The sorcerer’s apprentice


Returning from London yesterday evening, I caught up with political news on my phone.

“Gordon Brown also announced that all new graduates still out of work after six months would have access to a ‘high quality’ internship, training or help to become self-unemployed” (Sky News mobile 18 Nov 2009).

I’m glad to see that self-unemployment is now on the political agenda. After many years in which young people have been told that everything is possible and exposed to TV culture of instant, talent-deficient celebrity, a bit of honest, institutionally supported self-criticism is refreshing.

As a self-employed person I often look critically at what I have written and decide that it is rubbish. “You’re fired!” I tell myself. Being a freelance working for myself I have a contract with a zero notice period and no chance of compensation. My chocolate-based incentive programme is sadly open to abuse, so I must take a hard line.

Of course once I have been fired, the talent pool available to me, the self-employed manager, is quite limited. It is often only a matter of minutes before I reluctantly turn to myself and say: “You’re hired.”

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