Take all the rules you knew about work and throw them out. Here’s the five biggest changes in the workplace in the 21st century.
Company Loyalty- Remember the days when you worked for a company for life? If you don’t remember those days, watch Nick at Nite for a little bit and you’ll see examples of this primitive social behavior. Jobs used to mean clocking in at 9 and out at 5, getting a watch for your retirement and having the boss over for some of the wife’s homemade dinner. I cannot pinpoint exactly when things changed but I attribute much of it to the recession in the 90s. Companies downsized their loyal employees in favor of cheaper younger employees or foreign workers. Nowadays, the same boss who you had drinks with the other night at the same company that just gave you an exemplary performance evaluation and raise last month could very well drop the ax when you least expect it.
My advice: if salesmen’s ABC’s are “Always be Closing” the average worker should “Always be Checking”- help wanteds, leads from friends, etc. Beginning a job search from scratch takes much time and effort and after being let go, you may not have the spirit for it. Start now and you will find it easier to maintain that flow if needed.
Part time is for students, full time is for adults- Full time employment has many advantages: stability, benefits, career progression etc. However, in these times, part time is better than no time. Forget your misconceptions of part time not having value and being a broken rung on your career ladder.
My advice: Part time employment provides you with an excellent way to make money without making a commitment. If you maintain your dedication, you can still search for jobs just as well while working part-time. Also, another lesson from salesmen: get your foot in the door. The “Help wanted->resume->interview->hire” process is not set in stone and companies often use alternative means of selecting employees. Some deliberately use “temp to perm” situations. Sometimes, starting out temporarily allows you an eagle’s eye of current openings at this employer.
Moonlighting on your spouse or your job is immoral– Moonlighting, or working after work is exhausting and may violate certain company’s employee handbooks. However, if not prohibited by your company and if done at your convenience, it can provide an extra income and can serve as a “back-up” just in case. This doesn’t necessarily mean computer programming day in and day out or even computer programming by day and waitressing by night. It means looking into the possibility of making money off of your hobbies and other interests. Never found your Hebrew education very useful? Tutor. Want to add some creativity to your day? Design gift baskets or greeting cards. Writing, music. Remember back in school when your days were well rounded with fun stuff and serious stuff? Remember having a favorite subject? Figure out what works for you time wise, talent wise and money wise and do it. As for moonlighting on your spouse…ask Dr. Phil.
My advice: tricycles are more stable than bicycles. Find a secondary career that you like and can make money off of. It won’t necessarily support you financially but at best, it could mean the difference between a vacation in Miami and one in Hawaii or at worst between unemployment and partial employment.
Dream Jobs- Does anyone love their job anymore? What happened to the promises of high school and college guidance counselors that if you work hard, you will succeed at whatever you choose-especially if it happens to involve computers? A dream job is something Barbie drives to in her pink Jaguar from her pink Townhouse to her pink medical complex where she successfully practices medicine after 0 years of education (while Ken waits at home and cleans).
My advice: Look at job openings with more of an open mind. Perhaps the title does not sound great, the location could be better and one of the responsibilities does not appeal to you. Give it a chance anyway. Jobs often change along with the employee. Sometimes, a job only exists in its current state (for example involving budgeting) due to your predecessor’s skills and abilities (for example, she had a bookkeeper’s background). However, when you take the reins and demonstrate your excellent communication skills, you can take on more responsibilities you like and delegate the others to coworkers.
Working 9-5– It made for a great Dolly Parton song but does anyone do it anymore? Unfortunately, with the exception of a few government bureaucrats, no. The tech boom permanently changed the job market by raising the bar on the number of hours a human can possibly work. Though the money made the time worth it, other companies learned to demand more from this even as they compensated less. Working from 8-6 or 7 nowadays is not even considered overtime. It’s normal. Many jobs ask for flexibility for working weekends too (particularly hard for shomer shabbos employees to work around)
My advice: Excellent time management is an essential skill for leading a happy life. As jobs drain more and more time, you need to spend less and less on chores if you want any for friends and family. Use the internet for shopping and research, electronic appliances wherever possible and calculate how much your time is really worth versus paying someone else to handle your services. An example of a surprisingly cheap timesavers is dropping off laundry rather than doing it yourself.