A friend asked me to help his daughter write a formal follow-up letter to a prospective employer.
After a few questions, it has become clear that the young lady has a good chance to land a job in an environment that will make her life miserable, where she will never be productive or at least satisfied with the results of her work.
Although we are talking about the knowledge economy, Industry 4.0, etc. – I (wish I) could bet any money that a hundred years from now, today’s work environment will be referred to as intellectual slavery.
The official definition of slavery is a condition when one human being is owned by another.
In practical terms, we are not free to do what we excel at, and quite often are forced to go against our values. It’s just that today we surrender our brain, not our body. This is the key reason why up to 80 percent of the global workforce perform well below their capacity: slaves are never productive.
Nor are they happy. Unless, of course, they have reached the final stage of slavery – and no longer realize that they are slaves. Worst of all, they do not just agree to become slaves; millions of humans are stubbornly and sincerely striving for it.
The good news is that you do not have to be one of them. Now you do not have to sell yourself to the person who owns “capital assets” because the main, if not the only, asset that creates value is you, the knowledge worker – your knowledge, skills and experience. Nobody can take your assets away from you.
If you know your value, you are in the position to “hire” your employer. Do not let them ruin your professional and personal life.
Here’s what she wrote in her follow-up email:
To: Hiring Manager
Subject: our meeting follow-up
Dear Hiring Manager:
Thank you for your time yesterday.
Are you serious about “looking for the best talent”?
Then do not offer me a “dream job” – even though you call it a “rewarding career.”
You cannot “employ” me because I am the one who owns the main business asset: my knowledge.
All you might have is a longer client list. But someone always has a longer one, no?
Still, we can work together – if you have a meaningful Purpose that I share, and if our values align.
We may then become partners in building a better tomorrow for all.
P.S.: No, she did not send the email. She turned it into an art print and proudly mounted it on the wall.