Ask any corporate professional if the world of work is changing, and the answer is a resounding yes! Ask how they are responding & the answers are general.
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These generalities are useful only if you persevere to understand what in the world of work is changing, how organizations are adapting to such changes. When you relate these changes to your specific circumstances, you will know what to do.
Here are the three work-realities to connect your specific circumstances to.
1) Organizations are proactive in changing before they are forced to
In the recent past, organizations reacted to growth demand by swelling its ranks. The recession made them shrink. In absorbing this painful body-blow, thinking organizations are determined to do it differently next time. They are not mindlessly expanding at the first signs of revived demand. By taking recourse to outsourcing & technology, they are catering to new business without bloating in size. They are open to internal restructuring as a proactive business strategy. Inspite of the absence of competitive external pressures, they don’t hesitate to dissolve a unit, divide a department, and close down a business segment – if these measures are in sync with long-term business strategy.
How indispensable are you if your specialized expertise or function is made a part of any internal restructuring? Is what you do something that is conceivably done better by outside contractors? How can technology make your job obsolete? What can you do about it?
2) Flat organizations can promote fewer people up the ranks
What helps get work done most effectively is here to stay. A flat organization helps achieve just that. But if an organization is flat, it means there are fewer positions rising upto the top. If there are lesser number of middle management positions, organizations are grappling with how to reward performance of ambitious high-performers.
How will you respond to shrinking managerial promotions? Can you make your individual competence a highly rewarding proposition in its own right? Does your organization value such individual talent?
3) Information relay is no longer considered a separate function deserving of a job-position
Information is the currency of organizational work. People in an organization depend on information, which they use as an input for their work. However, in the past, there were people whose jobs were just to relay the information & not to do anything with it by themselves. Increasingly, such jobs are being ruthlessly scrapped. Organizations look closely at how and where value is being created & shared. How are you creating & sharing value in your job? You can either create value or communicate and share in a way that contributes value.