Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What WILL employment look like in the 21st Century?

I've been thinking a lot lately about what our employment will look like in the 21st Century. I am one of the fortunate few who not only have a job (with insurance) that I love - but I also am part of a staff of people that get along and respect each other at all levels of the organization. But my career hasn't always been this way.

I know so many people who have to work for really bad bosses. And I think that's the problem. People don't leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses. Which makes me think - wouldn't it be better for a lot of people to just become independent consultants?

Even though I do have a full-time job, I telecommute. I really do work on my own terms - when I want, where I want, listening to the Rachael Ray Show, if I want. If I still worked at my old job, my bosses would probably be annoyed that I spend my first couple hours of the day working in my pajamas (they frowned upon it when you didn't get dressed for work.)

I guess I just wonder how long people are going to put up with the corporate life. Or maybe I'm completely wrong. It wouldn't be the first time that my thoughts on a issue weren't mainstream.

What do you think? If you could be your own boss - would you? And if you would, but aren't, why?


Anonymous said...

In the future I think more people will work as consultants, but they'll probably have to due some time in cubeland first, several different ones in fact before they can make the leap to consultant.

As for telecommuting, well, it's a great idea and of course are doing it now and probably more will do it in the future, but for a significant number of people it just doesn't fit.

For one thing, connections to company systems can be slow and problematic.

For two, I think a lot of people like being around other people at work. This is probably especially true of young single people, who want the social interaction. But I suppose that would apply to older married people too who NEED to get out of the house.

Ultimately telecommuting will always be an option, there to fit a workers life as needed.

Example: I telecommuted 3 days a week after my daughter was born but gradually I returned to work and often found it much easier to be in the office. But that's just me.

GenXpert said...

@JD67 - You know, I hear a lot of people say taht about telecommuting. I can understand that. However, even though I telecommute, I'm more like a consultant, because I do travel around the country meeting with and presenting to our customers. However, I do my office work from home and have access to everything, including our pretty extensive database.

I think we agree that cubeland isn't really a nice place to be. I think cubeland in itself requires unnecessary layers of management who don't do much but guard the cubes. Therefore, I'm really excited and curious to see how Gen X handles this as we move into positions with more power.

Anonymous said...

You are SO RIGHT about the bad bosses! I'm about to leave a job that I love, but after four years, I just can't take another month of the horrible, rotten, clueless, Dilbert-esque management.