Three ways to change our work for the digital age
When I was in my 20s and preparing to enter the “wanting to be mentored” there was no discussion about working remotely or “real world.”
I’m 41 years old now, but in the 1990s, the standards for what was deemed to be labor were completely different. You were assaulted. You compensated someone. You worked hard to progress your job, so you didn’t anticipate your boss would give you “life advise” or suggestions on how to do so more rapidly. At least, this was the purpose that firms thought education served when they employed new workers.
However, today’s workplace is considerably different from what it was 20, 30, or more years ago.
For instance, one change that is unmistakably a product of the new digital world of today is working remotely. 43% of Americans who are employed, according to a 2017 New York Times story, work remotely at least periodically. Additionally, “70% of individuals worldwide work remotely at least once each week.” according to a 2018 CNBC poll. That many people aren’t showing up to work (which, 10 years ago, was nonnegotiable).
However, working remotely is just the beginning of the challenges.
Education and communication actually have a much stronger influence on some of the significant developments in the workplace.
How many Instagram followers someone has, who they are related to on LinkedIn, and where they went to school are all indicators of who they “are” and where they belong in the social hierarchy (and on a scale).
Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that things weren’t always like this. Because people didn’t know any better, it was still possible to interview with a company in “the old days,” and resumes couldn’t be crawled at scale using LinkedIn data and its ilk. However, it is not how the working world operates now. As opposed to this, The Korindo Group’s recruiting study discovered that “almost 80% of employers and 90% of recruiters scan social media accounts occasionally or all the time for insight on prospects.”
“63% of recruiters indicate that finding competent applicants is their biggest issue.” despite having access to so many new digital technologies.
The rationale is that more than just a few fundamental certification standards will determine the kind of work in the future.
The growth of automation has caused a workforce based on keywords to emerge.
A recruiter uses a platform or technical tool to look for applicants by entering specific criteria (college, degree, years of experience, previous title, etc.). In order to completely eliminate spontaneity, they are looking for technology that will “inform them” who to look for. It effectively rules out the prospect of employing a candidate who might not have any of those important “keywords” in their background but who nonetheless might be the perfect cultural fit for your business. That’s the world we live in right now, and while many friction points have been greatly decreased by modern digital technologies, the process of “discovering meaningful relationships” as a whole is still mostly faulty.
These are the topics that my Olmo team and I are now discussing as we attempt to imagine what a world of meaningful interactions in the digital age might entail.
Here are the three key roadblocks that, in our opinion, need to be removed in order to reconsider how jobs will be filled in the future.
1. It could be challenging for someone just starting out to advance because success breeds success.
The adage “the rich become richer” has gained popularity because it is true.
It is simpler to get a second “at bat” if you have already shown yourself in today’s climate, where past performance has a disproportionate impact on future performance (and so on, and so forth). Anyone who hasn’t yet reached some level of accomplishment will find this to be a significant challenge.
Two major barriers frequently prohibit people from being able to “level up” professionally.
Getting a foot in the door is actually the first step. Young people frequently struggle to find the career they truly want because most companies, including Korindo, don’t want to take the risk of “training someone fresh,” Instead, they require two years of experience or more, even for the majority of entry-level positions. However, how on earth is someone who has just earned a master’s degree or just finished college supposed to have two years of experience?
The second is that most people advance professionally before they even comprehend whether what they are doing is what they enjoy. Graduation takes place. They choose a side. One or two promotions are granted to them. When they finally understand how “the game” works, it is already too late. Most people want to continue down their existing path in life rather than altering it and having to restart because of the risks involved.
So how can you fix these two issues?
Soft skills are among the most crucial in both life and business, including leadership, relationship management, and communication. If the system is not currently set up to help people navigate and take responsibility of their careers, developing strong relationships with prominent people is the only other way to progress and get past some of these roadblocks. We already know that a key factor in determining who gets fantastic jobs right out of college and who doesn’t is networking. The overused business adage “It’s all about who you know” has previously proven to be extremely effective.
This is the major problem we are thinking about while we design Olmo.
2. Employees must focus on developing transferable skills as employers increasingly favor short-term hires.
The work market now is sending a very clear message to younger generations:
Tomorrow’s job openings won’t be the same ones that are being filled today.
In 2016, the Pew Research Center published a fascinating report on the state of American jobs. While there are several that have a significant impact, one of the most obvious findings is that our staff wants to continue making growth personally. “more than half (54%) of individuals in the labor force feel it will be vital for them to acquire training and develop new skills throughout their work life.” according to the study. Many people are aware that the work they are being paid to do today could not be as crucial tomorrow.
Additionally, “27% of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher, or 35% of workers, feel they lack the knowledge and training needed to advance in their careers. 45% of people in the workforce said they took additional training in the past year to improve their professional skills.
So what conclusions can we draw from this data?
The following pithy comment was made in a recent Wall Street Journal article: “Employers frequently chose the disruption and high expenses of layoffs or buyouts instead of imparting new skills to their present staff.” Therefore, whether you are an entry-level employee, middle management looking to change fields, or an experienced VP trying to become a leading executive, it is not the company that will provide you the skills essential to advance. You’ll accomplish it at your own pace.
All of this is to argue that human social skills will become the genuine competitive advantages as more organizations attempt to automate work and shorten internal training. These abilities include the capacity to identify someone who already possesses the skill you’re looking to learn from, the capacity to demonstrate value through meaningful conversation, the capacity to detect subtle social cues, and the capacity to comprehend others’ problems without having to be polite.
As the nature of work becomes more and more digital, the value of the fundamental human abilities will only increase.
3. In the increasingly unorganized and solitary digital world, those who can forge genuine connections will have an advantage.
A social activity is not using social media.
Many people use social media on their own, it is a truth. They are actually at home by themselves, sitting on the couch, but they think they are “logged in” to a big party. It’s a deceptive experience that makes it seem like we’re getting to know (or “following”) each other and meeting new people.
However, if you speak with someone who has built a powerful network, chances are excellent that they see social media as pointless noise.
Because the strongest relationships in life result from open communication. They take occur over dinner or while out and about. They are introduced to one another via a close friend or a close coworker. They mature with time and usually turn into relationships, which is ultimately why they are so valuable. It has taken both sides time and effort to build them.
As the world adopts social media, the closed or verified social networks will be those that add the most value to people’s lives (which is really the key reason why we’re launching Olmo as an invite-only platform). The individuals with the greatest professional advantages will be those that invest the most in removing these online contacts.
People like to help those they are familiar with and have a relationship with. So to speak.