It’s hard to win the game, if the rules change during halftime. But that’s the challenge confronting workers according to Rick Newman, writing for U.S. News and World Report. He contends that the recession begat an era of permanent economic volatility in which employers will have the upper hand. Workers must understand these new rules and plan accordingly in order to succeed in a workplace that offers little job security. Many of his observations will resonate with IT professionals, so read the list and then make adjustments in your career game plan.
Rule 1. You don’t deserve a job. Anybody expecting good pay for mediocre work will end up deeply disappointed. The winners will be those who hustle, do more than asked, and occasionally swallow their pride.
Rule 2. You don’t know enough. A few decades ago, a college or technical degree and some regular on-the-job training amounted to plenty of education for most professions. Not any more. Technology changes faster than most people can keep up with these days, and workers relying on the same old skills are more likely than ever to be displaced by young Turks with fresher learning.
Rule 3. Less stuff equals more freedom. Spending less and saving more will raise the odds that you can survive a crisis – or pounce on an opportunity.
Rule 4. Prepare for many turns. Changing fields or careers might mean more training or education, but multidisciplinary learning will be a major asset in the future.
Rule 5. Entrepreneurs have an advantage. Employers increasingly value innovative workers who come up with better or cheaper ways to get the job done. So an entrepreneurial attitude can set you apart even if you work for somebody else.
Rule 6. Don’t get addicted to your paycheck. You might earn more some years, less in other years, and go up and down your whole working life.
Rule 7. Loving what you do pays off. Lots of people seek passion in their work, but many end up playing it safe and going with a steady paycheck. That’s increasingly risky. Getting ahead in the future will likely mean working harder and longer, which is okay if you love your work and feel like you’re building something valuable, but awfully tough if you’re just running the clock.
Do you have a new workplace rule to add to Newman’s list?
— Leslie Stevens-Huffman