5 new rules for the modern workplace

09/04/14 at 06:42 AM | Published Under Job Openings by Lon Matejczyk

To do well in today’s workplace, employees today need to have an open mind. They must constantly be on the lookout for new ways of doing things and be willing to push themselves out of their current responsibilities to take on bigger roles. 

With all of that in mind, I thought it would be good to share the Top 5 rules for the modern workplace according to Dan Schawbel, the author of “Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success.”

Here’s how Dan put it: 

Rule No. 1: Your job is temporary. Where you start isn’t where you’ll end up. Your job, company, and profession may completely change because of mergers and acquisitions, layoffs, outsourcing, automation, and various other factors that are outside your control. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American will have about nine jobs from the age of 18 to 32. The job you’re in now is just a stepping stone along your path.

Rule No. 2: Do not let your job description confine you. If you solely focus on your current responsibilities without broadening out, you won’t be able to advance and will become expendable. Companies are desperately searching for leaders — those who take initiative and are willing to go the extra mile. Once you’ve proven yourself in your role, seek out new projects from your manager and even other groups in your organization. While you’re managing your role, you should be acquiring new skills to help carry you to your next role. 

Rule No. 3: Your Rolodex is more important than your knowledge base. We’ve moved from the information economy to the social economy. Companies are hiring based on cultural fit, connections, and soft skills over a candidate’s ability to get the job done. It’s far easier to acquire knowledge through a simple Google search. What takes effort is finding your value, supporting your network, and reconnecting with its members over your career. In order to build a strong network, you have to have soft skills such as the ability to set priorities and work with others. Develop your soft skills, build your network, and leverage it to advance your career. 

Rule No. 4: Your experiences matter more than your title. As Generation Y enters the workforce and takes leadership positions, we’re looking at the end of traditional corporate hierarchies and the rise of collaborative work experiences. Job titles will only get you so far. You need to be involved with projects and people that are making a difference — both of which become part of your career story, which is the most compelling narrative you have in selling yourself and advancing your career. 

Rule No. 5: Your personal reputation is your greatest asset. As you move from job to job and from career to career, the one thing you get to take with you is your reputation. The results you’ve achieved, the projects you’ve been part of, and the way you treat people form your professional reputation. In the age of Facebook, what people find out about you online will influence how you’re perceived — and therefore your reputation. If you have a strong reputation, people will gravitate toward you and be proud to work with you. If you don’t have a good reputation, you won’t be able to advance and will struggle throughout your career until you can rebuild your rep.

About the Author

Lon-matejczyk Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the "Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play" award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1's business citizen of the year.

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