Are you prepared for the new world of work?

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So many people are rethinking their lives and particularly work since the lockdown. Some people I know have already started supplementing their income working online after they lost their jobs or their jobs were cut down to half-day positions.

The lockdown has changed the way people think about work. It’s accelerated the long-term trend of how companies and organizations are evolving.

A futuristic forecast of what organisations would look like in the year 2050 done some time back was revealing. It showed that companies would basically have a tiny head office where the licensing and branding were kept and the rest of the organization would be outsourced. Some farsighted companies have already done this. I can think of one surf clothing company that outsources everything including manufacturing.

If you want to start working online you would need to either come up with your own product or service or bid for work. The interesting thing about bidding for work is that you are no longer sitting in a company with the higher-ups dishing out work to you but now will be in the open, competitive market place where the person who is the most experienced, knowledgeable and has the skills will stand a good chance of securing the work. And it’s not just the grunt work such as administration that can be found online but also projects and work that requires a higher skills level.

In fact, have probably seen how corporations are reducing their support functions. In others because of forced hiring the quality of work is deteriorating and most of the high-level work where expertise is required is being outsourced anyway.

Leading experts in the employment field began predicting the changing world of work already 25 years ago. But diffusion of innovation takes time. Yet we have seen how large corporations who proclaimed a few years ago that they were global and local, are outsourcing jobs to lower cost countries and local people are losing out.

Functions that were better left outside the corporation but were brought in-house with the seeming belief that costs could be lower by hiring full-time staff are delivering what could be politely termed as mediocre results.

Of course, not all jobs are going to go online. Think of firefighters, health workers and retail personnel. Operational staff will still need to be situated at a physical place of work.

For those who have seen what’s happening in the world of worker as jobs are being destroyed or being replaced with forced employment and wondering what to do, the first steps begin with determining your personal strengths and your skills. Then you need to match what you are strong at with new opportunities.

Whatever skills you possess, and those you wish to still acquire, one of them that will be crucial is business writing skills. The present level of business writing skills will not be adequate for working online as a freelancer, contractor or part time worker.When you work online your writing skills will need to be strong to communicate effectively, prospect for work and communicate with your new customers and suppliers.

Some of the changes that are yet to come we haven’t even fully grasped. The world of work is changing at a rapid pace. But if you use the metaphor of a kaleidoscope, each turn of the kaleidoscope will help you to see new opportunities and how you can pursue them.

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