Workers want more flexibility, freedom, and work-life balance. They seek choices that satisfy all their conditions of life rather than options they must tolerate. The rebellion against crappy, dead-end jobs is really about asking ourselves what we truly want out of life.
Mark Perna iterates this future in his article for Forbes Magazine:
Business as usual is never coming back. The status quo isn’t good enough anymore. The pandemic gave us all a moment of pause, to think about what we really want out of our life and career. And the conclusions we’ve reached—employers and employees alike—are going to transform the face of work.
The Great Resignation is more mass-migration than mass-quitting. Workers have examined what they want out of life and seek more flexibility, freedom, and work-life balance. Professionals aim to direct their lives and careers toward choices that satisfy all their conditions of life (health, money, relationship, work) rather than choices they must tolerate. While many news agencies report the situation as a rebellion against crappy, dead-end, hustle-culture jobs, the Great Reshuffle is really about career (and life) satisfaction.
LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky explained to Time how his company observes these shifts play out on their platform.
“We started noticing an interesting trend probably six months ago. We tracked the percentage of all the members on LinkedIn that changed their jobs in their LinkedIn profile. Looking at that data at the end of September, that number is currently up 54 percent year over year.”
Roslansky says, “Professionals are prioritizing both flexibility and fulfillment. They’re ready to make changes and learn the skills to make it happen.” The trends are already being used for memes about flexibility, skill-hiring, respect, and adaptation. The reshuffle equation is simple: you take the gatekeeper-free, micro-niche opportunity of the internet, sprinkle in the threat of a pandemic, remove the learning curve for meeting on Zoom, and we recognize that we can live life on our terms—how we want, where we want, and when we want.
The opportunities are vast for the professional who seeks a well-balanced life centered on satisfaction rather than employment.
For those newly wondering about career satisfaction, these trends are now becoming the new norm for both employees and employers.
Training for a new world
Now is the time to consider training solutions for the professional and the employer. These include various courses like finding a new job, adapting to hybrid work, or becoming a better leader. This new world training shares something fundamental: they seek to arm professionals to be more adaptive, deal with others, and cultivate balance. Training for a new world includes opportunities to work in new ways, re-think our education, and re-consider satisfaction and genuine agency.
Many use specialized education or piece together their skills sets from sources specific to their interests. Many gain their education from training, workshops, conferences, online courses, tutorials, and webinars.
Skill-centric vs. a degree
Central to this new world is hiring for skill vs. hiring for a degree or job history. For many professionals, getting a degree has long been an invalid choice. Professionals these days have a very particular set of skills acquired throughout their lifetime. Employers who view workers as those with this or that degree are now hiring workers based on experienced skills. Gone are the days of hiring for confidence; here are the days to hire for competence. Competence is about developing a specific set of abilities or skills utilized by a company, an industry, or a start-up. Those who focus on skill development or specialized knowledge find entirely new ways to make a living.
Hybrid job, hybrid life
Work from the office, work from home, and work when desired. An example is Paul Adams, with Sound Financial Group. He’s re-invented his financial services practice. Traditionally an office-bound industry, he and his team of consultants have transitioned into a virtual standard that allows him and his family the ability to travel the country year-round in a recreational vehicle. With his children in tow, he and his wife offer them an immersive education not bound by a classroom either.
Flexibility has evolved to become non-negotiable. 87% of people would prefer to stay remote at least half of the time, and 81% of executives plan to update their workplace policies to offer greater flexibility. The ability to take remote roles is a big part of the reshuffle. In the wake of the pandemic, many broke free from being desk-bound, and the migration impacted jobs and entire cities. Millions of Americans moved during the pandemic — and most aren’t looking back.
Buyers are seeking more affordable homes and yard space for their families, home offices for parents, designated areas for remote learning for their children, and, with some gyms closed or customers wary of re-entering, their own workout spaces.
Empathy and trust
While “teamwork makes the dream work” is an often-quoted mantra, it is rarely practiced. The dysfunction resulting from an inability to trust or empathize is rampant. Employees locked into an outdated “command and control” mindset are micromanaged by executives who know no other approach. This long-lasting hangover from the industrial revolution has frustrated professionals seeking employment where they are trusted versus managed.
According to CNET, a big reason for this is burnout. Accustomed to a “rise and grind” culture, some millennials have recalibrated their priorities due to the pandemic, trading prestigious jobs, startup perks, and even workplace passion for more flexibility and time off the clock.
At LinkedIn, “We trust each other to do our best work where it works best for us and our teams. We’re committed to working together, learning as we go and being agile in adjusting as we need to,” says Hari Srinivasan, LinkedIn’s VP of Product Management for Talent Solutions.
The Great Reshuffle promises more flexibility, freedom, and work-life balance. College may not have prepared us for a post-pandemic job market, but the emerging field of Transactional Competence™ offers a fresh framework designed for these times; the ability to be more adaptive, deal with others and cultivate balance.
About the author
John D. Patterson is the CEO of Influence Ecology and senior Faculty Manager of Influential U. He is co-creator of a next-generation business curriculum and since 2009 has taught thousands of business professionals the philosophy and practice of Transactional Competence™, a set of core competitive skills not taught in business school. Learn more at InfluenceEcology.com.