rapidly. Set up in 1995, it now has 150,000 members and expects to add a further 100,000 in the next 18 months. It is very different from a traditional trade union in that it does not engage in collective bargaining with its members’ widely dispersed employers. Instead, it uses its members’ combined buying muscle to negotiate better terms for things like health care and pensions. It also runs fitness centres. In Britain, the Professional Contractors Group does something similar. ODesk has also negotiated benefits packages for contractors using its site.

成立于1995年的美国自由职业联盟也在快速成长,现在有15万会员,未来18个月预计会再增加10万会员。该联盟并不致力于和其会员分散四处的雇主统一谈判,这一点和传统的工会不同;联盟用会员的联合购买力量在其他事项方面谈判出更好的条件,比如医疗保健和养老金方面;联盟还有健身中心。在英国,职业承包商团体也做类似的事情。Odesk(一个外包商网站)用他们的网站为承包商们谈判到了一揽子福利。

This may be the start of a “new mutualism movement” that will be very different from traditional trade unionism, says Sara Horowitz, the Freelancers Union’s founder. “If work is going to be more gig-like and short-term, the supportive safety-net institutions will need to be much more about enabling flexibility in the workforce.” This new movement will bring together mutual organisations, co-operatives, friendly societies and social-enterprise start-ups to build a “marketbased safety net” and exercise political influence to get better protection for members. It will get its power from information and aggregation. For example, the Freelancers Union is currently developing a “crowdsourced” system for rating employers on how promptly they pay contractors.

自由职业联盟创始人的萨拉.霍洛维茨说,这可能是不同于传统工会的“共生运动”的开始,“如果工作变得更加轻便和短期化,那么作为安全网的支持性机构也应该给工人们多些灵活性”。这种新运动可能会带来更多共生的合作组织、互助会和初创社会企业,由此建立起一个“基于市场的安全网”并施加政治影响为会员争取更多的保护,这类组织会从信息和集聚中获得力量。比如,自由职业联盟现在就在建立了一个“crowdsourced”系统,用来给雇主打分,评判他们是否合理地支付了承包商。

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重点单词
  • trendn. 趋势,倾向,方位 vi. 倾向,转向
  • availableadj. 可用的,可得到的,有用的,有效的
  • opportunityn. 机会,时机
  • legislationn. 立法,法律
  • recastvt. 重铸;彻底改动 n. 重铸;重做的事物
  • intelligencen. 理解力,智力 n. 情报,情报工作,情报机关
  • advantagen. 优势,有利条件 vt. 有利于
  • flexibilityn. 灵活性,柔韧性,适应性
  • isolatedadj. 分离的,孤立的
  • fitnessn. 适合度(生物学术语) n. 健康