Monday, 13 May 2013


This is life in the new workplace. As a kid you wanted to be a baseball player, a ballerina, a fireman, or maybe an musician. Later on your dream changed to being a lawyer, an investment banker, a doctor, or an entrepreneur. But now Nigerians share a different dream—to do work they love, to do work that matters. I know those jobs are hard to find, but you may not know they are also hard to fill. Now, technology manages things that repeat and humans manage things that change. So what do employers want now? That’s just it: with everything in tupsy turvy, they think they don’t know yet. They may need the sort of people who can reach the big goals while the big goals change. That’s why college degrees do not come with job offers attached—your education does not reliably help an employer predict whether you can be a high performer in a fast-paced, changing environment. Why? Students are graded on certainty and schools unwittingly train people to need it. But employers do not need more people with certain answers to discrete problems. Employers need people who are unafraid to apply limited knowledge to the new and complex problems at hand. Experience does not necessarily teach you how to face the unpredictable, nor does it always predict high performance. Experience used to prepare you for leadership roles because you’d “seen it all before,” but nowadays leadership means being ready for things you’ve never seen before. Businesses are teaching their old dogs new leadership tricks: how to give up ‘control’ and how to ‘conduct’ chaos instead. Businesses invest big money and time on helping their best and brightest unlearn what they know. So, if neither education nor experience makes you a shoe-in for a job, what does? Employers care first whether you can reach big goals even as the big goals change. Now for the good news: in a world with more madness than method, employers still know what they want when they see it. You know that employers want mathematicians, scientists, coders, and engineers. But you might not know that some employers aren’t hiring because they can’t find enough people with adequate “soft skills,” like empathy, attitude and critical thinking to put on payroll. Growing organizations have a big, latent disaggregated demand for employees that can adapt to and drive change. If you’re that sort of person, landing a dream job may be easier than you—and labor force analysts—think. There is more good news: This shift in business produces the sorts of challenging, high-impact jobs you will love. So how do you show an employer you’ve got what it takes? Start by making sure that you actually do and pay attention to developing the softer side of your personality

Adapted from the original source article:

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