2021 was all about digitalising the workplace and exiting the pandemic. 2022 was the year of the Great Resignation, layoffs, quiet quitting, digital nomads, and Web 3.0 becoming more mainstream.
What About 2023?
December is always a good month to reflect on what’s ahead and personally, I see the following trends:
Flexibility: The trend of WFH, flexible hours, part-time work, and remote work will continue to increase (well, not at Twitter). There will be a shift from the traditional 9 to 5 mindset to project-based work, and digital nomads like myself will continue to spread. Expect me to publish articles from Hong Kong, Bali, the Canary Islands, and perhaps even Hawaii…my work now travels with me!
Rise of unconventional models: With employees escaping the toxic corporate environment, a surge in freelance, solopreneurs, and start-ups is a natural consequence. People want to feel included in the organization they work at and the attachment goes beyond the pay cheque. With Web 3.0 and blockchain becoming more mainstream, more people will look into investing in this new technology and enjoy the transparency, immutability, and flat hierarchy DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) offer.
Financial freedom: Gone are the days of the monthly pay cheque and single income. Individuals want to diversify risk and create multiple streams of income, active and passive. Side gigs, consultancy, and ad hoc projects will rocket as individuals realise their skillset is multi-dimensional and under-utilized.
Personal reinvention based on passions & “superpowers”: People want to do what they love for a living and reconcile the huge gap that currently exists. This will demand a rigorous effort in personal reflection and introspection, but ultimately individuals will gravitate towards work that generates personal fulfilment.
Boom of the economy of relationships: The rise of networking both in person and online will intensify as people realise the value behind human connections, both at a personal and professional level. Social media platforms will implode — in a good way!
Stronger sense of community & social impact: Having a positive impact on society and the planet will be an increasing concern and individuals will make their work choices considering (amongst others) factors such as the sustainability of the vendor, the impact on the environment, green sourcing, etc.
These trends come with their challenges but I personally see opportunity everywhere and I’m getting my surfboard ready to ride on this wild wave!
How to best prepare ahead?
The short answer is: invest in yourself and your personal development, the “Me 2.0”
Invest in personal coaching and mentors: More and more individuals see the value of having someone to guide them through the turbulences of work and personal life. Dedicating part of your savings to a coaching program can add great value if you find the right coach.
Double down on your personal brand: Invest in building your brand, and position yourself as a trusted authority. You are your best product and creating a strong digital brand is your best CV. In a digital-first economy, you have to be present online and you have to have a recognisable voice.
Triple your network: Wherever you are today, you have to increase your reach, pick a second social media, build new networks (virtual and in person) and create your own email database. Owning your network will trend, so things like creating newsletters or having subscription lists can give you a huge advantage.
Diversify income streams: start with a small side gig, offer your service for free first and then scale. Pick a secondary skill, most likely a side hobby, and find ways to monetize it. If you are on Medium, writing could be the second player for you.
Keep current with new trends: Dedicate 30 minutes a week to building knowledge around new technology: blockchain, AI, Machine Learning, etc. Even if it’s not your field, the technology always starts as a niche and takes over the general public by surprise. Don’t fall behind.
What about organisations?
For organisations, the big trend will be to adapt quickly to these new trends to attract and retain top talent. Being the employer of choice requires creating a culture of choice where employees feel included and thrive. How does this translate in practice?
Investment in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI): Holistic end-to-end solutions with an increased budget and dedicated resources. The approach to DEI will be 360 rather than group-specific (e.g. women only, LGBTIQ+ only). Initiatives will be both top-down and bottom-up.
Double down on effective & personalised L&D programs: Organizations will invest more and in more effective programs that help develop employees and add value beyond the compliance mandate. The tick-the-box, traditional HR mentality will give way to a more employee-led customised approach.
Democratization of coaching & mentorship: Coaches and mentors will be much more accessible across the entire organisation and not limited to just the top of the leadership. Diverse forms of mentorship will continue to consolidate such as reverse-mentoring, and mentoring across different demographics.
This is how I see 2023: a year full of opportunities!
I am excited for what’s ahead and I have my seatbelt on because the rollercoaster is about to start!