Talentism and the End of the 9-5 Work Week

Its Time For Talentism

Heard this word the other day and I thought it was great – it perfectly encapsulates, if you ask me, the future worker, or more accurately, the solopreneur – (not a big fan of this word but it likely is the most descriptive). As I mentioned earlier in my blog post on The Future Of Work, work, as we know it as the 9-5 M-F big block of time that you need to spend in an office, or even telecommuting and doing one specific thing for a specific company, will disappear. All work will become either piecework (creating a certain number of X for Y) or part-time (spending X number of hours/minutes/seconds doing Y). All “jobs”, and I guess even the word “job” will revert to the same kind of “job” the crew of the Firefly would pick up as it went from system to system. The concept of a “job” would be the “odd job” – you would typically work for a number of companies at the same time, likely not doing the same thing though, and you would be tracked against either the piecework criteria or the time criteria above.

In fact, in this future, the number of simultaneous “jobs” that you hold will be a positive thing – instead of people feeling pity at you having to have 3 jobs in order to survive, the more “jobs” you hold, the more money you make, and the more you are sought after. Having 5-10 jobs going on at once for different individuals or companies will be the way of things.

If you want a good example of the future of all work, see sites like fiverr or upwork. You, as talent, set up a profile of what you can do. Companies and individuals come to the site and post jobs that need to be completed. They can either select you based on your talent, or you can bid for the work. Either way, the best talent compete for the best jobs, and as an independent solopreneur, you work when you want to, for who you want to. Unlike the 9-5 M-F single employer job of the past, you have full control about what you do and when.

If an employer does not wish to go this route – a different route – which does not yet currently exist (however I am working on a startup to provide this capability) – is to provide an Uber style working experience to any job or collection of jobs. How does this work? If you are an uber driver, you need to use an app which not only gives you information on who to pick up and where to drop them off, its also your virtual punch in / punch out system. In the past, plant workers had to use punch cards to tell their bosses when they came in and when they left. When you came in, you walked up to a board which had a number of cards on it. You would pull out your card, then run it through a machine which would date and time stamp the card. You did this at the beginning of your day and the end of your day, some even did it during lunch and breaks. It was all a tool to determine when you started and stopped work, and your salary was based on these timestamps. While you were “on-the-clock”, (you had punched in and were available for work) you were expected to work. When you were off the clock, you weren’t. The Uber app makes this a high tech thing – tap once to punch in (you are available to take customers) and tap again to punch out (you are not available to taker customers). Why can’t employers of today and the near future use the same systems to track when their employees are available for work? With the mobile nature of our workforce, I see no other solution (until the seamless world can detect when you are working and when you are not, but that’s a little ways out).

Yes, talentism is in our future – will you be ready when it happens? In fact, you should be preparing for it today – putting in the flexible systems which will allow you to take advantage of the talent which is available to you. And if you are a typical employee still in the 9-5 M-F job, take some time to explore the other options, you may be surprised at what you might prefer.