If you watch the news on TV these days, you’ll hear the term used a lot. “Spoiler Alert” indicates that the announcer is going to present Winter Olympic results, and you should turn the sound down and look away if you don’t want to know the outcome before you watch the actual event. So here goes: This is your Career Spoiler Alert.
Despite what economists, politicians and government officials would like you to believe, this economy isn’t just a slow recovery from a deep recession. It isn’t just a more difficult version of what we have always known. It is, instead, the emergence of an entirely new workplace – one driven by dynamics we have never experienced before.
Today and for many tomorrows to come, the race to the American Dream will play out in a new and strange way. Ordinary is gone. Extra-ordinary is the new norm. We will be challenged by the extraordinarily rapid development of new technology, an extraordinarily competitive global marketplace and extraordinarily unstable values, principles and boundaries in our culture.
The result isn’t just a rough patch in our careers – a time when salaries are shrinking, opportunities seem to be diminishing and traditional strategies for success are all but useless. No, this new economy creates a contest of Olympian proportions – one that affects each and all of us by fundamentally altering how we achieve a full and satisfying career.
It is a career mogul field with twists and turns that are as yet largely unknown. And yet, we are certain of path to victory. We know what it takes to traverse the course with speed and agility, and we know who will do so to earn the gold medal.
The winners will be those who are able to see the new economy as it actually is and adapt. They are the people who have the courage and self-confidence to recognize the morphing reality of our field of dreams and accept it. And, they are the people who have the pluck and determination to learn the new rules of the game and master them.
They may mourn what once was, but they will fix their sights on what can be. They are the true Olympic champions of the 21st Century world of work.
Thanks for reading,