Workplace Rights

Weekly (1/9/12)

Topic of the Week   Your Future at Work: New Trends for 2012:

Your Future at Work: New Trends for 2012:

  • I'm outta here.
  • Working virtually.
  • Re-skilling.
  • Independent majority.
  • Jobs of the future don't exist yet.



Your Future at Work: New Trends for 2012

I'm already feeling great about 2012, mainly because it's not 2011. Just that change should signal an improvement in fortunes for most of us. So as our focus shifts to 2012, I'll start with a quiz. What do Twilight, Lady Gaga, Tim Tebow, Sarah Palin and the iPad all have in common? Spoiler alert, if you don't want to see the answer skip the next sentence.

All five of these headliners in 2011 weren't even on our radar screens five years ago. Things change dramatically in pop culture and it's no different at work. Just in my career we've gone from snail mail to Fed Ex, to fax, to email, to IM, to Facebook and Linkedin to Twitter. The only guarantee for us today is that in the coming years there will be totally new ways to communicate and that we never saw them coming. In order to give you time to prepare here are five of the most important new work trends for this year and the coming years.

I'm outta here. did a poll of Human Resource pros and found that 43% were worried about losing top talent in 2012. Recessions can do that to you. They act like glue, up until a certain point. Then companies start to take advantage of the situation and many people start working on their resumes and networking. You should too.

Working virtually. According to Elance, 83% of small businesses report that up to half of their new hires will be as online contractors. As many of us trade our desk for a laptop, we need to buff our skills at working independently and remotely.

Re-skilling. According to CareerBuilder 38% of companies said that they'll train people, even from outside their industry, in 2012. Most of us tend to treat training programs like the plague, something to be avoided. But we need to grab every chance to add to our skills, especially on the company's dime. It's important to be flexible in how you view yourself and your skills.

Independent majority. According to MBO partners, almost 10% of us are independent contractors. That number is predicted to increase to more than half by 2020. Half. As we move from working for them, to working for ourselves, many things will have to change. For example, we'll stop seeing other companies as competitors, but rather as future possible clients.

Jobs of the future don't exist yet. I can hear what you're thinking. D'oh. According to the World Future Society, these are some of the job titles for 2030: Smart car interior ad sales rep, Office concierge, Augmented reality architect and Digital identify planner. Before you scoff at this remember how you laughed when you first heard that someone was a Social media coordinator. Jobs evolve, so must we.

When I think of the changes that we'll be facing in 2012, I'm reminded of an observationby General Eric Shinseki. "If you don't like change, you're boing to like irrelevance a lot less."

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

Thought of the Week

""We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives." "

–Plan 9 from Outer Space

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from Absolut Vodka

     Hittin' the Bottle: Employee attitudes

    • 69% find it harder to keep pace with the lives of their loved ones than their job responsibilities
    • 67% missed or arrived late to a family or social event in the last year because of their job
    • 32% believe that a person's Facebook page tells the most about their social lives; it's the go-to place to learn what's happening in the lives of loved ones


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