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Fareed Zakaria on craft and other matters that might make you think of Penland

This week’s edition of Fareed Zakaria’s CNN program Fareed Zakaria GPS was titled “Restoring the American Dream.” It included these remarks from Zakaria:

What can you do if you’re someone thinking about your career at age 25 or 55? What can you do to make yourself thrive in this new global economy?

I’ve written on some of these issues, as has Tom Friedman in his mega bestseller, “The World is Flat.” And I put this together with some of his ideas in mind.

First, try to do something that is really a specialized craft or art, something that is as much art as craft, something that feels more like artisanship than routine work, things that are custom and custom-made still survive. Things that are commodities get made in China.

Second, go local. Do something that can’t be outsourced, jobs involving personal face-to-face contact will never go to India. You cannot get a janitor, an electrician, a maintenance engineer, a fireman, a physical trainer, a garbage collector, a dentist, a nurse or an interior designer to work for you from India.

Can everyone become indispensable? Well, no, but if you learn a difficult craft and are good at it, if you can collaborate well, synthesize well, put things together, work with others and work well across countries and cultures, you will have a leg-up.

He goes on to say that languages and math are also skills that will create opportunity in today’s economy.

Follow this link to see the show or read a transcript.