The Transparent Multi-Job Future

One day, people will have 2 (or more) ‘full-time’ jobs and it won’t even matter. 

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal recently entitled  “These People Who Work From Home Have a Secret: They Have Two Jobs” .

The headline says it all.

Apparently, there’s a “movement’ afoot, catalyzed in part by a site called “ Overemployed ”  of people who are tired of ‘useless meetings’ and ‘looking busy’. They feel like they can do both jobs by using their time more effectively.

On the one hand, I say kudos to them. If you are able to deliver the expected results for your employer and still have the time to deliver expected results for another employer, then why the hell not?

The idea of “full-time” is an anachronism, based upon an Industrial Era mindset, a 40 hour work week, and a workforce predominated by “labor” not knowledge.

On the other hand, it’s sad that this movement is unfolding in an underground and borderline dishonest way as it disrupts the traditional job market.

It’s sad that employees who are pulling off two jobs are required to hide it. And it’s sad that employers care about how much time people put into their jobs, not about the value those jobs create and compensating them accordingly.

Industry disruptions, and we’ve seen this with crypto, start off in the shadows. Eventually, they “cross the chasm” and are mainstream.

That is going to happen, I believe, in the employer-employee market and the vehicle that it will allow it to happen in a transparent and mutually satisfactory way is the OKR, Objectives and Key Results, methodology.

With OKRs, employers/leadership can be exceedingly clear about the desired results and then assess how much progress has been made towards them.

If you can achieve your Key Result in 1/4th of the time it takes me because you’ve figured out an innovative, scalable solution, why is that worth less? It should be worth more.

So, in an OKR world, where employers/leadership have done a solid job of setting the right OKRs and employees are clear on the outcomes, then they are left with a choice of how they want to spend their time.

If they can figure out ways to achieve the KRs effectively, then who cares if they have another job (or 2)?

If not, then they won’t last long at either job.

Whether we like it or not, so-called “knowledge” workers, able to work from almost anywhere in the world ARE going to have multiple projects going on concurrently.

The challenge is to figure out how to ensure that they are delivering meaningful value to the organization, not just a timesheet.

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OKRs