The New Rules of Work promises to help you navigate the modern workplace, find a career path that will truly make you happy in your work, and ace the application and interview process to get the job you want.
Part One: Finding out what you really want
Find out what your strengths and skills are and use that knowledge to decide on a fulfilling career.
It can be overwhelming finding your niche in the modern workplace. There is a seemingly endless number of industries and roles you could do, so where do you even begin?
Base your career path on your values first
Think about what makes you happy. Maybe you thrive on doing creative tasks. Perhaps you want to be able to travel. Work/life balance may be really important to you, or you may want to be able to help people. Maybe you want to see the direct results of your work every day.
Sometimes people find themselves in a position where they get the job they’ve always wanted, only to find the reality is that it doesn't live up to their own personal values and they don't feel fulfilled.
You should consider other factors that may or may not align with your values, such as whether you feel comfortable working for a huge corporation or would be happier working for a small business or charity.
An easy way to see if your values line-up with the roles you’re considering applying for is to use a grid. On the left-hand side write a list of jobs you could apply for. At the top, write down your three most important values. In the middle, write down how those roles live up to your values. We’ve shown a worked example below, how would you make a choice on these job roles?
|Job||Value 1: Creativity||Value 2: Interacting with clients||Value 2: Work/life balance|
|Graphic Designer at advertising agency||Get to work on lots of different creative briefs for many different clients||Not much opportunity for this, as this is done by different team members||Although the agency offers flexi time, you are sometimes expected to work very long hours to meet deadlines|
|Book designer at small publishing house||Get a lot of creative freedom, but work on a much smaller number of projects||Work very collaboratively with the authors, with lots of meetings and workshopping||Working in a small team, so if you have too much time off work everyone is impacted. However, your boss is very accommodating with personal appointments and lets you bring your dog to work|
|Freelance Website Design Consultant||Get to do lots of creative work, but also have to deal with the administrative side of running your own business||Your job is to help your clients improve their websites, so it’s a very client-facing role||You’re in complete control of when and where you work|
Part Two: Getting the job
Find out how to stand out as an applicant and get the job you want - it’s time to show the company you’re applying for that you align with their values, too.
Develop a personal brand that showcases your skills, experience and personality
Every interaction you have, both in-person and online, should support your personal brand. This includes social media, your CV and other application materials and how you behave in an interview.
To have complete freedom on how you present yourself online, the authors, Cavoulacos and Minshew, suggest creating a website about yourself that showcases your skills and work.
The authors suggest that the aim of your networking should be to build long-term relationships - and formal, in-person networking groups are no longer the best way to do this. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook groups make finding interesting people in your industry easy and instant.
Your interactions shouldn't be about finding people who can help you out straight away but should nurture long-term connections that could pay off at any time in the future, such as via a recommendation for a job that hasn’t been advertised yet, or introducing you to a potential client in your next job.
Take time with your job application
Gone are the days when it was acceptable to send out multiple identical applications to as many companies as possible. Applying for jobs is no longer a numbers game. Your application should be tailored to the company, well-researched and show your personality.
Read our advice on job applications here
Part Three: Thriving in the modern workplace
Find out about the communication, interpersonal and productivity skills you need to navigate the modern workplace and rise to the top.
Nurturing relationships at work
One great way to build relationships with your colleagues is to choose the right communication channel, say the authors. Think about the information you want to deliver and to whom, and choose the most effective way to do this. Some people prefer phone calls, an email, or a trip to their desk.
Be actively involved in work social events and don’t restrict the relationships you build to co-workers at your level - people beneath and above you can be valuable allies at many times throughout your career and always have useful knowledge.
Learning throughout your career is an excellent way to ensure you keep moving upwards and stay ahead of new technologies and industry trends.
The authors say that you should always be considering your next career move by keeping your skills up-to-date and considering what new skills you could learn that complement the ones you use every day that could take your career in an interesting new direction.
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