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Exploring Career 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0: Which Path Suits You?

Ever thought about how jobs used to be and how they are now? Abhijit Bhaduri’s ‘Career 3.0’ shows us the way careers are changing. It’s like going from having just one skill for a job to juggling three or more skills in different places. So let’s take a peek into this shift in the work world and find out which career path suits you best.


Career 3.0
Career 3.0 || Abhijit Bhaduri


Career 1.0: Monetizing a Single Skill in one Ecosystem

In Career 1.0, individuals are focused on monetizing a single skill that they have developed through training or experience. This may be a skill that they have formally studied or learned through on-the-job experience. Stable workplaces with relatively few changes offer opportunities for a person to continue pursuing a career with a single employer or doing the same work for different employers. Professional sports is a good example of Career 1.0 where a single skill is monetized in one ecosystem as the rules of a game don’t really change. A professional singer spends a lifetime using one skill in one ecosystem.


Career 2.0: Monetizing a Second Skill in Two Ecosystems

In Career 2.0, individuals are monetizing a second skill, in a distinctly different ecosystem. This second skill may be something that they have formally studied or trained in, or it may be a skill that they have developed through personal interests or hobbies. A college professor who writes a bestselling book or the CEO who serves on the board of a start-up is operating in a second ecosystem.

The skills gained in an ecosystem may not be useful to succeed in the second ecosystem. That is no different from the accountant who performs as a stand-up comedian on weekends or the coder who drives an Uber to make a few extra bucks. They are all using a second skill, in a new ecosystem in a Career 2.0 model. Earning money from a skill shows how much it is worth. Having another way to make money and growing it makes people feel good about their abilities. They can do both or choose one.


Career 3.0: Monetizing Three or More Skills in Different Ecosystems

In Career 3.0, individuals are monetizing three or more skills in different ecosystems. I once met an accountant who works for a large multinational corporation (MNC). He spends his weekends cooking for a restaurant in the neighbourhood whose customers love his curries and cakes. He also plays the keyboard and drums and used to play for a band when he was a student.
The band were so successful that for a while he thought of doing that fulltime. Laughing, he adds, ‘My problem is that I enjoy being an accountant as much as I enjoy being a chef and a musician. Why limit myself?’


Paychex, an American firm providing human resources services, found in a survey that 40 per cent of workers in the US have multiple jobs, and half of Gen Z workers are splitting their time between three or more employers. They call it ‘polyworking’. Meanwhile, 33 per cent of millennials are holding down three or more jobs, compared to 28 per cent of baby boomers and 23 per cent of Gen X professionals.


There are a few key characteristics that define Career 3.0:

Curiosity: Career 3.0 comes naturally to people who are curious. They will often experiment and learn something new just to be able to figure it out. They teach themselves by watching videos, listening to experts, finding apprenticeships and attending classes. Most of all the learning by being unafraid of failure. When an opportunity comes their way, they are often prepared to grab it. These are people who are comfortable with skills that are often seen to be at two ends of a spectrum—e.g., science and coding both demand logic and are polar opposites of fields like humanities and languages. Curious people often enjoy learning something even though there is no apparent use for it. Quiz contests often bring together people who are curious about everything from Greek mythology to astronomy to sports.


Adaptability: Monetizing multiple skills requires adaptability, as individuals may need to shift between different areas of work depending on the demands of each skill. Being comfortable with ambiguity and being flexible go together. An unpredictable world that is constantly evolving needs people who are comfortable with uncertainty. It is much like driving through thick fog. The driver navigates the road ahead one metre at a time.


Mindset: Career 3.0 needs the mindset of a VC who has to quickly figure out whether the idea being pitched is a big idea that has potential—an opportunity they must not miss, or if it is a passing fad. It often means that the VC has to place multiple bets knowing that the majority of the investments will fail but that the one that succeeds will more than make up for the rest. It needs the ability to take risks and walk on a path less travelled.


Overall, the three career archetypes—Career 1.0, Career 2.0, and Career 3.0—represent different approaches to monetizing skills and building a career. While each approach has its own benefits and drawbacks, the key is to find the right balance that works for an individual’s unique strengths and goals.



