On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy
Coping with Job Loss and Uncertain Times
In a previous post, I mentioned the possibility of a future in which a greater proportion of the population work as free agents (such as described by Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation). Although this is an ideal that I would embrace for myself, the picture isn’t all rosy as this also means fewer secure employment opportunities being available for those who want them. The days of having a secure job at the same organization for one’s entire work-life have declined indeed, however it’s become apparent that not everyone has made the adjustment in mindset. Furthermore, there are many who are ill-prepared for, and/or don’t welcome, the difficulties associated with more autonomy and taking a more entrepreneurial approach with their careers.
Apparently, there appears to be room for debate about automation being the cause behind the decline of jobs (see Robert D. Atkinson’s post – an explanation which, I’ll admit, is new to me). In addressing a transition to a more entrepreneurial way of life however, I agree with many of the recommendations proposed by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, authors of Race Against the Machine. In this book, they listed changes to policies and societal infrastructures to support people as conditions necessitate a greater need to be one’s own boss – subject matter that I’ll cover in a future post.
For now however, I’d like to share some tips, videos, and articles that may prove helpful in putting you in the mind-frame to think about important steps to be taken if you happen to be dealing with job loss under these current conditions.
- A sudden, drastic loss of income is distressing. However, if you think about all the different types of losses that can occur in life, you realize that it’s not the end of the world. Hope I don’t have to warn anyone NOT to love your job above all else here!
- As you move forward, count up all your blessings – like time to define your needs and interests along with the opportunity to find work that would be a better fit for you.
- Finally, keep pursuing your interests as this is the best way out of helplessness and despair!
Remember, all things in life (both good and bad) come to an end. Unanticipated losses, such as the end of your tenure with your employer through a layoff or termination, are understandably harder to bear than anticipated endings (e.g., the official end of a contract or your resignation). However, meditating on the ephemeral nature of life phenomena can help give you the perspective that enables you to make due with your situation and move forward. Finally, mastery of this will help you leave a positive last impression on your boss and colleagues.
Surviving a Lay-Off
How to Survive a Layoff or Downsizing
Best wishes to all of you in these challenging times. I look forward to reading any comments or stories you have to share!