10 rules of modern work

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In modern work, you need to set your goals to feel in control. The goals we set for ourselves should either be long-term or short-term but not medium-term. Medium-term goals cause anxiety and stress instead of motivating you, one of the rules states. 

"Work" as we know it today is vastly different from how it was even just a few years ago — employees who never thought they would appreciate work-from-home are now welcoming the option; at the same time, employees' pathways for career growth today may prioritise different factors from just two or three years ago. 

With these and more in mind, not only do HR leaders and employers have to adapt to the shift, but employees themselves have to consider new avenues to thrive in today's modern working world. To help, Deloitte has defined 10 rules of modern work that employers, HR leaders, and managers can adopt with their teams:

Rules of control

Rule #1: Bring your own motivation (because no one else will)

Take control of your motivation. Ensure that it is you who is responsible to sustain it in modern work.

  • Purpose: A purpose that motivates you
    • Figure out your personal purpose
    • Align your personal and organisation’s purpose
    • Work towards attaining that purpose
  • Mastery: Get better at what matters
    • Personal growth is infinite
    • Learn and self-correct
    • Be known for something unique
  • Autonomy: Control your choices
    • Set your goals above expectations of others
    • Figure out the how, be self sufficient
    • Choose the when and where

Rule #2: Set goals for the long-term and short-term

In modern work, you need to set your goals to feel in control. The goals we set for ourselves should either be long-term or short-term but not medium-term. Medium-term goals cause anxiety and stress instead of motivating you.

deloitte rule2

Rule #3: Shape your next job (because modern jobs disappear in four years or less)

Individuals are not dependent on your organisation or your boss for their next job. The average lifespan of a job is getting shorter, with some research suggesting a maximum of four years. Thus, individuals should take control of their job by reimagining their next job in parallel to their current job. This way, they will know what their next job will be.

  • First six-12 months: Gear up
    • Learn the job
    • Set clear expectations
    • Deliver early results
  • Next 12-24 months: Grow
    • Set new (disruptive) aspirations
    • Activate journey
    • Build a team/ecosystem
    • Learn and improve
  • Next six-12 months: Reimagine
    • Stabilise and scale
    • Build scale capability
    • Codify/automate
  • Last six months: Transition
    • Transition to others
    • Set sustainability pathway
    • Consolidate learnings

Rules of 'awesome'

Rule #4: Your users will judge your work (because modern work is an open talent market)

Your successes are far beyond just the visibility of one boss. You interact with far more people than just your bosses – if your user group is happy with you, your boss is very happy. Make a habit of getting feedback from your users and you’ll belong in the 'awesome' zone.

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Rule #5: Work in sprints (because things change every two weeks)

Working in sprints is a way of being and thinking about your work. It enables you to timebox, set goals and know exactly what you want to achieve in the week.

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Rule #6: Work from anywhere but work loud (because the modern workforce is often invisible)

Increase your value in your network through visibility. Your network needs to know your contributions and your successes for you to truly remain in the 'awesome' zone. 

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Rules of growth

Rule #7: Turn workflow into a learnflow because you must plan learning just like you plan work

Today, skills may only be relevant for four to five years. Thus, it is important to constantly learn and grow on the job so individuals can be relevant and at the cutting edge of modern work. Get feedback on work done, be retrospective, and plan for learning through setting goals.

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Rule #8: Skill across and scale up

It is no longer enough to be proficient in your core skills. Instead, mastering related skills is what would maximise career growth and help individuals stay relevant.

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Rule #9: Master differences (because complexity needs diversity)

Modern work is very complex. Every project must be addressed from multiple  perspectives. Smash long-held stereotypes and embrace differences and bring people of different perspectives to come and work together.

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The golden rule

Rule #10 Always run a side hustle (because the best ideas exist outside your comfort zone)

A lot of learning, perspectives, and innovation comes from doing something outside of your core work and connecting with people outside of your work bubble. Having a side hustle means you gain some control, continue to be awesome, and be at the cutting edge of growth.

 deloitte rule8

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