Being My Own Boss in a World of Change
When I started working in change over 20 years ago, having completed my degree in Information Systems for Business, it was all about waterfall projects and silos. Landing as a Management Consulting graduate working for a huge systems integrator, I found Change was still steady, methodical … but starting to be curious.
In 2002 we got a Palm Pilot
In 2002, 19% of the world’s population had a mobile phone and 11% had internet. Tech change was owned by the Chief Technology Officer and the workplace had filing cabinets, offices for managers and petty cash tins. Cool kids had just got a Filofax and then a Palm Pilot and office walls had framed pictures on them rather than post-it notes.
Around this time, people started talking about human behaviours at work, spotting that humans just refused to be predictable. Seth Godin printed ‘Permission Marketing’ in 1999, Malcolm Gladwell printed ‘The Tipping Point’ in 2000 and the agile manifesto was published in 2001. It wasn’t enough to just be tech-savvy anymore, the psychological side was also needed. I undertook on a second degree in psychology and a Masters in Organisational Behaviour. And then the workplace changed even more.
In 2006 we got Twitter, Facebook, and an iPhone
In March 2006 Twitter launched, Facebook opened up to the general public, and 2007 saw the launch of the iPhone. The term ‘Web 2.0’ lived a short life and ‘Digital transformation’ crept into our vocabulary around the same time (2007) but unlike Web 2.0 it endured. The CMO was now buying the tech solutions and Seth Godin released ‘Tribes’.
In 2010 we got an iPad
In 2010 cloud computing started to take hold, Apple launched the iPad and now 26.6% of the world’s population was using the internet. Open data was becoming big, Scrum Masters were seriously cool and I made the big leap out of safe corporate life to become my own boss.
In 2013 Sheryl Sandberg released Lean In and I did my first MOOC online course with Stanford whilst sat at home in my kitchen. My learning and development was now in my hands.
In 2016 we became mobile first
By 2016, half of the world’s population is connected and we’re all mobile first. Employees have voices through social media, turning traditional hierarchical power structures on their heads. And increasingly the relationship between employer and employee is changing, with more and more people stepping away from the 9-5.
Change is now a juggling act, managing a mix of generations, self-organising teams, automation and approaches to change (waterfall, agile, DevOps and more). Now when I work with companies we talk storytelling; video, infographics, workplace design, branding. Professionals need a marketing mindset; narrative, brand, tone of voice and campaigns. Agile types roll their eyes at anyone who asks for a plan (for the record I still love a good plan but please don’t tell anyone).
Working in change today
Change moves fast now, is constant and we’re navigating at speed. Change was a methodology, then it was an art and next, it will be a data-based science, how do you keep up? Customer centricity is everything and organisations need help finding an operational set-up to make all those elements work together, both culturally and commercially. Twenty-year-olds are running hugely impressive companies and Amazon, Facebook, and Google are playing in fields no-one ten years ago thought they would play in. The workplace has five generations working alongside each other – oh and everyone one is wearing jeans.
Organisations are fighting over talent and working hard to create the right employer brand to attract people. And all the time more people choose to work for themselves. There are now more SMEs than ever before. Today people want flexibility and balance and they’re making their own opportunities. Boundaries between work and home are blurring. How to organise it all is a real challenge. One thing is for sure though, there is no shortage of change.
How do you get started?
Freelancers in all industries need to work hard to keep their core skills up to date. Not just in their area of expertise but also to stay relevant and up to date in this fast-moving world. But with so many ways to connect and market yourself, where do you start? Sometimes it feels like everyone is blogging, has a website, has done a TED talk, has a cool podcast, is arranging meet-ups, has written a book (the new business card someone told me) and has 10,000 followers on Instagram. How on earth do they do it? The opportunity to be whoever you want to be is there but how do you get started in this world of a million things.
Do you want help?
Getting going as your own boss is a big emotional leap. You need to think about what you stand for and what you offer, how you want to brand yourself, how you will get sales, how do you not over deliver or under deliver so you still make money, how will you network with others like you and how you want to promote yourself through social media without feeling like an imposter.
Would an online course help?
What if there was an online course to teach you what you really needed to know and calm the fear of being your own boss? Teaching you how to set out into a world of social media, networking, and personal branding? What would that course need to have in it to be something that helped you on your way? Becoming your own boss is an exciting time but the first steps to freedom can be scary. If you feel like this then I want to talk to you.
Tell me what would help you make the leap
I want to talk to people who are considering entering the freelance world, to find out what they need and test if there is a demand for a course like this.
It is really easy to provide feedback. Just follow the link below and fill in the quick 5-minute survey before February 16th, 2018. At the end of the survey is an option to chat in person as I’m looking to talk to 20 people who are willing tell me more so please do get in touch if you can help.
Or if you’ve already taken the leap and have lessons to share about working for yourself then I’d also love to hear your story, there is a survey for you too.
Go on, fill it in now, I’d love to talk to you and I’ll feedback on any themes that come out to everyone who contributes and leaves their email. Thank you so much for helping.
TAKE THE SURVEY
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Photo credit: Dustin Lee, Unsplash