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Rules for the New Workplace

An early ad said, “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile.” Now, the Oldsmobile is no more as of the model year 2004. If that was the case, then it is certainly true that “It’s not your father’s Workplace!”

Here are the Old Rules:

  • Get a good job with a solid company.
  • Do what you are told.
  • Take every promotion they offer you.
  • Stay until they present you with the “Gold Watch.”
  • Retire and get a hobby.

WRONG! I would respectfully suggest the following “Rules” for the New Workplace looming before us:

Be prepared for change at all times.

Only two things don’t change – God and change. As a company, stay flexible, forward thinking and open to adjustments for you, your industry and your personnel. As a worker, you need not fall in love with change, but you’d better learn how to handle it. Change happens.

Act as if you are self employed.

One of my favorite Twitter sites to follow is Careerrealism (http://www.careerealism.com), which touts the tagline “Because EVERY Job is Temporary.” Well, it is. As a company, don’t assume that you will be ordering gold watches with a volume discount. Help your employees see themselves as integral parts of the solution. As an employee, take action at work as if your paycheck is directly related to your performance (because, ultimately, it is!).

Never stop learning.

Employers should provide opportunities for employees to acquire new skills, knowledge and expertise that enhance them as individuals as well as enabling them to contribute at higher and higher levels. Employees should be seeking these opportunities continually, even if they must do it on their own. (See my earlier blog, “Play Me or Trade Me” for more insights – http://bdavismcdp.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/play-me-or-trade-me/ .)

Continually add value to your work.

“What have you done for me lately?” sounds very ungrateful, but it’s a Fact Of Work these days. The best way to stop advancing in your job is to simply do what is expected of you. Employers, create opportunities for the employee to contribute more to the position. Employees, never be completely satisfied with your performance. Always seek to improve.

Take charge of your attitude.

When my company is called in to work with employees, it is never on how to use a spreadsheet or fill out a time card. It’s to tech them how to “play well with others!”  Employers should seek to enhance the communication and teambuilding skills of staff through modeling the appropriate behavior as well as providing training and support in these areas. Employees should invest time and energy into enhancing their interpersonal skills.

Is it a New Workplace! You bet it is!


Categories: Career Development
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