The Shift: Issue #17

Job hunting, The Social Dilemma, a history of Silicon Valley, slow journalism, how do we live 'a good life' in 2020?

I had a chat with two recruitment agents this week. Things are picking up - briefs are coming in and companies are hiring–mostly remote work. Employers are investing in remote training for staff and reassessing office space, so remote working is here to stay. Both were furloughed and are just back at work.
It’s good news for multi-skilled freelancers - we’ll be more in demand as employers may want fewer people on the payroll. We’re also flexible, agile, and used to working remotely.
Skills check–MS Office, Photoshop, InDesign (you can download the free trial for 30 days and do a YouTube tutorial to learn the basics). Google Analytics, HTML, SEO, & social media.
I made a one-page CV on Canva–wasn’t sure if it’s long enough, but they liked it. “It’s good to have it condensed on one page and you can expand as required.”
I had to give my elevator pitch and some adjectives people would use to describe me. Also, share what I’ve been up to over lockdown and how I’ve adapted to remote working. No change for me there but it’s a big shift for many – they both said this is the first time they’ve worked from home.
Technology has made job-hunting easier since I started working for agencies in London (endless typing and PowerPoint tests, registering in person with my clips, and being told to turn up at 8.30 am, ready to work). Now you can sign up for job alerts, do a video pitch, create an online portfolio, learn via YouTube tutorials, and find project work via freelancer job platforms or social media. You don’t have to live in an expensive city to work for a corporate – you can live somewhere cheaper and still be on the payroll.

1# LinkedIn for Journalists Program–I did a webinar this week to find out how to make the most of LinkedIn–finding story ideas, trends, advanced search, Premium benefits, newsletters, and how to get your content in their trending news. Interesting to see its transition from job platform to a content site and it’s worth joining if you make content. You get a free upgrade to Premium for 12 months, webinars, access to the community group and can apply to publish a newsletter (currently invite-only).

LinkedIn for Journalists Program

2#REALWORK, the online co-working space for women who want the accountability of an action-based co-working space with an expert and dynamic founder in the centre.” This is Fleur Emery’s new start-up, aimed at founders of businesses, women who have left companies or mat leave and want to be their own boss and freelancers. It’s a three-month rolling programme: Slack channel, workshops, online courses and Zoom classes. Selling online courses is hard work–it’s all about marketing, so the online workspace/community for women seems to be a winner - the timing is ripe.
Fleur talking about RW on the Courier podcast.
Sign up here

3# The Social Dilemma: “An eye-opening look into the way social media is designed to create addiction and manipulate our behaviour, told by some of the very people who supervised the systems at places like Facebook, Google, and Twitter". “It will [make you] immediately want to toss your smartphone into the garbage can [...] and then toss the garbage can through the window of a Facebook executive”. It asks lots of questions about data mining, which you may be aware of, but “few of us realise how deep the probe goes.” 
Quotes– “If you’re not paying for the product, then you are the product.” 
“We’ve gone from the information age to the disinformation age.”
“The product that these tech giants are selling is the gradual, imperceptible change in your behaviour.” 
The hero is Tristan Harris, co-founder of Center for Humane Technology, who used to work at Google.
Some good tips on how to regain control of your phone. Say no to cookies, turn off notifications, remove apps you don’t need, and use alternative search engines like Qwant. 
An excellent, thought-provoking documentary but it’s a shame to dramatise it. I tried to sell it to the teen by saying everyone’s talking about it, new horror film etc.
“No one’s talking about it, except middle-aged jobaholics on LinkedIn.” 
Twitter thread by Michael Shermer
Watch on Netflix

4# Silicon Valley Historical Association–I’d love to write a book about Silicon Valley and interview some female entrepreneurs out there. This is a great starting point for research: a non-profit whose mission is “to research and record the history of Silicon Valley and to provide information about this unique and important culture to educational institutions and the public.”
“We began filming high-tech entrepreneurs and inventors. We asked the interviewees about their beginnings, the struggles they faced, their mentors, their lucky breaks, and their visions for the future. With their stories, we hope to educate the public about the unique people and supportive environment in Silicon Valley that has made it possible for many of the technological changes to take place that we are seeing in the world today — the computer, the Internet, genetic engineering and breakthrough medical technologies — just to name a few.”  

Silicon Valley Historical Association
The Entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley (Audiobook)

5# The Correspondent–an online platform for unbreaking news, collaborative, constructive, ad-free journalism. Their goal is to change what news is about and how it’s made and funded. Lots of excellent articles to give you the context behind the headlines. Like how the biggest story in the UK is not Brexit (it’s life expectancy). I’m enjoying The Good Life podcast with Emily Dreyfuss, a San Francisco based tech writer. How do we live a good life in 2020? There’s much talk about tech & how it’s made our lives easier, yet we’re still not happy…

It’s the future of journalism and I’m happy to support it. Happy 1st birthday!

Intro to The Correspondent

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