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[Digest] The rise of the micro-job

发布时间: 2017年04月30日 浏览次数: 编辑: 李秋雨

编者按:“gig economy”在中国一般被称为“共享经济”,指大公司逐渐裁员缩减规模,将大部分的工作转交给自由职业者或是小团队。随着时代的演进,“工作”这一概念正渐渐与“职业”拉开距离,而更多地趋向于“解决问题”和“应对挑战”。

When Jean-Philippe Michel, an Ottawa-based career coach, works with secondary school students, rather than encouraging each person to choose a profession, say, architect or engineer, he works backwards from the skills that each student wants to acquire. So instead of saying, “I want to be a doctor”, he’ll aim to get students to talk about a goal, in this case “using empathy in a medical setting”.

Michel says deciding the skills you want to use leads to a career that’s more targeted—and thus more likely to bring you satisfaction. It also might be less a job and more a set of projects and work situations that lead you from one thing to the next.

“They need to shift from thinking about jobs and careers to think about challenges and problems,” Michel says. Easier said than done for, say, Gen X or even older millennials, but it’s not so out of the realm of thinking for younger people, who are already narrowing down their university studies.

The purpose, above all, is to prepare the next generation for a career in the future, which for many will be made up of numerous micro-jobs aimed at well-paid skilled workers, and not a single boss and company, he says.

The demise of traditional

Futurists and human resource executives say that our work lives will consist of doing several long-term projects or tasks at once.

“Instead of identifying your job role or description, you will be constantly adding skills based on what is going to make you more employable,” says Jeanne Meister, New York-based co-author of The Future Workplace Experience.

The precursor for this shift is already here; it’s becoming more common to take on various roles even within one company, says Esther Rogers, who helps publish a quarterly journal about insight and foresight in the workplace, in addition to client work, as part of her role at Idea Couture, a Toronto-based innovation and design firm. Out of office hours, she also takes on voice acting roles. There’s “a real mishmash of tasks within a role. It's already becoming difficult to come up with [job] titles,” says Rogers.

Internal freelancer?

More traditional companies are catching on and offering freelance-like project opportunities to their own employees, says Meister. For example, both IT giant Cisco and financial services firm MasterCard are testing so-called “internal mobility platforms” that allow employees to cherry-pick projects to fill specific gaps for the company rather than staying in a more structured role, says Meister. Instead of continuing in one department under a single supervisor, workers are encouraged to choose their next projects based on their skills, or skills they want to develop, which can mean working in a different part of the company. She says it’s working, although they’ve yet to study return on investment of the effort.

Michael Stull, a senior vice president at Manpower Group, says more firms are demanding similar setups.

For companies, the payoff for experimenting with internal project-based opportunities means workers are less likely to jump from one company to the next, says futurist Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience Advantage, based in the US state of California. Micro-jobs can inspire a sense of entrepreneurial spirit and autonomy within a company, he explains, which in turn might keep us from job-hopping to the competition.

Forging a career path

Choosing where and how you work seems fun, right? But when it comes to forging a long-term career, there are drawbacks to creating a portfolio of work, say experts.

If you constantly hop from one project to the next, the change can be jarring and leave you without a clear path to benchmark success. With fewer promotions and changes to job titles, it can be more difficult to feel like you’re succeeding even if you’re regularly completing projects, says career coach Michel. What’s more, our identity is often wrapped up in the type of work we do, which doesn’t really fit the micro-job collecting life.

And, of course, even though some companies are experimenting, steering past a traditional mentality on what constitutes professional growth can take years to change.

“The biggest barrier to adapting,” says Meister, “is mindset.”

附:原文链接:

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20170424-the-next-generation-of-jobs-wont-be-made-up-of-professions?ocid=fbcptl_

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