There are several factors in play in the world of work, including:
globalisation, technology (digital, social, mobility), multiple generations in the workplace and the fact that most of us will be
working for longer.
So what does this mean for us as employees?
1. New Leadership
Companies are moving away from hierarchical structures to more organic, interconnected organisations. The power base is moving way from classic top management and more towards employees. The type of leader that is most adapted to this context is one that is collaborative, inclusive, connected, and trusted. We’ll see less of the authoritarian, commanding leader and leaders that are more human, accessible, actively engaging with and listening to the voice of the employee.
2. The Importance of Your Personal Brand
The voice of employees is one that is heard. The employee is on the rise as an influencer, as a trusted and credible source of information. This is where the importance of your personal brand comes in. Your personal brand is not about what you do but what you represent – your passions, your values, the real authentic you. Your personal brand reputation is the experience that others have of you and your brand reach is those in your networks and communities that have this experience of you.
3. The Power of Social Channels and Communities
Social channels are also transforming the way in which we work. As the frontiers between companies and the outside world become more fluid, we can operate in a virtual crowd that is open and interconnected. We can collaborate, exchange, evolve, and influence with our peers. And it is here that is a great place to live your personal brand and express your voice in the Social spirit of trust, authenticity and being human.
Not all of us feel comfortable in Social world. Many of us feel vulnerable (like when you write your first blog on LinkedIn!). And yet it is this vulnerability that can create trusted and human connections with others.
4. New Career Paths
The notion of career has changed and also become more organic. We can no longer hope to enter a company and follow a pre-defined, hierarchical career path. You may have heard Sheryl Sandberg, amongst others, talk about a career “jungle gym” rather than a career ladder. Companies are looking to us as employees to become more entrepreneurial at work. You are in charge of the company that is brand you. We can follow several different routes within an organisation, offering the opportunity to grow in other roles, departments or other countries. We can also have several different careers within our working lives.
5. It’s Never Too Late!
An exciting discovery in neuroscience shows that our brains have the quality of plasticity. So the brain is not static as previously believed and learning something new actually rewires our brain! We are always able to learn and evolve. It is in our nature. So the myths that we’re sold and that we tell ourselves that we can no longer do something at 40 or we’re no longer capable of something else at 50 are just myths.
6. The Power is in You!
It is not just external forces that favour us with power. The power to live an empowered life at work, a fulfilling career is already within us. This means being true to ourselves and truthful with ourselves – letting go of labels, legacies, and preconceived ideas about ourselves. After all, these are the things that distance us from others and from our true selves. With all the vulnerability that may come with that, it is so important to be faithful to our passions, our inner voice, to who we are and to what we really want to do. The real authentic you. One of my favourite films is The Wizard of Oz. At the end of the film, Dorothy’s travelling companions discover that the precious things that they were searching for were already within them. The scarecrow has a brain, the tinman has a heart, and the lion has his courage. Dorothy, still stuck in Oz, wonders how on earth she will be able to return to home to Kansas. Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, says to her “You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”