In her book, "The Change Agents - Decoding the New Workforce and the New Workplace", Liz Nickles discusses the fact that America in 21st Century still straddles the great digital divide. Workers on one side of the line working 24/7 from virtual offices, while others are still trying to program their VCR's and wondering what this 'internet thing' is about.
In this ever competitive job market; organizational changes; and the ever growing use of the web and digital tools to increase connectivity and productivity, her research is increasingly relevant. Nickles reveals the following trends:
- Lifestyle Entrepreneurialism: Entrepreneurs are starting younger. "I took an entrepreneurial approach to everything in life" said the co-founder of the now-defunct dot-net startup. The age of the internet has allowed young people to sidestep the traditional corporate ladder.
- Full Engagement: The new workforce never feel like they are doing enough; never thinking enough. Always searching the new boundaries, the new terrains.
- Convergence: The boundaries between home and work life blur and Change Agents like it that way.
- Getting a Life: The new workforce believe that work (even if it takes 18 hours a day) is just a job, and that they can and will walk away from it. In the book, Nickles quotes software designers who like to hike in Nepal every year. "You just won't see me in October because it is the best month to go hiking there."
- Early Retirement: The new Change Agents do not believe in working mid-pace until they are 65 and then retire. They plan to work 24/7, cash out at 35, ... then move on.
- No Prisoners: Nickles' Change Agents will do whatever it takes to move ahead. They'll make note sof enemies and squash them.
In these times of change, Nickles also has some good advice for the Baby Moguls, as well as for the Baby Boomers. This is a relevant book, especially for you reading this blog - a product of our 24/7 worklife!