Recently, a company that I’ve come to trust for their in-depth training for coaches through the use of assessments ran a blog that I also really liked.
TTI Success Insights identified various trends in the workplace they see as 2019 dawns, and I’ll touch on each of them, with a suggestion or two on how you can make the most of these trends. Some represent a real change in thinking, both on the part of employers and employees, and if you’re not prepared to change what you’re currently doing, these trends may lead to some frustration in your career.
Instead, let’s look strategically at each, and figure out what you can do as an employee, a boss and as a person to grow and succeed.
The Micro Career
Remember the days of working for one company over the course of decades, basically in the same department or job? Vaguely? Yeah, you’re not alone. Your parents’ career path certainly isn’t what you’re likely experiencing, with companies shifting focus and specializing, sometimes on a yearly basis. If employees don’t continually adapt, they’re likely to look elsewhere or be laid off.
However, the quest to build your skills doesn’t end when you graduate from college, and successful people learn to read changing trends and recognize where their skills will fit. Success over the years, then, comes from really assessing your skills, your value and applying them to the circumstances, whatever those circumstances are. I call it being an author versus a victim of your life. Acting with purpose and intention, based on awareness of your situation and being thoughtful about your actions before you act.
Balancing Becomes Blending
I personally like this trend because it places your ability to manage your time at the forefront. TTI sees a shift from work-life “balance” to become “blending.” In other words, you may often find yourself doing a bit of both, like working from home (also called telecommuting). However perfect this sounds for people who feel like work has been taking them away from home and family, it’s also a challenge to maintain your focus, especially as most homes (or anyplace outside of a formal office setting) might prove more of a distraction.
However, if you have developed strong time management skills, particularly if your career takes you on the road, this is a trend that you can capitalize on and use to stand apart from your competition. Remember it’s tougher to show that you’re working hard and achieving results when you’re not physically present in the office, so these skills need to be sharp in order for your positive impact to be felt.
More Millennials as Boomers Exit
There’s been so much written about the Millennial generation, and to be honest, much of it isn’t positive. However, as the Baby Boomers are retiring, it stands to reason that the workforce is going to see a higher percentage of this generation taking charge. For companies, that can be a signal for new ways of connecting with customers, but it can also pose an issue with technology tools replacing the importance of real connections with customers that builds relationships.
For workers who fall into this age group, it’s going to be key to remember that smartphones, email and social media are all just tools. What remains lasting and meaningful to building businesses is the personal contact between company and client. So keep your smart phones from making you dumber, and work on interpersonal communication to maintain and build your edge on the competition.
The Boss Won’t be Looking Over Your Shoulder — Are You Ready for the Autonomy?
Not too many people like working with someone who micromanages everything, and frankly such tactics usually lead to a lot of turnover. However, as the trend moves away from such management styles, employees who’ve grown accustomed to the oversight might be caught a little adrift.
Take the initiative for your own success, always; that should go without saying. However, if you need some structure to manage yourself, create a checklist to keep yourself on track and ahead of the curve.
Here again is where being authentic to your customers through more personal contact is going to serve you well, but not everyone is born with great interpersonal skills. Work on your listening skills, and for every meeting with a customer, show that you’ve done your homework by asking great questions.
TTI mentions the value of customer reviews in particular, and with social media sites like Yelp, Manta, and other online review sites, it can be easy to gather feedback. However, your ability to respond in a meaningful and personal way, especially to negative feedback, will require strong communication skills and the ability to convey empathy to your customers.
How Happy Are You?
It seems that will be an important question more and more companies will be asking their employees. While it’s up to you to create a situation that is fulfilling, if you’re not sure what motivates you or what your goals are in general, it won’t matter where you’re working — the answer isn’t likely to be good.
So, sit down with yourself, and look deep...what motivates you to jump out of bed everyday? What does that look like in a career, or with a company? When you’re able to answer that question, and understand what your goals are, you can truly answer the happiness question with an enthusiastic “yes!”
We just started 2019, so take stock of where you are, where you want to be, and how you can adapt with changes to rise to the situation, rather than be run over by it.