The typical career path for an employee starts in an entry level position in a particular department wherein the employee needs to then ascend the corporate ladder and move up the proverbial food chain to a more senior level role. Most of the time the employee ends up stuck in a particular department or a particular role but occasionally some horizontal pivots are possible. This is a type of pre-determined work because essentially the career path of the employee is set out for them once they join the company. If they get hired in the marketing department then they will typically stay in that area. It’s akin to set-up marriages which used to be common many years ago in some countries. Before the child was even old enough to know what marriage was they were already paired up with someone. Thankfully in most parts of the world this custom is now no longer being practiced but we run our companies in much the same fashion. This is how it has been for many years inside of organizations and it’s starting to change. The future of work is about customized work.
What is customized work?
Customized work is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the ability of an individual employee to shape their career path within an organization and allows them to navigate to the roles they are best at and most passionate about. Employees no longer need to focus on ascending the corporate ladder, they are now building their corporate ladder.
There are two things making this possible within organizations. The first is technology in the form of collaboration platforms that allow employees to share their ideas and passions while becoming leaders in areas of their choosing. The second is the changing behaviors we are starting to see in management around following from the front. We still have a long way to go before this notion of customized work becomes pervasive within organizations but we are certainly moving towards that direction.
We are all still collectively learning what this is going to look like and how exactly it’s going to take shape but it’s a fascinating journey for organizations to be embarking upon and I’ll be doing my best to explore much more around the future of work and collaboration. Stay tuned as I’ll be exploring several key themes around this!