by Tim Clark and Bruce Hazen
So writes James Altucher in Choose Yourself. Altucher is referring to the trend that has many organizations around the world quickly replacing full-time “permanent” positions with part-time, contract, or temporary workers.
How can you find career longevity in a world of temporary work? It helps to recognize two things.
First, in an increasingly temporary work world, loyalty to specific organizations and job titles makes less and less sense.
At the same time, loyalty to a profession makes more and more sense.
Loyalty to a profession means forging a strong professional identity.
Professional identity means your persistent, distinguishing character as a worker that transcends any organizational affiliation or job title.
A clear professional identity focuses your skill-building efforts and reinforces your understanding that work “lives” everywhere in the career universe — it’s not confined to certain organizations or functional sectors (it’s not always defined and packaged in the form of a “job” either). To strengthen your professional identity, refine the Value Proposition in your personal business model.
A second way to achieve career longevity is to improve your professional skills. Simple economics tells us that relatively rare skills are needed to win relatively desirable work. And one skill that remains rare is the ability to understand, describe, and help modify business models — both at the enterprise and personal level.
Why? Because most workers concern themselves primarily with doing their specific jobs well. They lack interest in — and understanding of — how their employers function. In other words, they fail to grasp the enterprise business model and how to best align their efforts with the organization’s goals.
Failing to understand enterprise business models may be a natural consequence of declining worker loyalty to organizations. Yet that’s precisely why the ability to grasp and contribute to enterprise aims is more valuable than ever. Use that ability to differentiate your talent and achieve career longevity in a world of temporary work.