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Disclosure & Image Rights: A short lecture on the subject of "The Future of Work" was given at Deutsche Telekom-AG. Images created as part of a free cooperation with Shutterstock. 

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Requirements for employees in the job of the future: How to secure your position

There is a lot of talk about the future of the world of work, but what is most important for employees in the current phase of upheaval: what demands are placed on them and how they can prepare for them. A concrete overview.

How the world of work will change in the future

The future of work has not only changed decisively since Corona, because there are a large number of developments that are currently having an impact on the labor market. No wonder that the topic is on everyone's lips, so I just gave a lecture on the “future of work” at Deutsche Telekom AG, but that's not the point here.

I would like much more, as this topic is often out of the Manager- and management perspective, here we should shed light on the employee perspective. Because the problem we have in Germany with digitization and the future of the world of work is primarily of a structural nature.

The end of job security and normal employment relationships

In short, the German labor market and also the social security system are structured by the rules that apply primarily to manufacturing and industrial mass production. The education system, too, is ultimately geared towards this labor market.

However, developments such as globalization, tertiaryization and digitization as well as new forms of production have a fairly direct influence on the real conditions of the labor market. As a result, the conditions and order of employment are changing drastically.

New forms of employment and structures are emerging

A variety of forms of employment - part-time alongside full-time employment, self-employment alongside salaried employees - take the place of what was known in the past as normal employment.

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The industrial sector has lost its dominant role. Only the thinking in the head as well as the social structures, above all our education and social security system, have not yet fully caught up, which can lead to some complications in the real design of everyday life.

7 tips on the demands placed on employees in the job of the future

But what can individuals do to cope with the current situation? Here are 7 tips that, of course, do not apply to this comprehensive topic:

1. Cultivating digital relationships and informal communication

Many employees who previously only knew social interaction in the office are now familiar with the Corona thanks to Corona Home Office made. There are many advantages to this, but also some disadvantages. So show Studies on remote work situationsthat many people find it difficult to build trust in virtual teams, also due to a lack of time. There are also fewer social contacts with colleagues and therefore the risk of informal ones Communication to be cut off.

Another aspect: The lack of real social contacts in the office can lead to isolation. A lack of feedback can unsettle us, especially when it comes to small everyday matters. I found it exciting in this context, like that American photo agency Shutterstock deals with this problem: There, small teams work together internationally over long distances. Above all, the product developers simulate a work office with corridor conversations by constantly being placed on their desks via tablets, virtually being together.

2. The demands on managers will change

But the demands placed on managers, regardless of the hierarchy level, will also grow. The big challenge will be to give spatially separated teams a virtual feeling of togetherness and to organize work processes accordingly.

The digital coffee break and virtual lunch are great ways to engage employees and build relationships - despite the ubiquity of email and instant messaging. Regular, face-to-face meetings are and will remain important, because only personal conversations enable employees to come into contact with one another on a more meaningful level than is possible digitally.

3. Job search Apply & rethink your career with networking and self-marketing

The classic application route via job search, cover letter and interview is also gradually changing. When looking for a job or a career change, you should try all possible ways in advance in order to present yourself as thoroughly as possible. A traditional cover letter is not enough. Online applications, video applications, digital pitches or social media presentations are also part of this today.

In view of the high level of competition, it has become more difficult to get noticed and to get an interview. Fortunately, there are always opportunities for job seekers and those willing to change to get a foot in the door, for example through personal or professional networks. One of the most effective methods of networking is by arranging a briefing with a company representative, HR officer, or senior manager. This interview is not about getting a job, but about useful and valuable information and insights into the particular job Company .

All of this shows: Without a certain amount of self-presentation, or to put it more clearly, self-marketing, it is no longer possible to search for a job today. This is exactly where I see certain discrepancies in the way of thinking between young and old: Older people are often financially saturated and brought up to be humble, young people are still hungry, want to prove themselves and are often used to a higher degree of self-marketing through social media. As a result, they are often perceived by their older colleagues as being too self-portrayal and conflictsthat do not lead to the goal for both parties are inevitable.

4. Changes in status between self-employment, permanent employment and unemployment will become more normal

Interrupted employment histories with phases between permanent employment, unemployment and self-employment, which alternate again and again, will be the rule rather than the exception in the future. Many of today's employees and self-employed are forced to change status at some point in their careers. You go from permanent employment to self-employment or vice versa. Some experience this change of status several times in their career. In other countries, there are already models with relaxed protection against dismissal and at the same time reinforced reintegration agreements.

