Monday September 09, 2013 | 07:59 AM
Posted by Scott Woodard

 "Come gather round people wherever you roam and admit that the waters around you have grown; and accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone.  If your time to you is worth savin' then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone; for the times they are a-changin'."   - Bob Dylan

To many of us of a certain age, Dylan's 1960s era anthem of change was a warning to the established leadership that the "old road is rapidly agin'...the order is rapidly fadin'" and that soon we Boomers would assume the mantle of leadership.  Little did we realize that we would face changin' times ourselves; times that would challenge our generation's ability to adapt.

These changin' times occur when Boomers find ourselves most vulnerable.  As we near traditional retirement age, we are not ready -- financially or emotionally -- to follow in our parents' footsteps.  We still have years of productivity to contribute; we're not ready to be put out to pasture.  Yet we're stymied by the changing nature of work and our roles in it.  We're struggling to find our place where no appropriate models exist.  The traditional 20th century models do not fit a 21st century reality.

We know that work and careers are a changin'.  The expectation of working for a single company for the length of a career is no longer valid.  In fact, the expectation of a single career throughout one's work life is no longer valid.  

The future of work will, most likely, embody four key characteristics:

  • Transparent: Productivity will matter, all the time;
  • Flat:  Communication will trump location;
  • Competitive: There will be no excuse not to know how; and 
  • On demand:  Ad hoc teams will come together for specified assignments and disband once the assignments are completed.

In this emerging world of work, the term career will be as obsolete as the typewriter.  Workers will have to assume responsibility for their own progress; not abdicating it to an organization.  They will have to constantly demonstrate their value, learning new tools that continually increase their value.  They will have to learn to be part of virtual, ad hoc teams, comprised of others from all over the world.

The emerging world of work will provide workers with more freedom and power; however, they will have to adapt to its new aspects of social, local and mobile or SoLoMo.

The SoLoMo model helps Boomers "start swimmin'" so that they don't "sink like a stone" as they continue to contribute in the emerging world of work.  My next post will focus on how...stay tuned.

About this Blog

Barbara Babkirk is a Master Career Counselor and founder of Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement firm in Portland.

With a focused and intuitive approach, Barbara makes a difference in people’s lives by helping them design a new life chapter. She has a successful record guiding career transitions for professionals ranging from executives and artists to attorneys and entrepreneurs.

An expert in her field, Barbara is a public speaker on work-related topics writes a solutions-oriented column about work for the Portland Sunday Telegram.


Scott Woodard is a career coach with Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement business in Portland, Maine.

Scott works with clients to identify and articulate their value and their personal brand. He helps clients develop clear, concise and crisp messaging to convey their particular difference, their achievements and their approach.

Scott coaches clients to market their brand through social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. He offers monthly workshops on how to make the most of LinkedIn for businesses or job seekers.

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