Discover more from Future of Work
Is your job the right fit?
Why we work matters more than ever
Greetings from Unleash in Paris, friends! I am running around between appointments, presentations and the expo floor, and I didn’t have time yet to write my thoughts down. You’ll get that in the next edition. Promise!
My new book Equal Pay for Equal Work has been released and the feedback is great. Thank you to everyone who bought it! It looks like it’s the right book at the right time. (The link takes you to the US store - don’t forget to change it to your local store to avoid shipping costs!) It should be available on Apple Books within the next week or so.
My next public keynote is in the Netherlands! I’ll be speaking at Visma’s YouInspire on October 31 about the Age of Intelligence & the Future of Work. And I will host an Equal Pay workshop.
And if the topic of Pay Transparency interests you, then join me for an Equal Pay Fest on Linkedin. In the week of November 6th, I will host several audio sessions with a variety of guests: HR leaders will share lessons learned about their equal pay programs and vendors will dive into more specific topics like benchmarking and job grading. All interviews last 30 mins and there is an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. Hope you join - invites will appear in my Linkedin feed.
Wrong fit, right fit
I enjoy reading books. The real thing, preferably on paper. And I am always happy when people send me books. So when I received an advanced reader copy of Wrong Fit, Right Fit by André Martin, my curiosity was peaked. Even though I work as an independent, I have held enough jobs to know what it’s like to be an employee. Sometimes your job is a great fit, and no matter how much you’re being asked to do, you are in the flow. Work is fun, and every day is a new adventure.
But sometimes a job, even a job that you really wanted, turns out not to be so great. You were looking forward to the promotion, and you’re fully qualified to fulfill the role, but work is a drag. Every day you wake up dreading to go to work. You feel totally out of place, and you can’t get the results you want. You can’t get used to the workplace culture and you don’t know how make it work for you. Why is the organization so different from what you thought it would be and why is it not supportive? How did this happen, and what do you do now? I’ve been there a few times. I usually started actively looking for or shaping my next opportunity by really doubling down on a few tasks and finding replacements for the others. But not everyone is so lucky, and not every company can make that work.
Organizational psychologist Dr. André Martin gives us another suggestion and wants us to think about this differently. Before you assume that the workplace culture is the issue, what if it is actually the fit between your ideal way of working day-to-day and that of the company you joined? What if there is such a difference between the two, that you can never make it work and be successful? And how can you avoid that you end up in this situation in the first place?
To truly succeed in your job, you first need to understand yourself and what success means for you in that specific role. This book is packed with real-life stories and practical exercises that will prepare you to make important decisions about your career.
And to help you find those answers, Dr. Martin uses engaging exercises, scientific insights, and personal stories to help you discover the best environment to be succesful in, so your work feel less like a chore. For organizations and HR professionals, Dr. Martin includes recent research and shares innovative practices from various companies. If you are a business leader, he gives practical leadership tips to help you find your unique strengths and provide more clarity and opportunities for your employees.
You’ll learn from the book that it's not just about aligning your values with potential employers; it's about finding the right fit in terms of how work gets done and how that impacts your engagement and commitment. Whether you're an individual seeking the perfect job fit, a leader aiming to keep your team engaged, or an enterprise leader focused on building a strong culture, this book has something valuable to offer.
The book opens with a chapter on how the workplace has changed. The talent market is in flux - no doubt about that - and organizations are having trouble finding new hires. So far, no surprises. The chapter then continues with seven trends, supported by data, to set the scene. And then it dives deep into the topic of “Fit”: what is it, and what does it mean. The book also provides many examples of wrong and right fit, which helps you understand the difference.
What I found most helpful were the simple yet crucial questions it posed. Every chapter ends with a table of questions that allow you to take stock of where you are and what you are looking for. They make you e.g., reflect on your core values with the Top Ten Lived Value list. You’ll discover your superpowers and your shadow sides, and whether you lean more towards being a company person, a cause champion, or a craft enthusiast.
Most importantly, you’ll learn how to apply these insights to your job search. If you want to get a handle on your career decisions, are thinking about a career change and find the right fit for you, "Wrong Fit, Right Fit" is a must-read. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to achieve personal and professional success in their job.
Ever since Generative AI exploded onto the scene, I’ve been testing it (including its limits and limitations). And during those tests, I’ve generated positive results, but I’ve also been exposed to the less favorable effects. One of them: bias.
How AI reduces the world to stereotypes is an in depth exploration of how bias is perpetuated in image generators. Rest of World is a nonprofit publication that covers the impact of technology outside of the Western world. Many of their articles are worthwhile. Especially if you live in the Global North, they take you out of your comfort zone and shine a light on forgotten and overlooked issues.
I usually test generative AI text applications. Rest of World takes the image generators to the test, with a focus on Midjourney. They posed a set of questions, and repeated them many times. They show you the resulting images side by side. If you want to know what stereotypes look like, look no further:
- A Mexican person is usually a man with a sombrero
- An Indian person is almost always an old man with a beard
- An American person is usually a woman with a flag in the background
But it doesn't stop there: locations and food are treated in similar fashion:
- Indonesian food is usually served on banana leaves
- American houses are gothic
- An Indonesian house is surrounded by palm trees
Bottom line: the results show a highly stereotypical and simplified view of the world without any appreciation for cultural diversity or complexity.
When we use these text or image generators on a massive scale, as we do today, that will severely limit representation. It might even convince us to believe that the world is much more simplistic than it really is.
AI only works, when the training data set represents everyone. Bias is a tough problem to fix. "Averages" are no replacement for real images and photos. And when you look at these results, there's only one conclusion: we have a long road ahead of us when we want to include everyone!
This newsletter is a little shorter than usual - hope you enjoyed it anyway!
Have a great day, Anita