Working in the 21st Century

Posted on October 18, 2017


working in 21st century

Boy, times sure have changed. Sometimes I feel that I was born in the wrong century.

My volunteer consulting project recently started up. I am very excited about this year’s team since we have a mix of both “older” volunteers (older meaning they are over 50) and “younger” volunteers (younger being under 30). Everyone is excited about the client and the project.

There is definitely a difference in how we all approach the work.

1. Smartphones rule.

So at our first project meeting, we were setting up meeting dates and times. The older folks pulled out pieces of paper to jot down the info and the younger folks pulled out their phones.
Come to think of it, the younger folks used their phones for everything, even entering notes!

Yes, I have a smartphone, but I use it for phone calls and that is it. The screen is so darn small, I can barely read the phone numbers. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else on the phone, including surfing the web or reading documents!

2. Google is taking over the world.

The buzzword these days is collaboration. That in itself is a good thing. Google, not surprisingly, has risen to the occasion and made document sharing and editing possible. I’m not going to say they made it easy, just possible.

So, we have several documents that we are developing. I spend a lot of time and thought on my additions. I dutifully enter them into the document. A day later, I had some more thoughts, but for the life of me, I can’t find the document. I think it is floating out there on the “cloud” somewhere, never to be seen again. I finally get over my ego and ask one of the younger team members to help me find the document. I still don’t think Google is intuitive.

3. Work will get done, but on your own time.

The younger volunteers all have full-time jobs. Yet, they are very willing and interested in doing this project. What I’ve seen so far is that they do their assigned project work late at night or early weekend mornings. I don’t think I would have the energy to do that if I were working full time. When I was just starting out in my career, I was so busy trying to keep my head above water, I couldn’t even think about doing anything extra. It wasn’t until I started working part-time that I had the time and the energy to devote to volunteer work.

4.  What reference point?

We were talking about our client and one of our team mates asked exactly where the client was located.  Us older folks said, “It’s right across from the State House.”  The younger folks said, “It’s near the Rev Bar.”  The what???

How do you work in the 21st century?

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