When I was in college many of those looking for a job believed the best situation would be IBM. Good pay, lifelong employment, lots of status, and a good retirement - the downside was forced moves and a company that owned your life. That idea is now gone, IBM will layoff employees, and they are just one big company of many.
Today many college graduates seek to work for the government; forget good pay and status, but there are still good benefit packages, life long employment, and a guaranteed retirement. The downside of being owned for life now has the added cost of a brain numbing work environment. See the previous journal post to understand where I think that will be headed.
Technology has changed the equation by empowering individuals. Bureaucracies are shrinking, imploding, or at least becoming less profitable as individuals seek to have their specific needs met, bypassing marketed packaging for assumed uniform masses. As a result, no job has security, no well run business will keep you a single day beyond profitability. Everyone that has a job rather than a personal business should be looking for a new job all the time.
Enter the Netcohort.
Lets say you make a widget or two to enhance existing software. You meet someone else in the same space doing similar things and collaborate on some widgets where your skills and knowledge complement each other. While chatting you brainstorm a new idea, but it will take skills and knowledge neither of you yet has to make it a reality. You pull in some friends, make contact with some people referred by other friends - you now have a team. You may add a few freelancers for specific and limited tasks.
This team will probably just last for one project. At the end of the project you will not just have a better widget, you will have a group of potential future partners where you know their capabilities -- and their strengths and weaknesses. Just as they will know yours. A netcohort team's referral structure is centered in reputation.
That is your local Netcohort circle. In the future you will pull folks from this netcohort circle, and seek referrals from their circles as you work on new projects. As an individual you will be at the center of your circle; forming or joining new teams as opportunities arise.
You are the basis of a new middle and upper class - one that will replace the unskilled union laborer and industrial business executives. The old middle class will vanish, just as they replaced the middle class of skilled guild workers. Of course we still have agriculture long after the agriculture age is past, so we will have industry long after the industrial age fails.
In reality, The Netcohort Society is already here, those widget makers are already collaborating.
Will you join them?