The Future of Work IS NOWHERE

By Neil O’Brien

The following is a report on the current state of work and career and a look at what the future holds. The ideas contained here will be further developed during my forthcoming evening seminar with Nick Williams.

‘A Word in Your Eye’

Perception is the meaning we give to information, or, our interpretation of information or an event. When you looked at the heading of this report you either saw ‘The future of work is now here’ or ‘The future of work is no where’.
So as you can see perception can trick us to see one thing when something else is also there.

So, just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there!

It may mean that you are still looking for something else. So, if there are times that you struggle to ‘see’ how you’ll be an amazing success in the future doesn’t mean the evidence is not there, it just means that you are looking for something else at the moment. It’s worth noting at this stage that perception is the greatest block to the potential of anything. In other words, if you can’t see something you don’t believe that is exists (more about this later).

Certainty but No Choice

During my father’s working life he had the certainty of a job for life but due to very high unemployment and a poor economy he had no choice about where he worked; if you were lucky enough to have a job you held onto it.

Choice but No Certainty

In recent years when Ireland became an economic success we exchanged certainty for choice; the job for life was gone but you had much more choice about where you worked.

No Choice and No Certainty

During the current economic recession many people feel that they now have no certainty and no choice; if you are lucky to have a job you better hold onto it but you’ve no idea how long it’s going to last.

Good News

But ‘certainty’ and security is a really important human need. So is it possible to still find certainty in times like these? Does it require a new form of security? What could be a new source of certainty and security? Well the good news is that there is a form of security and certainty that doesn’t change, isn’t affected by recessions and is ready and waiting to be used. It is of course, your potential, your uniqueness and your natural talent and ability. This is certainty and security that is an internal strength and anchor rather than an external half-promise or whim.

The Future of Work

Work used to be considered a place you went to; to have meetings in meetings rooms, use landline phones, have an office, wait for your snail mail etc. Today you can work together yet be anywhere in the world. In 2004 JetBlue allowed 700 customer service representatives work from home thereby showing that they had no need for a central head office. Work used to be somewhere you went to now it’s what you do.

In future your earning potential will be based on merit not location so to stay employed and succeed in the workplace of the future you will need to stand out.
You will achieve this by being authentic and by using your natural talent and ability much more than you are now.

X Factor

Marcus Buckingham in his great book ‘Now, discover your strengths’ has completed scientific research into human potential and can show that everyone has a talent for something. In fact, you are so good at this that you are better than the next 10,000 people are! But, because it comes easy to you, you are the very person who undervalues it! And, if we return to perception for a moment; if you are not looking for your unique talent and ability then you won’t see it, and if you can’t see it you think it’s not there! So don’t be the last to know. Find out now what’s amazing about you.

The Ego of Goal-Setting

One of the big difficulties I have with traditional goal-setting models is that they are based on ego not on reality. In other words the traditional approach is; decide what you want, create a plan to achieve this and keep taking action until you get there.
But what if you based this model on utilising your natural talent and ability? Now we can create an irresistible force; your goals, aspirations and mission are grounded in reality and you stay close to your strengths. Then, I’m all for the goal-setting process as outlined above.

Don’t Be The Last to Know

The difficulty for most people reading this is that while they may agree with the philosophy and approach they actually have no idea what their unique talent and ability is! During the seminar I’ll be outlining how you find out once and for all.

To Summarise

Your future work success, happiness and fulfilment will be based on your ability to discover what you are brilliant at and your ability to get customers for that.

Just because you can’t see how you will do that right now doesn’t mean the path isn’t there, it just means you need some inspiration and some practical strategies to help you change your mind and get going.

Come along to our seminar and you’ll get plenty of both.

Neil O’Brien, May 2011

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