Rules of Knowledge Workers -Introduction

There was a time when everyone put in an honest days labor, and earned an honest days wage. In most cases this meant spending the day in the factory, in the fields, or involved in some other physical labor, and it made sense. The longer you could harvest crops, or weld steel, the more physical work you accomplished and the more you should get paid for that work.

As we moved away from that sort of industrial economy an toward a more service economy, however, those same valuations may or may not make very much sense. Sure, these same ideas make perfect sense in a production environment, but for knowledge workers, I’m not sure they do.

In this series of blog posts, I want to look at a number of areas where labor management practices, by refusing to view the resource of labor as having fundamentally changed, are mishandling their employees. At the same time, I want to recognize that individuals, by misreading these sea changes, are mishandling their own careers, waiting for someone to tell them what to do, instead of taking charge for themselves.

As I do this, I do want you to note that I’m hardly an HR or labor expert. Rather, I’m just one guy who happens to work in a knowledge industry, and who has been trying to keep himself on the cutting edge of technology and see where the world is headed. Over the years, it’s become clear to me that while things are changing in the work world, not everyone is adapting well.

Also, before we get started in this discussion, many of the examples I will give are composite examples of stories I’ve experienced or heard from others. Any similarities to people, or employers, is pure coincidence.

As I post different ideas in this series, I will come back and update this post with links, so that this will become the “home” post in this series. With that said, let’s get right into the rules!

The Professional is Personal
The 40 Hour Illusion
It’s Your Career
Blocking is Somewhat Pointless

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