Get your copy of Career 3.0 by Abhijit Bhaduri wherever books are sold.

7 Books That Will Revolutionize Your Career Path

Dive into a treasure trove of career and entrepreneurship wisdom! From the guy who became a millionaire in his twenties to the dude who’ll teach you how to win the adulting race, these books have you covered. Whether you’re looking to become a high-flying entrepreneur or simply want to know why no one told you that… you’ve got it all right here!

The High Performance Entrepreneur
The High Performance Entrepreneur || Subroto Bagchi

In The High Performance Entrepreneur, Subroto Bagchi draws from his own experiences to offer guidance from the idea stage to the initial public offering level. This includes deciding when one is ready to launch an enterprise, selecting a team, defining the values and objectives of the company, writing the business plan, choosing the right investors, managing adversity and building the brand. Additionally, in an especially illuminating chapter, Bagchi recounts the systems and values which have brought Indian IT companies on a par with the best in the world. High-performance entrepreneurs create great wealth, for themselves as well as for others. They provide jobs, which are crucial for an expanding workforce, and drive innovation. More than a guide, this book will tap the entrepreneurial energy within you.


Design Your Thinking
Design Your Thinking || Pavan Soni

Pioneered by IDEO and Stanford, design thinking is one such approach that draws inspiration from the realm of product design. However, it shouldn’t be narrowly associated with the world of start-ups and technology or thought of as something limited to product development. The method is increasingly being used in a wider context and can help us address a vast array of problems.

Design Your Thinking attempts to offer a practitioner’s perspective on how the tenets, methods and discipline of design thinking can be applied across a range of domains, including to everyday problems, and help us become expert problem-solvers through the use of the appropriate toolsets, skill sets and mindsets.


Let's Build A Company
Let’s Build A Company || Harpreet Grover, Vibhore Goyal

It started with a phone call from Harpreet’s mother introducing him to an uncle who wanted some help. Or maybe it started when Vibhore and Harpreet met as roommates in Room 143 at IIT Bombay. What remains true is that soon both had quit their jobs and launched CoCubes. From no money in their bank accounts for eight years after graduating to becoming dollar millionaires two years later in 2016, this is a tale of grit-of a company built in India by two Indian-middle-class-twenty-somethings-turned-entrepreneurs-written in the hope that you can avoid the mistakes they made and learn from what they did right.

This is that story-the story that you don’t always hear. But if you want to be an entrepreneur, and you prefer straight talk to sugar-coating, it’s one you should read.


How Come No One Told Me That
How Come No One Told Me That || Prakash Iyer

How Come No One Told Me That? divided into ten sections, exploring life lessons, ways of improving oneself, leadership and the importance of doing small things right, among other subjects. Through powerful anecdotes and charming essays, followed by practical, actionable advice, this book will help you make those minor adjustments to your professional and personal lives that can truly make you unstoppable.


Learn, Don't Study
Learn, Don’t Study || Pramath Raj Sinha


‘What should I study to best prepare me for success in today’s working world?’

This is the most common question one gets from young people (and their parents) who are transitioning from school to college education. They want to know which fields they should choose, which universities or programmes to attend, and which career track will give them the best chance to succeed.

In Learn, Don’t Study, drawing on his experiences of over twenty-five years in the field of education, Pramath Raj Sinha has put together the best and most practical advice available for youngsters who are facing some of the most important and challenging choices of their professional lives.


Build Don't Talk
Build Don’t Talk || Raj Shamani


School taught us specific subjects, like maths and history.
But we weren’t taught:
How to sell
Or how to build relationships
Or how to negotiate
Or how to take care of our mental health
Or how to network
Or how to deal with personal finance

These most important situations we face as adults were never discussed with us when we were students. We weren’t taught these skills in school, and this makes all the success stories we hear about seem out of reach; it makes us feel dumb. We aren’t dumb, we just don’t know how to work the system.

