are you prepared?

Major technological advances, like the printing press or the Internet, create economic volatility. This in turn changes the existing social contract. A common assumption for the past century has been that with education and effort, you can get a job and earn a decent wage. This is no longer the norm.

Consider that some or all of your current work will be automated in the next five years, probably to be replaced by software. As with agriculture last century, fewer people are needed to do manufacturing, information, or service work today. We are entering a post-job economy. Our careers will be shorter as our lives get longer. Companies are no longer the stable source of employment they once were.

“Half a century ago, the life expectancy of a firm in the Fortune 500 was around 75 years. Now it’s less than 15 years and declining even further.” – CS Investing

In the next five years, many professionals will have to change not only who they work for, but what they do. Are you prepared? There is no guaranteed way to avoid obsolescence but we can be sure that the ability to learn will be a definite asset. How well you are connected outside your current organization will help in finding new opportunities. Tom Spiglanin shows in this image that individuals (I) need to connect their work with the outside world.

Networks PKM

Connecting people and knowledge is the focus of personal knowledge mastery (PKM). In a post-job economy, we all need to  increase our connections, find meaning, and enhance our autonomy. The depth and diversity of our professional networks is the new version of job security.

One of the reasons I started working on PKM, in 2004, was to stay current in my profession. I became quite interested in understanding the network era and how the world of work will change. I tested out new models of co-learning, such as when Michele Martin and I ran a six-week ‘MOOC’ in 2008 on what we called ‘network literacy’, with over 900 participants.

“Gone are the days when you could let the company take care of you and you could rely on stable jobs and predictable career paths. Situations are changing quickly and these questions can help you keep up. Today’s careers are about being entrepreneurial and continually preparing yourself for and seeking the right opportunities.” – Michele Martin

For the past year, I have hosted several forty-day online workshops focused on taking control of your professional development and creating a diverse knowledge network to stay current in any field. We have had participants from 17 countries. Like any discipline, PKM takes time to master. The 40 day program, with 18 activities, can get you started.

Join us for PKM in 40 days, a journey in seeking, sense-making, and sharing knowledge.

3 Responses to “are you prepared?”

  1. Sibrenne Wagenaar

    Hello Harold. Good to read this blog and the ‘PKM in 40 days’ journey. Of course I support this approach by which you pay attention to something you want to explore or achieve over a certain period of time 🙂 Good luck! Will keep you posted on our plans for 2015…


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