Career times are indeed changing. It’s time to think a little differently.
I think I will spend my life working 8.30am-to-6pm, at an office one hour from my home, with the same colleagues.
Consider this: Following the Industrial Revolution, many of the fundamentals of work were laid down in terms of how work got done, when it got done and where it got done. As a consequence, work remained essentially the same from one generation to another, with ideas about careers passed down from parent to child. However, in the last 5 years, work has been fundamentally disrupted in terms of time and space and the trajectory of this disruption is only likely to increase – work no longer has to take place in a centralised office-hub.
The forces of globalisation have put Asia on the map as a place of innovation and indeed as the breeding ground for the next generation of big companies. At the same time, technological advances are creating a 24/7 working day and constant interruption…but at the same time, such technology means it’s now much more feasible for organisations to offer flexible working hours to employees.
All of this signals that for the first time, for many people, work and careers have to be invented rather than simply passed down. What this means is that keeping an eye on external trends (like globalisation and technology), thinking hard about your own choices, and being prepared to fit your career with these trends, will become increasingly central to your career.
I think companies are well placed to look after my long-term interests.
Consider this: The average length of tenure of a CEO these days is three years; the primary aim of a government is to be re-elected; a CEO’s primary goal is to maximise shareholder value. You will probably move to different organisations several times throughout your career. You probably have another 50 years of work, so it will be about 2060 by the time you are able to retire. There are very few institutions in the world that have that time horizon and yet we know that many profound changes will happen during that period of time.
As a consequence, you simply cannot rely on institutions to have all the answers for you. That’s not to say that it’s wise to turn your back on the world and become an entirely self-serving and isolated individual. But what it does suggest is that it’s your communities, networks, and friends that will become the place on which you can rely.
I think solely relying on technology like Facebook and LinkedIn will guide your career
Consider this: Networks are crucial to your career, but not just any type of network and not just any size of network. As Lynda Gratton, author of ‘The Shift’ explains, it takes a subtle combination of people to support you and guide your career, and not all of them will be found on Facebook and LinkedIn. The deep, reciprocal working relationships that are so important to you really need face time to develop. That’s why at Bright, we’re not just an online network – we hold networking events so that you can meet a range of bright-minded people face-to-face who might be able to help you with your career.
If you are spending two hours a day in virtual communities, being interrupted every three minutes, you could well be starving yourself of the uninterrupted, concentrated and focused time that is crucial to building the mastery that we believe will be at the centre of all future-proofed careers. Thinking deeply about your values and how you want to be spending each working day is crucial to ensuring that you have a fulfilled and varied career that lives up to your dreams and expectations. After all – you deserve it.