The Changing Nature of Work

Essential skills today used to be someone else’s job.

We are doing things for ourselves
Many of the things we do today used to be someone’s “job.” The best example? The very fact that I am sitting here typing this by myself. As Todd says “In 1950, anyone who suggested that typing was an essential executive skill would have been laughed out of the room.  At the time, everyone knew that typing was job.” Today however, due to laptops and tablet computers most executives can type. Perhaps not with the speed of someone more practiced, but I would be surprised if there are few out there that cannot. Typing, as found in typing pools, was someone’s job. They were not responsible for the content, they were just responsible for turning the product of someone else’s work into typed letters on a page. Today we may have someone edit our work but for the most part we produce it and “type” it ourselves.
Social media
Changes to that extent are occurring today. Todd says “Ten years ago, skill with using social media was the domain of kids and a small number of techno-geeks who somehow found a job deep within the bowels of the IT or Marketing department.” Many employees are becoming conversant with social media. If they are not doing it at work they are certainly doing it at home. The use of and interaction with social media is no longer a job, it is a necessary skill set for many jobs and that is going to do nothing but accelerate.
This is especially true for the HR function. There are some many aspects of HR that today are tied with social media. Searches for candidates, background checks, employee communication, training, learning, and research are just some of the aspects of HR that require a skill set involving the use of social media. How do you expect to understand the complexities of dealing with a social media harassment case if you know nothing of social media?
So learn it! It is not like there is a lack of resources. If you don’t know of any ask me and I will point you in the right direction.

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