In Germany, this status change between self-employment, permanent employment and unemployment is unfortunately associated with high bureaucratic hurdles, both in terms of social security and the tax system. For civil servants, people in permanent employment are still the norm, especially small self-employed people with often precarious jobs are often not even on the radar of politicians and the corresponding legal regulations are correspondingly complicated.

In addition, unemployment in particular is often afflicted with a great stigma: Most people have a negative image of the unemployed and think that they are lazing themselves at the expense of the general public. There are many prejudices and misconceptions about this and it is not uncommon for the unemployed to struggle with self-doubt and want to show that they are a useful member of society and are doing something useful. With some people this goes so far that all social contacts are broken off, which of course is counterproductive in every relationship, just to hide the fact of unemployment. The picture in people's minds must and will change here.

5. Consider the psychological consequences of declining job security, encourage flexibility and initiative

More fixed-term employment contracts, dwindling protection against dismissal, a lack of job security everywhere: the increasing flexibility of working relationships has psychological consequences for each of us. The constant risk of the job being lost unsettles many employees. On the one hand, it helps to develop strategies to consolidate your own position in the company, e.g. by continuously training and drawing attention to your own abilities.

But in addition, self-reflection and dealing with one's own fears are extremely important in order to be prepared for the future of the world of work. resilience is a good keyword here. This also includes the ability to change behavior patterns that one has previously clung to, or objectives to let go completely or at least to modify intelligently instead of stubbornly clinging to them.

The question “What do I really need, what is important to me and which material values ​​can I do without?” Should also be answered honestly. Because often it's not about money, but about the needs associated with it, such as recognition from other people or compensation for fears.

After all, flexibility is also advantageous when it frees you from rigid rules and structures and releases creative powers. Many workers are not at all clearthat they could live completely differently: for example, with more free time for their own needs, for developing new ideas or social engagement. Flexibility and initiative of employees should therefore be encouraged in the workplace instead of punishing them with inflexible working hours, time cards and closed office space. New space also creates space for new ideas from which everyone can benefit.

6. Self-organization and self-care are becoming more and more important

With freedom, however, so does the need for each individual to organize himself accordingly. Thereby means self-management Not only, efficiency until you drop, but also to create specific breaks and free space because the boss no longer tells us when we are finished with work - especially in the home office. A healthy one Work-Life Balance is important.

Because every day brings us new challenges that we have to learn to deal with. In some situations we feel very alone and find it difficult to think clearly. Self care helps: it is taking care of one's own needs. It's about taking care of yourself and your health and listening to the needs of your own psyche and body. But self-care also includes maintaining personal relationships. Take this into your own hands.

The successful LinkedIn co-founder from Germany, for example, has exactly what this can look like Konstantin Guericke recognized: For years he has only held his meetings while hiking and develops particularly good ideas. That's clever, because the brain needs water (preferably non-carbonated) and fresh air to do its thinking. It therefore makes sense, for example, to open the window during breaks or to take a walk around the block.

Self-care therefore also helps when important decisions or changes are pending. With a well-ventilated and rested brain, decisions are simply better because the brain perceives decisions as particularly difficult as soon as it gets tired - for me the most decisive argument in favor of regular work breaks. But slowing down is also important when it comes to simply taking new development steps: We often think we have to bring about a big change, tossing thoughts to and fro endlessly, producing unnecessary stress because the brain gets tired - that's part of it the solution may sometimes be very simple and possible in small steps, in which one thing then leads to the other.

7. The education system must adapt to digital developments

We have an education system that dates back to the German imperial era and is anything but suitable for the requirements of the modern working world. Frontal teaching and bulimia learning are still shaping schools, creativity and independent thinking are being copied Opinion of some experts even considered a disease. Not least because of this, some people find it difficult to implement this when suddenly the new working world demands it: You just never learned it.

And it is already the case today that the training courses are clearly lagging behind the rapid technical developments. I remember a collegeProfessor, The me in a confidential conversation said at an event that they don't know what to teach young people because new technology is trending every few months. Just think of the discussion between hydrogen and e-cars, which poses many employers precisely with the question of which specialists they should actually be looking for.

At the same time, however, many employers still wrongly expect fully trained specialists to work with them apply, something that will become less and less the case in reality. Here employers and employees are in demand, both of whom are in constant training and education Further Training have to invest. In the course of numerous digital educational offers, something like this can also be very inexpensive and self-taught.

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