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The world of business is changing, and changing at breakneck speed. It is modifying itself and transforming into something new. It is reinventing itself almost on a day-to-day or maybe a minute-to-minute basis. The nature and focus of business, of work and of people is shifting – in different directions.
The future workplace has become today’s workplace and if we are to progress and prosper we need to develop specific workplace skills in order to be able to efficiently handle the future of work. We have to be ready to deal with the transformative environment that is all around us and that includes being familiar with the latest buzzwords that are in use by the new generation of workers and employees e.g. collaboration, engagement, inclusion, disruption, agility, inspiration, empathy, grit, connected, motivating, socialization, shared workstations, virtual reality and many more.
My experience tells me that there are 5 major characteristics that we need to inculcate in order to meet the future of work head-on and contribute to the work-place and the organization. Do the following and you will be well placed to succeed in the new emerging world of business.
Be bold and conquer fear:
Have faith in yourself and in your capabilities. Have a positive attitude about everything and you will find that things work out. Whether it is making a sales pitch, or putting together a business proposition or presenting results to the board – if you are sure of things, others will naturally accept what you say. Even if you feel anxious or fearful or even hesitant, do not show it – present an air of confidence and you will find your doubts and fears melting away. Take decisions with boldness, with authority. Be daring if need be but go ahead and just do what has to be done. Think positive and you will find yourself doing the right things – do not let fear tie you down. Practice makes you perfect so practice what you want to say, what you want to do – it is the best way to gain self-confidence.
Prioritize and focus:
Success is a result of detailed planning, precision in defining organizational aims and objectives, prioritizing your responsibilities, analyzing your contribution to the overall business goals, matching your skills to the job requirements and working as a team for the overall progress of the organization. Concentrate your efforts on what you do best, on what you enjoy most; if you pick the wrong option, then just stop and change before things get totally out of hand. The future of work depends as much on your skills as it does on selecting the right options. So decide and prioritize and then focus on the most critical and essential task.
Learn new skills and be market and consumer and tech savvy:
The future of work is a totally different ballgame from what has existed in the past. Upgrade your skills to keep pace with the changing trends. Perfect your art and excel in your area of competence. Develop your expertise so as to become the leader in your field. The future of work is all about advancing technology – learn and master internet and other media skills to stay abreast of the times. Take classes, read books, go for workshops and courses – do whatever it takes to stay tuned in to the changing business world.
Be result oriented:
In the new business world, everyone is responsible and accountable for his or her own work – to stay ahead of the pack in the future of work, you have to perform your best and go beyond that. Be punctual – to work, for meetings, for presentations etc. Respect other people’s time and do not keep them waiting. Stay on time and end on time – that’s a massive saving in terms of time (and hence of money) given that many people stroll in late even for important meetings. Plan your work on a daily basis, set tasks for yourself and monitor to see that you achieve what you had targeted for. Enhance your productivity and contribute more to the organization. Work towards set goals and produce results that work in favor of the organization. Learn to stick to schedules and deadlines, stay away from distractions and unproductive activities.
Network – personally and professionally:
To be on top of things in the future of work, one essential activity is networking. Stay connected to others, at the personal and the professional level – as these aspects blend into one another at times. Networking should be in person as also via phones and other electronic devices (e-mail, e-chat, Skype etc.). Use your contacts to offer or ask for services. Connectivity works in both directions – use the modern means of communication to connect people and ideas and services. Networking is not just connecting on the job front – it involves communication at the personal level too. Establish a rapport with small talk; take an interest in their non-professional life, without getting intrusive, learn to listen, offer help when needed and earn the fruits of all this when you need a job done. Maintain your network, strengthen it every opportunity you get – it is one of the keys to master the demands of the changing business scenario in the future.