The Commodification of Niche Skillsets2 min read

It is disappointing in a wage based system to understand that your value in society is based on either the rarity of your skill set or your willingness to perform a task at a price point no one else wants to do it at.

Wages will always fall in an industry to the lowest point where you can convince people to do something if there isn’t a high barrier to entry.

Wages in an area with a high barrier to entry will fall if ever there is a way to turn that skill set into a commodity.

This commodification can either be through a college system, a trade school, or just readily available information that makes something less proprietary.

We’ve seen a move away from companies being willing to train people in areas of a trade. It’s because doing that training is expensive and difficult in many cases. It costs less to hire someone who was trained elsewhere that they paid for themselves.

The thing that companies still “train” people for is things that are unique to that company and it is how you gain value within that company. They aren’t training you, it is just experiential.

The problem with that kind of skill set is that it applies only to that company in many cases and may not translate outside of the specific products produced there. Another company is unlikely to want to hire you for those skills unless you have a track record that makes you a proven leader of some kind.

It’s frustrating seeing all the reasons wages are not increasing. No one has a plan to stop that trend in our current government that addresses it directly or even indirectly in almost all cases.

Everything ends up being a gamble. You spend an extreme amount of time but may never get anything for it. Even if the skill set fits perfectly into a company, they may not hire you due to having the wrong requirements for what their jobs require.

I am starting to consider how I would change the employment system to actually work for people instead of the companies. I think, if done right, you could have an even better result for the companies at the same time as making it less of a hellish nightmare for everyone that isn’t the top 1% of competency along with being very lucky and competent in many other areas.

Leave a Reply