The Changing Nature of Work

“If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.”
Seth Godin

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Life used to be so much simpler.  So did work.  It sure was a lot less scary.

Finding work and keeping it was about being reliable, dependable, and correct.  It was about showing up on time doing what you were told.  It was about limiting the number of mistakes you made because mistakes caused cost overruns and delays.

And unfortunately, this way of employment caused us to stagnate.  It has caused many to stop learning.  And it caused many to stop striving for more.  I mean why should they?  Show up, do what you are told, and you will make an honest days’ pay.

These jobs are disappearing rapidly.  They are falling to the waste side.  Because in a globalized world, there is always something that is willing to work for cheaper.  And technology has opened up the ability to have this instant communication with anyone, anywhere in the world.

So this trend is not going to reverse itself.  No President or Prime Minister is going to be able to slow this down by taking on a policy of isolationism.

Instead, it requires us to adapt.  It requires us to dig a little deeper to do the work that matters.  The work these days is up to us.  Work is becoming more about output and value created – not the amount of time you spend on the job.

The work that is most coveted is valuable.  And it’s valuable because it’s risky.  And it’s valuable because most people shy away from the risk.  Because risk is scary.

Doing what you are told used to be safe.  It used to be the surest way to ensure a better life for your family.

But now risky is the new safe.  Failure is so much more prevalent in the workplace.  It used to be frowned upon.  But progress and change don’t happen without failure.  And lots of it.

So get used to failure.  Get used to screwing up.  Because it’s the way we learn.  We learn a little more about what didn’t work.  And we learn a little more about what might work the next time.

The good ideas are the result of a lot of failures.  And that is a stark contrast with the days spent on the assembly line.  A mistake was detrimental.  A mistake directly translated into cost overruns and time slow downs.  A big mistake often meant your job.

And now – you have to take risks.  You have to push your comfort zone.  You have to continually strive to learn and get better.

Progress doesn’t stop or slow down just because you want it to.

Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone and take a leap?

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