Your school taught you how to run in the race; it didn’t teach you how to win. And that’s what this book is for. To help you win the race. Packed with useful advice gleaned from his own journey as an entrepreneur and content creator, this book by Raj Shamani is a must-read.


Career 3.0
Career 3.0 || Abhijit Bhaduri

Abhijit Bhaduri, a renowned expert on talent and leadership, shows you how to develop the six key skills that will make you future-ready and successful in Career 3.0. Whether you work for an organization, run your own business or do both, you will discover how to adapt to change, learn new skills, and lead with impact.

Career 3.0 is a guide that will help you stay relevant. The book is filled with inspiring stories that will challenge you to rethink your career vision, strategy and action. It will give you the tools and techniques to thrive in the new world of work.

You may be surprised to find out that you already have a Career 3.0 mindset. Now you know what it is called.

How To Foster And Resolve Productive Conflict

Productive conflict resolution
Conflict is an unavoidable, even necessary, part of collaboration, and all teams experience it, not just cross-cultural or virtual ones. “There will, even should be, conflict in a group with a task that has even a minimum of complexity,” according to Jeanne Brett, a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and director of its Dispute Resolution Research Center. Teams that don’t disagree also don’t challenge assumptions, investigate ideas, point out mistakes, and motivate each other to their highest performance. Indeed, the whole point of fostering diversity on your team is to bring different viewpoints to the table. To some extent, you want these viewpoints to come into conflict; that’s how creativity and learning happen.
But, of course, not all conflict is useful. Personality clashes and task-related disagreements can bring a destructive toxicity.
Many managers believe that their role is to minimize all conflict on the team. Not so. The trick is to encourage healthy conflict. That means facilitating constructive conflicts and resolving harmful ones. Here’s the difference: healthy disagreements result in a better work product and/or stronger intrateam relationships. Unhealthy disagreements undermine your shared accomplishments and damage the team’s working relationships.
It can be a tough call to make in the moment—“Should I let my employees pursue this disagreement, or is it time to intervene with a conflict resolution?” You’ll have to go with your instinct a lot of the time, but when you’re really torn, ask yourself: Is this productive? Is this moving us closer to or further from a positive outcome?
If your answer to the first questions is yes, your best bet is probably to encourage debate and discussion so that each side can confront the other’s point of view. This isn’t a free-for-all: you still need to be actively involved as a moderator, so that the conversation stays respectful and on track. But if your answer is no, your people may need the structure of a conflict- resolution process to reach closure. Here’s how to handle both situations:
How to facilitate constructive conflict
It’s not easy to fight well, but shared processes help. Clarify your expectations with the team before a major conflict arises, either by posting your own rules somewhere (in a meeting room, on the team site) or by leading the group in a shared discussion of norms. Address these key topics:
Set ground rules.
Naming the behaviors that are and aren’t OK during a conflict will keep disagreements from spiraling out of control. Every team is different, and the specific personalities and organizational culture at play will dictate what makes sense in your particular environment. One rule, though, applies universally: conflict should be handled openly. Disagreeing with someone isn’t inherently disrespectful, and if team members choose not to voice their opinion, they should be prepared to let it go. For other potential guidelines, see the earlier box “Rules inventory.”
Establish a shared process for resolving conflict.
If team members know what to do when friction arises, they won’t shy away from necessary disagreements, and more often than not, they’ll be able to solve their own problems. Clear, step-by-step protocols for handling con- fl ict should be a central part of your team’s normal processes. One such protocol should deal with formal conflict resolution, addressed later. But spell out the lower-stakes alternatives, too. For example, team members should:

  • Respectfully confront the colleague they disagree with before they bring in anyone else, including you.
  • Talk about complicated issues face-to-face or over video chat, not over email.
  • Prepare on their own before they open a discussion with each other, so they come ready to explain their concerns and discuss alternatives.
  • Take turns summarizing each other’s ideas or concerns—in good faith. By forcing themselves to articulate each other’s point of view, they might find new ground for compromise.
  • Put the discussion on pause when they feel themselves losing track of the argument or their own self-control.
  • Escalate the argument without becoming vindictive or angry. When disagreements prove intractable, frame it as “We need help sorting this out,” not “The team leader will decide who’s right and who’s wrong.”

