Invent Your Future Job: Be Unique, Be Social, Be Global

The fast-paced changes of our societies have affected all industries and is changing the nature of work for the next 10 to 15 years. There are three major challenges for the workforce of the future increasing pressures on organizations to become innovation centered, highly productive and a magnet for global talent :

1-Shifting demographic patterns: Over the next 10 years, the world population is expected to rise from the current 6.83 billion to approximately 7.7 billion, with most of the growth in emerging markets generating  high economic growth. We already see an aging and declining population in developed countries with slow economic growth.  U.S. and European businesses are dealing with the challenges of a multi-generational workforce with three distinct generations Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Employers will need to develop highly individualized solutions to accommodate the career needs of each generation. We will not see long careers of 10 or more years in one company but maybe 6 years with either functional or geographic changes every 2 years. The youngest  generation  will probably have 15 to 20 jobs during their career and multiple jobs at the same time because that is what they want to do.

2-Rapid technology changes: From nanotechnologies to neuroscience discoveries, many new technologies will be developed and globalization will continue to drive the utilization of advanced mobile technologies reshaping the workforce with increased telecommuting,  virtual  teams and overall more work flexibility.

3-Economic globalization  In our information overloaded global work environment, knowledge is not a competitive advantage anymore as it goes out of date extremely fast and anybody on earth with an internet connection has access to it in real-time. The critical skills to be successful in the new working environment are vision and anticipate or respond to change very quickly, make wise decisions and take action now to create a better future.

More than a year ago,  I had the chance to listen to Seth Godin “live” in a promotional event in Antwerp about the launch of his book “Linchpin”. I collected about 10 very interesting new ideas from his speech that I posted on a blog : “TOP 10 Seth Godin’s Quotes Made in Antwerp, Belgium. April 1, 2010”

Seth Godin is the bestselling author of more than seven books. He writes about marketing, the spread of ideas and managing both customers and employees with respect. His idea about our current economy is that the current recession is a “forever recession” because it’s the end of the industrial age, which also means The end of the average worker (Read more : article )

Nobody will ever be the only one on the market AND people have an infinite ways to access information. Humans evolved from Hunters, Farmers, Workers and now they have to be Artists-Seth Godin


1-You don’t need to become somebody you are not. Your uniqueness has to be authentic, you need to know who you really are, what is your dominant character, talent, personality, skills, strengths, what motivates you, what’s your passions in life ? How is your  business acumen and leadership style ? Can you summarize all those information in a compelling story for potential employers or clients?

2-You need to remove blocks that prevent you to excel at being truly you: fears, unmet needs, negative self-talk, lack of training and anything that is holding you back.

3-You need a vision, a purpose and a road map: No matter how old you are, how life has treated you in the past, how much money you have or how many debts, you need to give permission to yourself to have dreams, explore your possibilities and identify your options. We all have choices but we need to use our imagination to see them. You need to let your right brain expresses emotional intelligence and free the artist in you. Once you know where you want to be, then put your strategic thinking at work to identify your goals strategy and action plan to get you there.


You can’t stop globalization even if you close borders and build walls made with bricks and mortars ! The internet, and social media make the world smaller and smaller everyday. Maybe your company is based in the U.S. but  vendors might be in India, and customers in more than 40 countries. That’s why multinational companies need employees able to think globally but communicate locally with cultural sensitivity. I like to use the term “glocalization” to instill the idea that global products and services need to be designed in the early stages of research and development with cultural sensitivity too.

You cannot claim to be a global leader if you have visited many countries as a tourist. It is like learning swimming in a book, you need to get into the water and get wet .

If you are still in college, learn key languages maybe Mandarin, Spanish, Brazilian or Russian will be a good choice in today’s economy. Find an internship or a job abroad for minimum one year.

If you are already a manager employed in a multinational companies, become the first on the list to be picked-up for an international assignment by participating in global projects and working with multicultural teams.

Learning a new language should not depends on age, you don’t need to be fluent but it is important to understand how a language is structured to get some clues about cultural values and unspoken social rules or business etiquette. You can learn about the fundamental cultural dimensions from colleagues or local intercultural clubs and of course online through many specific forums and social media.

Continued learning in a large variety of topics every day will become mandatory.

Where do you see careers heading in 2012 and beyond ?

