The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that motivation to work vary with levels. It all starts with arranging for the basics of life which graduates to the self actualisation. Though it was associated with the gradual development of the career, but different economic cycles changed the dynamics. Overnight there was loss of jobs across the continuum. Even the top paid executives went jobless. Hence hybrids of needs were realised. Though livelihood topped irrespective of their place in the continuum .The absence of employment resulted in choosing a passion. For e.g. an Investment Banker turned into a writer till the market revive .Few of them turned entrepreneurs whereas rest continued with job search and contingent employments. The concept of permanent job became fleeting barring few Government based and the public sectors jobs.
Career transitions have often been parallel to the economic cycles. Hence, managing transitions have become the order of the day. The road to success is through shifting verticals, changing roles and re-skilling to remain employable. Boris, founder of V3 Redirect Services, shares that these transition make us multi-talented. He emphasise that the culture of asking ‘what do you do’ would finally give way to ‘what are you doing ‘. John Zogby , the author of The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream sites data from the speech of economist , Elan Binder that “20-somethings can be expected to change jobs four times before they’re 30 and 10 times before they’re 40”. He divides this workforce into two parts, First Global born since 1979 and Nikes born from 1965 to 1978. He observed the rules for First Global includes climbing up the job ladder as a lifelong process. According to him, they would adapt to diversity and live with those who share their lifestyle. Whereas the ‘Nikes’ have the ‘just do it attitude’. They are the latchkey kid who set their rules away from their elders. While drawing parallels, the First Globals were born in the technological era, whereas the Nikes have evolved with it.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter in, Job 2.0: Nice work if you can get it , explains Job 2.0 being different from the traditional concept. It includes professionals who are involved in multiple projects often with more than one client. The nature of work is shifting, hence remain assignment oriented. Even employers do not meet the traditional definition. They are more of a finance manager to these assignments, hence perceived as client. She further emphasised on the matrix structure for reporting relationships. Hence continuous education and learning second the process for evolution.
Employment in this transient age will require balancing different areas:
Proficient vs. Multi-talent: As Boris wrote in Job 2.0 – end of a profession, the propensity to be proficient is on the rise. Knowledge sharing through offline and online forums has made learning quicker and faster. At the same time being multi talented is getting fuelled by design. However, the risk of half-baked knowledge can be mitigated through personal orientation towards learning.
Relationship building vs. Networking : This is one prime area which is a priority irrespective of role. Earlier association were formed for sales and marketing to platform their offering and spin new orders. Now sales and marketing have crept into every career, networking a must activity. The risk would be in spreading oneself too thin. This needs to be mitigated by creating relationships through value-offering. The parameter to the process would lie in the dimensions of values generated to the network.
Earn Salary vs. Revenue Generation – It’s a wakeup call as in the famous words of Tom Peter’s “be a part of your employer’s revenue”. The focus was towards increasing the pay, sub-consciously agreeing to a habit of receiving it every month. The new focus should be in identifying the set of value-offering which would generate revenue for the company and for individual, if self-employed. The positioning in the value-chain would allow sustenance in the long term. The choice would be either to integrate to increase offering or creating newer sources for revenue.
The sole purpose of a transition is to get better than before. A focussed approach brings in the desired result. In the words on Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”