Work as you know it will fundamentally change within the next decade.
To get you ready for the future of work, I want to share the only work left for you to do.
I’m shifting my workload this summer to start working on my book, The Only Work Left.
Sounds ominous, doesn’t it?
But it isn’t. It’s an optimistic view about how to prepare yourself for the changing nature of work.
I’ve be living the future of work for the past 18 years. I want to share how I’ve seen work change, why it’s changing and how to get ready for it.
I want to show you have to make your work more valuable and resilient as work evolves.
I believe the future of work is self-management. If you are going to have to manage yourself, you might as well work for yourself because it happens to be the most effective way of learning how to manage yourself!
4 Trends Fundamentally Changing Work
There are 4 trends changing work as you know it.
#1 Permanent Change
You probably already “feel” how work is changing because you might be more anxious or feel like you aren’t doing enough even though you are doing more than ever before!
We all feel more stressed out because the pace of change is accelerating.
In Thomas Friedman’s book, Thank You for Being Late, he describes how it now takes around 10 to 15 years for humans to adopt a new technology, when for much of human history it would take several generations1
At the same time, the half-life of skills is now 5 years. That is the length of time a skill is deemed valuable in the workforce from its inception to decline. It’s faster than the rate of adoption of new technologies!
More and more of us feel like we can’t keep up. Do you?
We’ve all heard about how robots are going to take our jobs. Instead, most researchers believe it will change the nature of existing jobs and create new ones we can’t yet imagine.
Automation is also helping solopreneur business owners like me to make more money than ever before. The number of solopreneur-businesses making over $100,000 increase around 5% from 2016 to 2017 and those making over a $1 million has increased 33% since 2011 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
I keep telling people automation is going to do all the work none of us want to do anyway. It will free us to do the work we really want to do!
#3 Decentralized Management
If you haven’t yet already, you will most likely work remotely sometime in the next decade. You will be evaluated on the outcome of your work, not by how much time you are “seen” in the office.
Managers will also evolve to function more like coaches and less like taskmasters. They will support their colleagues to find solutions, rather than telling them what to do.
#4 Infinite Niche Markets
Our mass market is disintegrating into a market of infinite niches.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better any longer.
Solopreneur business are flourishing because they are building businesses around specific niches. I generated $600,000 from a potential market of just 50 customers in my last business!
Consumers like you and me want more choices and customization. As a result, more and more of us will generate income from niches and not from corporation hierarchies.
3 Forms of Work Left to Do
Those 4 trends changing work as we know it are going to force more and more of us to manage ourselves and to work for ourselves.
How do you prepare for that?
There are 3 forms of work that will make you more valuable, more resilient and more prepared for the future of work, but they also happen to be the work most of us avoid, but can’t any longer!
#1 Work On Yourself
In a world of infinite work options, the only constant is yourself.
It’s never been easier to get paid just for who you are and it’s never been more important.
When someone wants to work for themselves, the first thing I tell them is to learn about your potential, what makes you productive and what motivates you.
There is so much to learn about yourself and it’s a never-ending process! You are the first resource of your business and you need to do constant maintenance on it.
You are no longer going to be motivated by a manager, so you need to get a clearer sense of your purpose, your work preferences and what makes you feel confident.
If you haven’t already, consider enrolling in my free 12-week Self-Assessment Challenges to start learning more about yourself. Learn more about lifeskillsthatmatter.com/challenge
#2 Work On Your Relationships
Humans evolved to work with each other and to achieve success as a team.
You need to make friends, not connections. You need to build a tribe, not a network.
As corporations require fewer and fewer full-time employees, we need to help create work for each other. Being a solopreneur doesn’t mean going it alone.
You need to hang with people doing whatever it is you want to do. It’s the most effective action you can take to accelerate both your personal and professional growth.
#3 Work On Creating
In the “new work”, there are many times you aren’t going to get paid to do your work, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing your work.
My point is don’t wait to create and practice your work by waiting for someone to give you a job. Keep getting better at it!
There will also be many opportunities for you to get paid to be an apprentice as you master your craft.
Traditional employment has also brainwashed us to think all the work we create has to be perfect. It’s nonsense!
Keep innovating, keep making mistakes, keep learning from your mistakes and keep experimenting to make your work better and better.
Practicing 100 versions of your craft will make you a better master of it than trying to make just one version perfect.
If you would like updates about my book, The Only Work Left, and if you’d like to be one of the first people to get a free electronic version of it when it comes out in 2019, get on the list at lifeskillsthatmatter.com/book