We have no future, we have no Somewhere

One of the joys of being a little bit stupid, is that you constantly learn. Arrogant people bathe in their ignorance. Simple folk, like me, swim in the waters of collective knowledge in an ignorantly blissful haze.

But in this seeming bliss there fall moments where the brain starts to stir, the neural pathways buzz. The moments that really make you think.

I’ve made a career of not doing what everyone else is doing. I’m obstinate. I get it. But I love a good idea.

It’s last Wednesday, I’m in Berlin. I’m in a collective workspace. There is a remarkably un-nervous presenter in front of me. And she introduces me to “Somewhere“.

And my brain starts to buzz.

“Work matters.

Find work that truly matters to you and your life will change. Forget about traditional recruitment and searching for a job. It’s time to find the people you should be working with.”

How about that for a vision?

I’m not here to do a sales pitch for Somewhere. I’m not being paid by them (although I admit they offered to buy me a coffee the next time I’m in Berlin….just for full disclosure). But it seems to me they’re on to something.

People want to work with people that they like. That is maybe more important than the skills that they have.

Because, in a world that is in constant change, where skills become obsolete in the blink of an eye, where yesterday’s giants are tomorrow’s victims. Is there another way to build commercially competitive teams?

Would it be different if we recruited people who cared for what we were doing rather than a traditional skills for currency transaction?

What if we hid our brands and exposed ourself for our values? Would people choose different companies? Different careers?

And where would you go, if you really had a choice?


  1. Ian Perry · April 22, 2013

    Great post. If I reflect on my career and where I was most happy and delivered most it was when the values of others matched mine. Probably got there by accident but it was on reflection about values.
    Skills at the end of the day are learnable as are behaviours to some degree. Finding organisations that match your motivations and values then that’s different.

    • Neil · April 25, 2013

      Yup. Great comment. Thanks.

  2. Jon · April 23, 2013

    I love the fact that the company I work for was doing this ten years ago, way before the social media explosion provided the channels for the Somewhere approach to work. Our founders habitually reached out to our serial customers, fans and forumites and recruited them based on their love of the game and natural fit with the company’s core values.

    Five years ago I made a list of five companies that I’d love to work for, based on my personal exposure to them as a doting fan and customer. I wrote to them explaining why I wanted to work for them and how I could help them. None were advertising relevant vacancies. As a direct result I secured my dream job, working for a company I knew well and loved dearly – and still do despite moving on since. I think this makes me an advocate of the Somewhere approach, which until reading your post I had never seen articulated as a bona fide alternative to the traditional approach to recruitment. Thanks for sharing!

    • Neil · April 25, 2013

      Very cool.

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