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Scott Adams – Dilbert Viewpoints for Work and Career Essay

“Dilbert” cartoons, written and drawn by Scott Adams, were first published on April 16, 1989. Dilbert now appears in more than 2000 newspapers worldwide in 65 countries and 25 languages, as well as several books, an animated television series, a computer game, and hundreds of Dilbert-themed merchandise items. Adams writes about everyday humor in the working environment and it is crazy how accurate he is (“Scott Adams,” 2010). I think Adams portrays a total dissatisfaction with work and careers.

The thought of getting up each day, going into an environment that he hated just to receive a paycheck was a routine that he was determined not to repeat his entire live. I think he felt as if he was micro-managed the majority of his working life and gained no satisfaction from the type of management he worked for. Adams’ business goals and objectives scared his management because they saw potential in him, a potential to take their jobs and show the company what the managers really hid behind workers.

I believe Adams may have seen the threat that he portrayed in his management figures and decided that if he could threatened them, then he must have what it takes to run his

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own company; so began his entrepreneur venture. In my viewpoint, I believe that Adams’ choice to leave a corporate job and become an entrepreneur stemmed from a feeling of hard work that was never appreciated. Some people are lucky and find their dream job and are able to make it a career but the majority of America today work in environments they hate because they have to, not because they want to.

Adams’ cartoons are written and drawn semi-satirical or often sarcastic ways about the social and mental landscape of a salaried professional or an educated worker who performs semi-professional office, administrative, and sales coordination tasks (“Dilbert,” 2010). His key to success is to relate work relationships to various careers and then address’ those work relationship with sarcasm. For example, I work for the government and it never fails that we can create a document or program and the first review will pass but the second will fail and we will have to edit.

Then after we edit the item has to go back through the first review which is denied because we changed the document or program per direction of the second review (see cartoon on next page), to put it simple, it is extremely frustrating. To my amusement (and several others) Adams nailed my environment in his 1997 government cartoon. As mentioned above, Adams’ key is to address everyday work environments with sarcasm. Adams found a way to channel the absurdity, frustration and stress of working life into a productive outlet. Adams decided to become a full-time cartoonist when his career stalled and his cartoon took off.

He credits the variety of jobs he had and says “If I could pick one thing that contributed to my success, it was that I tried many things and I didn’t quit”. Adams deliberately put his email address on his cartoons and encouraged feedback from his readers. He wanted to know what they thought regardless of how many responses he received. Adams would receive 350 to 800 emails a day with comments and suggestions. His marketing was literally done for him; we forward a cartoon via our email, cut it out of the paper, or direct people to www. dilbert. com, so we are helping Adams’ market “Dilbert” at no cost to him.

It was a systematic approach to building the market (Griffin, 2006, pp. 173-174). Adams did not follow the typical pattern of entrepreneurial start-ups because he did not have to invest his own money; Adams used his comic strips to skewer the incompetence he saw in every profession (Griffin, 2006, p. 174), people found it funny, forwarded it to other people they thought would find it funny, and saved Adams a huge amount of marketing expenses.

Adams wrote and drew his own cartoons; he didn’t have to pay overhead to cover any type of staff so he saved money there as well. I disagree with Adams’ claim that his success was due primarily to luck. However, I do believe that his persistence has taken him a long way. Adams had several factors in his favor; among those was the “first-mover advantage. ” He was able to exploit the everyday chaos of work but smart enough and talented enough to know how to write, draw and network his cartoons.

Adams advises others, “The capitalist system allows nine failures for every winner, so you’re either one of the many people who will fail a few times and quit, or you’re one of the few people who will keep trying and win. If all the people who quit had kept going, they would have been as successful as I have been with Dilbert” (Griffin, 2006, p. 174). I realized early in my career, that the only person that was going to help me succeed or fail was me. My motto is “Never give up and never hesitate. ” If you want something bad enough you bear down and do whatever is necessary to succeed.

I wanted to own my business in 5 years and my plan is coming together. I always knew that I did not want to borrow money so I have almost saved $100K which should be enough for a small building and sufficient capital to sustain the business until it starts to turn a profit. I’ve kept my eyes open for locations that are convenient because I feel that location will be my key to success, and I’ve actually been doing the task at home successfully for the past two years that I want to do within the industry in the next five years.

I think that I am going to do as the book suggests and “Watch Scott Adams and learn” (Griffin, 2006, p. 174), a man that took his talent, marketed it and created a huge success, who else could be a better mentor? Reference List: Griffin, Ricky W. (2006). Fundamentals of Management.. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2010); 23 March 2010 at 05:12 http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Scott_Adams Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2010); 24 March 2010 at 16:44 http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Dilbert

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