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As we look at jobs today and how they are further changing, there are a series of on-going significant shifts within the work environment. And these have a direct impact on you! There are many changes in jobs today, but these seems to be the main drivers.
Job Today: Continually Changing Organisational Structures
Let’s be honest here. You have an advantage, and it is a big one. In the old days, you had a job for life. In the last 15-20 years, organisations have down-sized, right-sized, gone to zero hour contracts (in the UK), and for a large group, completely dispelled the idea of job security. Well, guess what? You have got used to being made redundant, and have become quite flexible in your learning and thinking. You have already become much better at starting a new career!
To react to progressively more intelligent customer requirements, control costs, and make enhancements based on new technologies and methods of working For jobs today change has become a permanent feature within the business environment. The speed and depth of change will not diminish this century. This is completely counter to the increasing focus employers have on ‘engagement’ of staff, and particularly what they label, high potentials staff’. However, with recession, only those that changed survived. What that means for you to survive and prosper is to increase your learning and adaptability and increasingly handle personal and business uncertainty. For jobs today and tomorrow, only the adaptable will prosper.
Loosening Job Boundaries
Ever felt your job description is out of date – well, for jobs today it probably is . In fact, I suspect that very few of us actually work their job description to the letter. Change increases, and organisations attempt to become more efficient by reducing headcount. That means we are often doing more than one role.
If the above is correct, then we must have increased the fluidity of roles and responsibilities for each individual. Your customers want things their way, peers want your work ‘packaged’ to suit their requirements, and the boss has their own ever-changing agenda. With uncertainty in boundaries, comes uncertainty in job role. Handling the uncertainty whilst creating your own agenda is your only method for prospering in jobs today. You are no longer a piece in a jigsaw. Your shape has to keep changing and respond to the ‘fit’ required by the business. If not, you will become excess to requirements as part of another restructure.
Flattening Organisational Structures
Driving out cost to ensure competitiveness has been a major theme over the past few decades. And it will continue even if
8 years ago I came across an interesting statistic. It said that compared to 10 years earlier, we were doing 180% of a job. If that is the case, I wonder what it is now?you are out of a recession environment. Hierarchy replaced by matrix. Lateral communication (across departments and functional boundaries) emphasising ‘selling’, persuasion and presentation is replacing ‘telling’ your reporting hierarchy. Cross-functional working is becoming the norm as businesses strive to make the most of their intellect. And as for those who are unable to shift their ‘telling’ style, well, self-employment is always an option!
Technology and Jobs Today
Virtual meetings, decision-making software, analytic, predictive and trend software in every department worth its salt. Watson now writing cookery books and able to make intelligent decisions with lower failure rates than humans. Do we really need to go to a building with others to work? An interesting battle is unfolding in businesses. On the one hand, we have those that argue for work life balance and the lack of need to be stressed commuting. That it is more humane to allow people to work from home. Technology is capable of increasing efficiency and that jobs today require little face-to-face time (usually except for customer visits). On the other hand, some are now pushing back and talking about brand consistency in delivery. They argue for organisational culture, ‘one organisation’, and that communication is just not the same without face-to-face time.
What this means for you is quite simple. Know your technology and learn to self-motivate knowing that there is not a boss watching your every move. For managers it means learning to trust and managing by objectives in its true sense.
For the Y Generation who want to work in their own way, this is great. For the older generation (myself included), it is an alien concept that we may be slowly getting to grips with.
The Psychological Contract for Jobs Today
A ‘Psychological Contract’ is the unwritten contract between the employer and employee. The old contract for large organisations, banks and public sector was:
- “We will offer you a job for life as long as you do what we need, and when we need it.”
The old contract was based on ‘loyalty’. This may sound too strong, but for jobs today, loyalty is for dogs. My dog is loyal. It
…loyalty is for dogs. My dog is loyal. It comes when I call. It guards. In return, I offer it a good home for life. If you feel loyalty for an employer, you may well become a victim.comes when I call. It guards. In return, I offer it a good home for life. If you feel loyalty for an employer, you may well become a victim. Sorry again for the strength of my conviction, but I have trained too many loyal people in how to get the right job to let this go. Normally long-servers, and if yo were to cut them, they would bleed the colour of their corporate brand. After all those years of service, they are just a statistic on head-count reduction. Lost, feelings of abandonment, their whole world has fallen apart. And I get two days to turn them around psychologically, and re-package them. Okay, I am good at my job, and will turn most around. But the reality is that their psychological contract was no longer matching that of the employer. So, for jobs today, what should the psychological contract be?
I will be committed to you as an employer as long as you help me fulfil my my personal goals and objectives.
Let’s be honest, in jobs today, that is better for the employer and the employee. And, of course, this appeals to the Y Generation.
New working patterns have emerged over recent decades. This change is set to continue. You will find it here.
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