Career is dead…Welcome to the journey of (re)discovering Self…Gigging…

October 10, 2020

On a sunny Sunday morning as I was browsing through my reading list on my phone, I stumbled upon World Employment Confederation (WEC) site. A Future of Work thought-piece there read, “Rapid technology changes, demographics, diversity, globalisation, climate change, new production models and the rise of the on-demand economy are just some of the structural shifts currently reshaping the world of work. These new trends create challenges for our current labour laws, welfare schemes, education systems and tax regimes. Labour markets need to evolve to ensure that they remain open, inclusive and sustainable – and enable everyone to grow and prosper.”

The WEC’s view of the Changing world of Work had the following infographic which in my view is a screenshot of real life today for many of us.

What really hit my eyes was this sentence, “Labour markets need to evolve to ensure that they remain open, inclusive and sustainable – and enable everyone to grow and prosper”…Just see the power of such a beautiful desire, direction and vision. It just triggered lot of my observations, interactions and experiences in the recent times on this topic. I asked myself, “While the above statement is more about the Demand side of Jobs and the Ecosystems in which such Jobs exist, what is required from the Supply side, which is the Talent?”, “Who is this talent actually?”, “How do they see this?”, “What does career mean for them?”… These questions led to flashes of following instances in my mind…

  • Learning the meaning of 3D printing from my daughter who is in Grade 5
  • Knowing that my son an 8th Grade Boy can help me build a Website
  • Seeing my kids teach my 60+ years parent-in-laws managing their social media to alexa to android TVs and they learning these new skills from kids much faster with ease than what a typical classroom training would have taken it to do so
  • Participating in online surveys of a friends’ kids in school ranging from preserving traditional languages in India to sustainable planet to promoting music etc.
  • Seeing 45+ yrs friends balancing work-cricket-photography-social work-travel-family time all in a week and staying awesomely happy
  • I handling a portfolio of work ranging from HRTech-IoT-FoodTech-EdTech-Future of Work-Green Skills etc. almost all remotely across time zones
  • Seeing my kids learn from home (LfH) and seamlessly moving across school app, email, whatsapp, sms, google meet, zoom, webex, google drive, youtube, etc.
  • Seeing kids using voice commands to learn with google, alexa, etc.
  • Embracing remoteness, yet close to many things in day to day life

Well quite a flashes …and my insights from all these have been that the change is embraced across generations rapidly, talent is ageless and available everywhere, learning is life-long, remote is near (miles and time zones are erased by connectivity with negligible cost), contactless is convenience, value can come from anyone (talent is abundant)…

I see people thriving by learning in bytes (microlearning), acquiring new how-to-dos (microskills just sufficient to do few tasks / microwork smartly), projectising life without being PMI certified (😊 multi-tasking, resource deployment), pursuing diverse interests and accepting rewards in bytes and in flexi-forms (microrewards)….You know breaks (microbreaks) today are seen favorably as recharging pitstops and as beginnings for all new fresh start (no more taboos on how to explain a career break like in the past)…

So, to me, Career that meant moving up in a linear curve with time in x-axis and power, position, earning in y-axis is dead or in death bed. Welcome to the Horizontal Life called Gigging….the Discovery of Self through a variety of purposeful work, exciting learning, positive relationships and impactful experiences at one’s own pace and preference in a non-linear manner….

Thanks for your time…Let’s circle back soon for more on this…Stay tuned and take care…


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