Thursday, December 5, 2013
On Monday, I wrote about the emerging world of work and the vulnerability of Boomers as they adapt to times that are a-changin', as Bob Dylan sang in the 60s.
I mentioned that while the changing nature of work will provide workers -- including Boomers -- with more freedom and power, we will have to adapt to its new aspects of social, local and mobile, or SoLoMo.
The SoLoMo model helps Boomers adapt and continue to contribute to the emerging world of work:
Social: The future of work and careers is about connectivity: It's about networking and relationship building. It's about getting to know organizations'/clients'/customers' challenges; the gaps that prevent them from adequately meeting those challenges; and the implications of not meeting them. It's about aligning your skills and expertise to those challenges. This social aspect applies whether you're looking to be an employee or a contractor.
Local: The future of work/careers is about providing personal service's tailored to the employer/client/customer. It means that one size does not fit all. It recognizes the uniqueness of each opportunity: assignment/customer/client. It means aligning your skills and expertise to the opportunity, and if they don't align, referring others who are better alignments (back to Social).
Mobile: The future of work/careers is about responsiveness: Being available to employers/clients 24/7. Having said this, it's also about choosing when to respond -- within reason. We don't need to respond immediately to all voice messages, emails and texts. Effective time management entails "triaging" messages -- which we respond to, in what order and when. Being mobile is about doing work from the office or the coffee shop, which technology now allows. It's about Results Oriented Work Environments.
Mobility/responsiveness is also about trasferability and portability. This means that employees can transfer their benefits to new employers without losing time or disposition (i.e., pre-existing conditions, etc.). Moreover, if employers choose not to provide benefits, they are obligated to adjust compensation (upward) so that their employees can purchase benefits and still retain their base salaries.
As Boomers struggle with the next act of their careers, trying to determine where they fit in a society that values younger, faster, cheaper talent, the SoLoMo construct provides a model they can use to their advantage. However, the model implies key behavioral changes for many people: networking, flexibility and creativity. Comfort and complacency aren't viable options.
By keeping connected -- both in terms of relationships with colleagues and potential employers, as well as by aligning expertise with needs -- Boomers continue to be of value. By being flexible and responsive in meeting employers' needs, Boomers prove their on-going value. And by facilitating creative solutions to tough problems, Boomers demonstrate their value in the emerging world of work.
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.