 Have you invented your future yet ?

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About Anne Egros

Zest and Zen is a blog about Expat Life Challenges, Global Leadership, Intercultural Communication, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Change Psychology, Life Transitions
This entry was posted in Anne Egros, Career, Career management, change, communication, Cross cultural, Executive Coaching, Gen Y, Global Economy, Global Executives, HR Management, innovation, international coaching, Linchpin, Personal Development, professional development, Social Media, teamwork, United States, Work-life Balance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Invent Your Future Job: Be Unique, Be Social, Be Global

  1. I have thought this year for the first time about taking the “thought” of my brand global. With the use of social media the possibilities are endless. But I agree that as a business moves into the global realm, maintaining a unique sense of self will be important.

  2. David Sharpd says:

    At first your post was not what I was expecting Anne but you summed the present and the future up very well. We must all remember as the world gets smaller and things around us seem to get bigger that we as individuals are all unique. It is that uniqueness that sets us apart and all we have to do is be ourselves.

  3. Anne thanks. I really think like you and this post support what I’m writing: we’re not living a crisis where when we gonna exit we’ll go back to business as usual. We’re living a transition from one world to another.

    • Fabrizio, Thanks for your comment. That is exactly what it is all about: people need to let go and move on. If you suffer now in your job, it will only get worse if you just wait that the old days come back! People need to go back to the driver seat and stop playing the blame game and putting everything on the bad economy!

  4. Pingback: Invent Your Future Job: Be Unique, Be Social, Be Global | fabriziofaraco

  5. Wow, this really makes you think about things overall. I was made aware, very recently, of the fact that in this age it is all global. I got a comment on my blog from a company in Australia who is using some of my material on her website. I kind of shook my head and realized that I had never thought of the fact that bookkeeping and taxes as well as many other business types are used just as much in other countries.
    BTW – funny that you brought up other languages, as I was just talking the other day about possibly learning to speak Russian.
    Thank you for this insight!!

  6. Paul Morin says:

    Great, Anne! “Be social, be global”. I think I will make that my official mantra. 🙂 I’m a bit behind on your language learning list though. All set on Portuguese, Spanish and English, but the little I’ve dabbled in Mandarin, it looks like a long, tough road. Not sure Russian is in my future, but it sounds like a very interesting language, and obviously, the history is fascinating. Thanks for a thought-provoking post, as usual. Paul

    • Hi Paul thanks for commenting. I have not planned to apply my own medicine regarding language this year 🙂 but I think I should at least start with Spanish as it is relatively closed to French. Next could be Russian as I see more opportunities for European baby boomers like me compared to China. Russia for me is like the “old Japan” of the 80s, fast economic growth but opaque to foreigners and corrupted. So global companies that want to introduce their products to the Russian market need to have senior executives with high integrity who are able to make deals with a highly centralized government like the French one. In my opinion China and Brazil need younger managers with entrepreneurial spirit, new ideas and a pioneer mind.

  7. Mallie says:

    You said that the Internet and social media have made the world smaller. I think it’s more that the business world is larger, the distance between is just smaller (an Internet connection apart rather than a continent apart).

    Your commentary on the changes in job tenure and job numbers for younger workers was really interesting. Thanks for another great post.

  8. Joel Carter says:

    A timely topic, jobs, careers, jobs , jobs. Good advice. Unique, Social, and Global, quite a target for job seekers, especially the Global part, but the social media takes care of that pretty fast, your career shows that. Thanks Anne.

  9. Great post and I love your vision! This makes a lot of sense and I totally agree that we do not have to become someone we are not in order to re-create ourselves and create a place for ourselves online. We just have to become more of what we already are and look forward! Continuing to learn and deciding to take responsibility for our future is the key to a more fulfilling and happy life! You bring up excellent points Anne…Thank you ~ Nathalie

    • Agree Nathalie, I think people need a good balance between living well and enjoying each moment in the “here and now” and planning for the future. As you said we just need to be more of who we are and enjoying more what we do. When you connect to your true self, then the rest will follow. Thanks for commenting

  10. Wow..I got stressed out just reading this. I guess I am behind in planning that far into the future. For me, small realistic goals that I can achieve in this year works for now. However, I do agree with what you wrote and I am a bit inspired so thank you.

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