Thinking back on this year’s NeoCon 2017 it was, as always, burgeoning with brilliant design and products, wondrous ideas and new technology to embrace (or not – see below). As usual, the Searchwise team fanned out in all directions – many interviews for current open positions we are working on across the country and a wealth of seminars to attend and learn new “tricks” of the trade. The ladies, tracked by our trusty iPhones, walked an average of six miles a day through the Merchandise Mart – in heels no less! And we do this every year – and not just at NeoCon – but at many seminars and meetings across the country. Why?
The simplest answer is that we are trying to live up to a moto from a trusted mentor who said, “Once hired, never stop trying to be qualified for the job. It will help you to succeed and/or keep you from being replaced!” Keeping up and earning CEU credits is a given in almost every industry, but the interesting thing is that we seldom think that our current, actual job needs are continually changing as the years go by. In other words, whatever the job needs were when you were hired, it’s a fair bet that they kept growing and changing even though no one may have changed the job description in the company manual. It’s good to keep that in mind – that you’re not so much staying ahead of the curve as you are maintaining a strong balance of personal knowledge and expertise and job requirements.
Searchwise is no exception – our clients and candidates have expectations of us – or assumptions that we are up to the minute – and we want to be able to do our job, confident that this is indeed the case. We recently launched a 5th iteration of the Searchwise website in an effort to follow the rhythm and beat of the times – but also aware that even as the much vaunted and groundbreaking iPhone celebrates its 10th anniversary, there is a new beat for Apple to follow as well. There’s a new ‘balance’ that even this mega-super-star must grapple with.
Newsweek recently blared this unsettling announcement – “In our smartphone saturated world, anxiety and depression are rife and the way we communicate with each other has become distant and diminished.” We had just attended a NeoCon seminar (Rise of Human Factor) sponsored by global design firm HOK – which had already started addressing this problem in terms of how we design the workplace of today – not so much to accommodate technology but the human factor! Who would have predicted that– since both individually and culturally we have rushed to embrace all the wizardry available to us?
Here’s how HOK put it:
“In the new work place, responding to the ping factor only seems crucial. In fact, the incessant beckoning of technology leads us away from efficiency, proficiency and the human factor—each other. To reverse this trend, in our seminar we’ll discover how to design a workplace based on humans, not technology; on movement, not sitting and waiting for the next ping; as well as on space and time devoted to building bonds with each other. Healthy, happy workers are the result, which in turn, boosts productivity…. We’ll also identify and enlist key design elements and strategies that help employee engage with other, not just with their devices.”
Which brings us back to traipsing around the Merchandise Mart. Somehow, we have always understood that physical presence and human interaction was the only way to get things truly accomplished. You can’t find talent or know your client by exchanging a few emojis. You can’t stay “qualified” for your job by “virtual” means. Surprise! Everything on this planet takes our full mental and physical engagement – and then some. This is just a friendly reminder.