Provide criteria for contentious trade-offs.
When zero-sum decisions arise for a team, it’s helpful to have some well-defined criteria for making trade-offs. Fortunately, your team has these at hand, in the form of your organization’s overall strategy and the purpose and objectives this strategy has already defined for your group’s work. Clarify these points with your people and be specific about your goals and highest priorities. For example, “Meeting the deadline for this assignment is more important than fulfilling its scope” or vice versa.
How to resolve destructive conflict
With practice, your team members may learn to manage constructive conflict mostly on their own, with little intervention from you. By contrast, a formal conflict-resolution process always involves you. Sometimes your employees will bring an issue to your attention and ask for your help. But if they’re not self-aware enough to do this, you may need to take the initiative and ask them to participate. However, you start off, the process should have three phases:
Step 1: Find the root cause.
This step may require some research on your part. If the conflict is complicated or long-standing, you’ll want to know what’s going on before you invite two tense people to a meeting to hash it out. If you do decide to involve other people in your inquiry, try to talk to all parties involved in the conflict separately. And follow up with anyone else on the team whose perspective could clarify the problem, if you can do it sensitively. The questions you want to clarify for yourself through these interviews are:

  • Why are team members arguing with each other?
  • Is there a deeper personality conflict here?
  • Are there organizational causes of this conflict?
  • Is this a recurring pattern?
  • Why does one member always insist on getting his or her way?
  • Is the cause of this conflict a behavior? A clash of opinions? An external situation?

When you have some answers to these questions, you’ll be able to start generating ideas for negotiating a resolution. For example, if the conflict is caused by a personality clash, you’ll probably need to help the team members learn to communicate better with one another and be more respectful when they disagree. If the conflict is caused by project circumstances, you and your team can brainstorm fixes like hiring additional resources, redefining roles, or modifying the scope of the work.
Step 2: Facilitate a resolution.
You may have a few ideas for how this situation should evolve, but it’s best to avoid dictating a solution. Solutions don’t work simply because they make sense or because you said so; they work when they have buy-in from the people who have to execute them. For this reason, compromises that are imposed from above tend not to be as thorough or as resilient as the ones a team arrives at by itself.
Frustrating as it may be, play no more than a facilitating role. Your listening-to-telling ratio should be 4:1, and the “telling” part should mostly be active listening tactics to help team members understand underlying assumptions. That means asking open-ended questions, restating and reframing team members’ perspectives, and encouraging the other people in the room to do the same. Set the tone for this discussion by reminding people to stick to the facts, to talk about behaviors instead of traits, and to follow the team’s ground rules for conflict.
If the team members resist coming to a resolution despite your best efforts, you may need to steer the conversation a little more decisively. Leadership coach Lisa Lai recommends using these five questions to facilitate the conversation:

  1. What does each person really want?
  2. What matters to them, personally and professionally?
  3. What motivates them? What fears do they have?
  4. Where is there common ground?
  5. What’s the difference between their stories?

If the conversation really seems stuck, try these tactics:

  • Ask each team member to share their BATNA. In negotiation parlance, a BATNA is your “best alternative to a negotiated agreement”—basically, what your team members think will happen if they can’t resolve their dispute. Then ask them how their BATNAs will affect the rest of the team. Articulating consequence to the group may help them recommit to finding a solution.
  • Refocus the discussion on the team’s strategic objectives. Sometimes, the team members’ shared interests are strong enough to compel a resolution on their own (see the box “Case study: Focusing team members on a shared goal”). Other times, you may need to push a little harder. Ask the team members to identify together the key priorities that their agreement should address and then limit the scope of the discussion to these issues alone: “This is a very complicated situation, and I can see it’s wearing on everyone involved. But if we can’t resolve all of it right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t resolve any of it. For now, let’s focus on coming up with a solution for X issue.”

This is an excerpt from Harvard Business Review’s Manager’s Handbook – the 17 Skills Leaders Need to Stand Out. Get your copy here.
Credit: Abhishek Singh

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