The line between life and work is almost entirely disappearing.
The way we work has changed profoundly in the last two decades as the pace of technology, growth and the on-demand global workplace increases. But what does that mean for the rules of work—for those of us already in it and young professionals starting their careers?
It’s a topic that several LinkedIn Influencers weighed in on this week. Here is what two of them had to say.
Naomi Simson, founding director of RedBalloon
The workplace is changing — profoundly and forever — writes Simson in her post The Five New Rules of Work. Old rules are going out the window, replaced with new norms, sometimes driven by technology or demands of workers.
Among the old rules that are becoming obsolete — and the new ones coming into play:
“Old rule: you commute into an office every day. New rule: work can happen wherever you are, anywhere in the world,” wrote Simson. “No longer is it common to know your colleagues by face and name — you might only know them by their email address or time zone.”
This could also mean you get little face time with your manager because he or she could be in another country a few time zones away, she wrote.
“Old rule: work is 9-to-5. New rule: you’re available (when you want to work) 24-7,” she wrote. “This certainly varies depending on the urgency of the industry you work in, but with the nature of our forever growing online presence, this could be as simple as checking emails in bed; working on documents on the train; reviewing presentations with your late night cup of tea. It has become second nature to us to work wherever we are, whenever possible.”
Of course, wrote Simson, make sure you stay present with the people around you.
“Old rule: work-life balance is about two distinct, separate spheres. New rule: for better or worse, the line between life and work is almost entirely disappearing,” Simson wrote. “If you are passionate about what you do, you will never work a day in your life. When you are valued, deeply connected, feel proud of your contribution then work is as important as home — there is a complete melding between work and life — we only have one life, how we choose to spend each minute depends on our feeling of worth and contribution.”
Ian C Read, chairman and chief executive officer at Pfizer
Young professionals are entering a world that is different than the one their parents might have worked in. Read, in his post Five Career Tips for Young Professionals, offered advice for those just starting out.
Among his tips:
“Know what you’re good at and then pursue it. Take the time to know your strengths and weaknesses and understand the kind of work you enjoy,” he wrote. “This self-awareness will put you well ahead of your peers. Chances are, you won’t be successful in a field you don’t enjoy.”
“Broaden your experience early on. It’s great to be an expert in a specific area, but I think it’s also important to diversify your skillset in the beginning of your career. This will provide greater value to your company and greater opportunities for you as your career advances,” Read wrote.
“Your initial job choices do not limit the kinds of roles available to you later in your career. When you’re starting out, explore all of your options. Don’t rule out a position you’re interested in just because it doesn’t seem to fit your ultimate career vision,” wrote Read. “Not only did my first job in internal audit not limit me but it actually helped me in broader roles.”
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