Wednesday, 21 March 2012

“What do I do? I just do ME!” Baratunde Thurston on mashing-up digital, storytelling and comedy

As our work lives go plural, with our work and passions blending together, we can’t be defined by a job title anymore. Whether we work for ourselves or for an organisation, many of us have carved out roles that reflect our broader talents, adding new strings to our bow and new side projects as we spot opportunities or choose to scratch a new itch.  This is a subject I explore in my new book ‘Mash-up!: How to Use Your Multiple Skills to Give You the Edge, Earn More Money and be Happier’.

Carving out a mashed-up life is not only about reflecting multi-dimensional talents and desires. It’s also about staying agile, embracing uncertainty and adapting to a rapidly changing - and chaotic - world of work and business. This agile tribe is what Fast Company magazine has billed ‘Generation Flux’: Generation Flux thrive on speed, change, experimentation, curiosity and intuition. It’s the story of my own business life where I mash-up different roles and projects, reinventing myself, adding new strings to my bow to create a more fulfilling, enterprising and authentic career. Fast Company profiled Baratunde Thurston, Director of Digital at the US satirical publication The Onion, a Harvard philosophy major turned consultant turned standup comedian and author of a new book How to Be Black. I first saw Baratunde at SXSW in 2009; this week I finally met up with him in London - in this video clip below he tells me how he’s succeeded in carving out a role that embraces digital, storytelling and comedy. How does Baratunde answer the much asked ‘What do you do?’ question? “I just do ME...!”

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