With four very different generations making up our workforce and millennials (born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s) flooding the job market in unprecedented numbers, work dynamics are changing drastically, and if you are like most of the job seekers I talk to, you’re struggling to keep up. Here are three trends that I hope will empower you to approach the employment experience from a different lens, one that will open your mind to new possibilities and more fulfilling work.
1. Flexible Work Options Win Over Higher Salaries
Most people are attracted to positions that offer a work-life balance, and are often more productive when given flexibility options. Because workers today, especially millennials, are focused on outputs rather than inputs, more organizations are embracing the idea of working anytime, anywhere, and being evaluated not by how many hours you sit in a chair, but by what you produce. In fact, a large percentage of the workforce would take a pay cut for more flexibility, according to Forbes.
2. Companies Are Coming Out of the Closet
Organizations are enforcing a policy of transparency that transfers to all levels because employees today want to work for a cause they believe in, develop good relationships with their colleagues and superiors, and feel comfortable speaking up at staff meetings. They want to be heard, they want their opinions to matter, and they want to be perceived as leaders.
In an effort to make employees feel like they’re “in the loop,” many company cultures are adopting the “shared economy mindset” that the millennial generation has grown up with. Instead of traditional cultures that hoard information (because there’s no incentive to share ideas or think creatively), employees today are embracing collaborative work environments where people are encouraged and incentivized to share their knowledge with others. Research organizations with “best-place-to-work reputations” and you’ll be more likely to recognize futuristic companies that value their people in an interview setting.
3. Goodbye Company Computers, Internal Emailing, and Traditional Office Spaces
Employees want to use any device they choose to get their jobs done. Companies like Ford, IBM, and Intel have been among those leading the way in allowing their employees to use personally owned devices. Internally, email is shifting from being the primary from of communication to being the secondary form of communication, in favor of faster, more innovative technological platforms, such as Asana. Are you joining an innovative company or one stuck in the Fax Machine Age? You surely won’t enhance your professional toolbox by working for Moses.
Furthermore, many companies are embracing the concept of coworking spaces. Coworking spaces are membership-based workspaces where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting. People who use coworking spaces, like Dig, thrive an average of 6 (on a 7-point scale), which is significantly higher than the average for employees who do their jobs in regular offices (at least one point lower). When we asked why, we found that they see their work as more meaningful when they only choose projects they care about. They also have more job control – they can choose to put in a long work day if they need to meet a deadline or take a break in the middle of the day to go to the gym. Lastly, they feel part of a community and are energized by the people around them.
In our opinion, there are three main categories job seekers and working professionals fall into. For more information on mapping out a strategic career plan that caters to your individual, needs, consult our FREE Career Reform Reports.
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