By Cynthia Sutherland
The culture of work and jobs is shifting. I want to be part of the evolution rather than reminisce. I’m navigating the job search environment and re-imagining my world view. It’s validating to re-construct the job picture and plan forward.
My personal goals are shifting too: more personal, less career focus. Your focus may be different.
I am a human resources (HR) professional. Last week I participated in a local HR conference. This conference was another catalyst that brought home to me how huge the economic, social and political changes have been in the last generation. There is no turning back.
I heard again last week how important technology, social media, gamification for engagement, and instant feedback have become in not only engaging a young workforce but changing how work is approached overall. Millennials have made their mark.
I also heard that successful organizations are flatter so they can be more nimble; that includes remote work and more flexible work styles (yea for that). And that means workers really need to accept not being so upwardly mobile.
It’s becoming more common to be “de-jobbed,” moving among projects or contract jobs – with fewer employer-provided fringe benefits. There are still many companies that have long-term career employees. But I see this paradigm changing rapidly.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as “Obamacare”) will provide necessary financial supports to many people as these shifts occur. There are changes in how employers view providing retirement and other benefit programs to their workforces as well. Minimum wage employment creates a different story and other needs.
My work function in HR is evolving because of these shifts. Critical business changes have led to innovative work solutions as well as routinizing business processes.
So I have to move along with that or choose a different path. No doubt you have been impacted similarly, certainly if you’re in the job market.
Of course, one’s personal rate of change (and willingness) moves differently than recognition of business realities and what your career shifts need to be. You can jump on a new train or even leave the station entirely.
A lot of factors go into these choices. I am accustomed to change, so I find the work shifts exhilarating if financially exasperating. But personally, I want to add more personal satisfaction and focus less on re-charging my career.
I’m giving myself the latitude to re-focus toward my dreams. While I am looking for a new “job,” I AM playing on a modified field. Maybe it’s not yet my “field of dreams,” but I think that dreams can be made here.
Cynthia Sutherland is a senior human resources professional, focusing primarily on diversity and inclusion and work-life.
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