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Do I work or do I have a job?

After graduating, we all assume it’s time to get a “real job”. But it’s not because everybody does so, that it’s a good idea. Digital destroys yesterday’s jobs, but it doesn’t replace them. Digital remodels work: we have to learn to work differently.

Until now, employees were spending hours and hours at company offices to do their job. But today, who cares how many hours we spend at the office? Work is not a time. Work is neither a place. In fact, borders between office and home, between business and private life are becoming irrelevant. We may choose to leave the office earlier so we have time for our family and continue working later in the evening (home-office) or we may prefer a coworking space close to our home to avoid traffic jams (shared office).

Clearly, having a job which makes us spending time in the same place every day is no longer the point. What matters is the value generated by our work. If our work is valuable to others, it will generate a revenue stream, whatever the time spent, and whatever the place where it was performed. Laptop and smartphone are the worker’s new weapons. Thanks to new technologies, we can easily work anywhere and at any time. So, the office is no longer the place where we perform work, but it has become the place where workers connect – among each other and with clients, partners, maybe even competitors…

It’s time to see the workplace as a tool supporting the worker. We can define places for each type of task. Moreover, moving from one place to the next can help fighting inactivity at work. It’s important to integrate these moves in our daily routine, because work has become so important in our lives; it’s where we spend most of our time.

So… if we can work where and when we want, we’ll benefit from more autonomy, giving us more control over both our private and work life. My question is: “As autonomous workers, why are we limiting ourselves to one income stream instead of many?” In this creative economy, enterprises could call on us through digital platforms or communities (crowdsourcing) to perform specific tasks, even if we are not working for these companies as employees. We can also earn extra revenue by renting out our apartment or by pooling our car. It’s time to empower the workers, leveraging the curiosity and the entrepreneurial spirit of a new generation of workers, creating new work and multiplying revenue streams.

Then, why couldn’t we all be self-employed? Creating our work every day rather than spending time at the office to do our job? Some people tell me that this would increase job insecurity, but personally, I think it spreads the risk (of losing a job) over many employers, and maybe that’s the price to pay for having more freedom in doing what we want, where and when we want.

I like to ask myself this question: “Am I progressing or am I standing still?” I’m sure I’m not the only one aiming for professional improvement, being a changemaker, and to make a difference in the long term through engaging experiences. Whether we like that or not, we are our own entrepreneur: we create and evolve our expertise/talent and our network. So, as John Jacob Scherer says “Start with who you are. Let what you do be an expression of who you are. And then you’ll get whatever you get from the world. But that’s just feedback. Who cares?” – @SylvieDbg

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