The work is not what used to be! The working conditions in 21st century have changed a lot under the pressure of many factors as is the arrival of digital economy, the deregulation, the globalization, the downsizing of many former, might, companies, the huge demand for new skills and services, the slow adaptation of the working force to new condition, etc., to mention only a few! But this truism does not make justice to the full propositions of the problem.
Work should be one of the fundamental rights of our post-modern societies, but it is not. Not anymore, at least! And now we are responsible to re-define it and find our place in the new “working” market.
The Definition Of Work
How do you would define work? Actually, I do not know any valid definition, can provide the “true colors” and the meanings of the working experience in a clear and unique statement! Work has many, and, sometimes, different meanings, to different people (according to their beliefs, their working position, their dreams and their financial status).
Generally speaking, work (in a project management lingo) means:
the amount of effort applied to produce a deliverable or to accomplish a task (a terminal element) or a group of related tasks (Wikipedia: Work (project management))
but that does not say anything! At least, no to the people who are not project managers and need just to make some money in order to cover their pressing needs. If you want to make a difference, you need some more things!
And no, work is not about money. It is about many more things like the:
- providing the necessary means for your family
- providing value (where there were none)
- provide quality services (to a market no one care about it)
- give birth to something new
- develop something it is needed
- act as you would be a role model for other people
- educate and teach the things you know well and may be of value to other people
- develop a new lifestyle, attitude, etc.
- grow yourself via your service to other people
- lead more efficient your life and the people depend on you
- impact and influence much more people by what you are doing
- coach and foster the ideas of other people may have
- invest at the dreams and ideas of other people
- trust a company, an association, a person
- develop a business and a life, to mention only a few
Yes, work can be many things. Typically speaking, in an exchanging goods society, you exchange time, energy and creativity for a specific, pre-agreed amount of money. But this is work or a pleasure? It is important to be paid for something you would do anyway, or not? It is ethical to be paid for something having so much fun, or your lifestyle is that of the ones working at a corporation?
Sometimes it seems very difficult to answer to any of these questions. But the questions, still keep on being made!
Is been asked if:”Is it possible for a normal person to escape the rat race?“. The question comes with 6 answers, with various connotations. From affirmations to the promotion of, several, ways to acquire new skills.
And there are many more answers if you search around for various blends and flavors. The escaping the rat race thing is not about changing your life, adopting a nomad lifestyle or working on your own terms. It has many more variations, choices, cities, ways can help you to decide from.
But this is enough?
Characteristics Of The New Working “Ethics”
A new working culture seems to spread out in the world. A culture and a lifestyle away from normal working hours, typical tasks and roles, things you should observe, monitor, evaluate, etc.
Little things as:
- The negation of “one-salary” myth. Most of the time, as a worker in a new scheme you have tasks rather than a permanent job. You paid for the results and not for the effort, or the time you invest for the completion of an activity. Usually, you do many parallel tasks (and sometimes for different “employers” ) to gain the same (or bigger) amount of money you would have gained in a “normal” work!
- The nomad work. Now it is easier than ever to work from your house, many miles or continent apart for your “working” location and still be as same (or even more) productive as you used to be
- You are not bound to time, location, or proximity to your work in order to “arrange” your life. You can adjust your work, around your daily living schedule, and if you are good at what you are doing, there would be no difference at all.
- You own your energy, your time and the results of your work and you are the sole responsibility for the results you are deliver
- You do not have one employer. You rather have different associates, you provide value to, according to your skills and competencies
These are, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. And as it is widely known, what you see of an iceberg is just the 1/8th of the things lay below the surface. As it is at the new working schemes (globally speaking, of course)!
Work To Be
One successful urge (and strategy[!!!]) for personal and business development in the new business ecosystem is the very well known urge: “Think globally, act locally“. It is, of course, a winning strategy, promoting a global, bird-eye like view of your action and sponsoring the accountability you have (or should have).
Strategy, though, is not everything, but it is a good start. The strategy provides a framework for thought and actions can direct your time, energy and creativity to achieve the things, really you need to accomplish.
If you need to adjust, to operate and to succeed in the new living and business environment you need to re-engineer yourself. Not to be someone else, of course! The demand of this new digital era, we are all living in, is to be yourself and more of all to be authentic.
But what is the YOU thing in relation to a work, when you are a student, an unemployed, without a work prospect, below ordinary living standard, etc.
Intentionally I become provocative, but in the new economy, many people have faced the negation of the everyday self-evidenced “facts of life“. And that was a very crude thing for many of people have not the talent, skills or competencies to “adjust” to the new conditions. Or were slower to adjust to the environment they have summoned to serve.
Our culture is a peculiar thing and our limits (or strengths) are negotiated every day by the attention we give to the people cannot cope easily with the new conditions. If we fail to pay attention, many people might leave behind under the engine of our “constant progress”.
Warriors say that “they don’t leave anyone behind” while the common wisdom dictates that “the devil lays in the details“. Both quotes, emphasize just one thing: you have not the right to be who you were! You need to change the person you were to the person that going to help those people to cope, effectively, to whatever lays ahead of them.
And, at the end of the day, of course, you need a way to “make ends meet“. For you, and your family. How would you do that? First, you need to change identity. Why? Because your old self is not as suited to the new economy standards as you originally believed. If you were you would have so many problems to cope with all these new facts, let alone to help other people to be successful in the new environment.
This is the reason, you have to change and move away from your former “comfort zone“. You need to think deep and large and came with some results that will guide you to find who you are and what you would like to do (for the rest of your life).
You need to check, a couple of things or, … maybe four (adaptation from Ryan Allis’ Lessons From My 20s on Life, Entrepreneurship, and The World). you need to find out:
- What you love doing. In order to keep on doing what you are love doing, but not per se, but as a part of a larger direction (or mindset) that would help you to develop a viable working practice that would provide much value and help many people (beyond yourself).
- What the world needs. In order to have a clear understanding of what it is in demand and the general direction you have to follow in order to coincide to this vector (if you want your efforts to have an impact on the “real” world)
- What you can be paid for. In order, you would know how you can make some money by your efforts.
- What you are good at. In order to know how to provide value to the people really need it (and get paid for)
Question: What do you say? You can leave your comments or your questions, by clicking here.