Organisations are changing. To cope with uncertain political and economic events, counter widespread technological change, and meet evolving workplace attitudes and demands, organisations are trading in traditional corporate hierarchies for flatter and more agile business environments.
And while your parents may have started off their illustrious careers in a dingy basement office and worked their way up through the ranks to a corner office with a view – in today’s New World of Work environment, career pathways are far from fixed.
As a result, the type of talent and mindset employers are looking for has changed. Here’s how to make yourself stand out in today’s New World of Work:
1. Be agile
Our jobs aren’t as clear cut as they once were. At a time where organisations are constantly changing, there’s a greater need for people who are more adaptable that can learn new skills and take on new responsibilities.
So, when you’re given a new task, it is no longer acceptable for employees to say “that’s not in my job description.” In fact, many organisations are embracing more fluid team structures where people at all levels work together on a project-by-project basis.
Be a team-player and a problem-solver, and see things through to completion.
As complex corporate hierarchies continue to come crumbling down, organisations are favouring more collaborative workplace settings where workers from all different backgrounds take on projects as a team.
This collaborative style means new ideas take priority over rank and experience – creating a richer end-result. Innovative ways of generating new ideas have also popped up, such as scrums, boot camps and hackathons.
Individuals that can work productively with people from all different generations and backgrounds will benefit greatly from this collaborative atmosphere.
3. Take the lead
This collaborative business environment also means leadership is no longer reserved for the lucky few who occupy a corner office.
Forget about job titles and descriptions – you have the opportunity to take the lead and show everyone what you’re made of.
And while you should continue to develop your technical skills, possessing important interpersonal skills such as the ability to influence, empathise and inspire are become increasingly important.
The US based online shoe and clothing retailer, Zappos, replaced its traditional organisational structure with a Holacracy - a “self-governing” operating system where there are no job titles or managers.
Consider if you might be able to operate well in this type of work environment, where you’ll work in project-based groups rather than traditional teams.
4. Find your purpose
Let’s face it - jobs are no longer just jobs, and businesses are no longer just looking for someone to fill the role.
While your experience and skillset are still of importance, more and more organisations are taking personal objectives, mindset and values into consideration when taking on new hires to ensure they would make a good fit.
Think carefully about the type of organisations you want to work for. Do you agree with the way they conduct themselves? Does it align with your own sense of purpose and values? Do you believe in their products or services?
If your own values and sense of purpose is aligned with the organisation’s, you’ll perform better in the role and get more out of the experience in the long run.
5. Be brave
And lastly, when it comes to advancing your career in today’s New World of Work, there are no rules or recipes for success - so be brave, take risks and pursue the career you want!
Sure, economic, political and technological changes have created an uneasy business environment, but don’t use this as an excuse to stop you from following through with your career objectives.
Organisations are looking for proactive people who make change happen – so get creative in your job search. Demonstrate your knowledge of a particular topic or issue, for instance, by writing up a blog and sharing it with relevant contacts.
While the New World of Work presents a number of challenges for both employers and employees, there are equally as many (if not more) opportunities to establish and build a fruitful and worthwhile career.