What's one fear you'd like to eliminate from your career? I'd bet many people would say losing their job or potentially worse, the fear of their job becoming irrelevant. And while we constantly hear about technology threatening to take jobs away, is it really a cause for concern? I sat down with Shane Rodgers, a business executive and strategist based in Brisbane, to gain his perspective on the workplace of the future, and how we can prepare ourselves and our work communities for the technology that is still yet to come.
The Career Advice I Wish I Had At 25 and Preparing For the Workplace of 2030
Shane Rodgers | business leader, writer, marketer and strategist
"We need in our society a strong sense of belonging. And I think through some of the changes we've had in the last 10 years in particular we've lost that a little bit. As well as the changes we'll see in the workplace, I just think we need to rebuild our communities and start supporting each other."
Shane Rodgers shot to social media fame when his LinkedIn article, "The Career Advice I Wish I Had When I Was 25" went viral. The article hit home with over 6 million people and garnered thousands of comments and positive feedback. Shane has spent much of his career with a special interest in human behavior, and believes the article stuck a chord with many people because of it's authenticity and that it created a sense of community among people who are struggling living our ever-congested "lives of quiet desperation". Shane believes much of the modern workforce struggles with finding balance considering our work and personal lives are so blurred, and to complicate things further the future of work is continually evolving.
To prepare for the future, Shane believes we have to focus on community and approach change in a more mobile way. What he means by that is anticipating the disruptors in our industries, recognizing their value, and finding our own place within that change. In almost every era there is some version of people being afraid of what's coming. Shane recalls that during his youth, people were speculating computers would negatively revolutionize the modern economy. People worried they would take away jobs just as people are starting to fear now with the rise of more advanced workplace technology and artificial intelligence. Now, what actually ended up happening was that some jobs were eliminated, but many more were created. As humans we get comfortable and safe in our environments, but that has never been where radical innovation has been created. Without that uncomfortable shift, we wouldn't be where we are today.
Shane believes that the rise of artificial intelligence at work is going to free people in their careers and will "set humans lose to do what humans do best" which is think creatively. Actually, our jobs will become more interesting and more valuable. Much of the current workforce will be relieved of mundane tasks that take up so much of our time but that don't make a large impact on the work we do. In part one of this podcast, Shane covers that very issue of time and our struggle to balance work and personal responsibilities.
"When people are talking about work-life balance what they're really saying is I've got all these options and all these things I feel I need to do, but there aren't enough hours in the day to do them. If you cannot extend the hours, all you can do is change your priorities during the day that makes you feel like you're in control of your life."
Shane believes prioritizing your current schedule is key, and that it's imperative to be continually evaluating that schedule for where you are in your life and your career and to make adjustments where necessary. We need to stop referring to this as 'work-life balance', but just look at it as 'life-balance'. Whether that's for family or to stay relevant in your industry, we must be looking at change from a mobile perspective, and be comfortable moving along with it.
The final piece of advice Shane leaves us with is his wish for our community of workplace leaders. He hopes we can get back to a stage in the way we socialize as humans that is healthy and that we continue to support each other during these rapidly changing times. "We need in our society a strong sense of belonging", and in the past 10 years this has faded. How we treat each other, our work and ourselves will directly impact the type of workplace future we create.