As a consultant dedicated to helping people discover meaningful careers, Terri Maxwell found many of her clients were facing an even more basic problem: The jobs they’d held in the past were suddenly not around anymore.
These individuals were frustrated by their inability to find work, let alone a meaningful career. But the more she tried to help her clients, the more she recognized that these vanishing jobs were heralding a foundational shift in the way companies hired.
Maxwell noted, “I realized that what I was seeing was not just springing from an economic recession or an employment recession. This wasn’t just about lost jobs. It was about something bigger than that.”
This realization prompted Maxwell to team up with her friend Tim Houlne, CEO of a company that specializes in virtual work platforms for call centers. He was seeing similar trends in his industry, so they decided to co-author a book on their discoveries. During their research, they uncovered two startling facts: The jobs her clients had once held were indeed gone, and the reason they were disappearing was a change so seismic, it was akin to the Industrial Revolution.
Based on their research, they recently published The New World of Work: From the Cubicle to the Cloud. In this interview with oDesk, Maxwell tells us more about how the workplace and the economy are being transformed by what she and Houlne have termed “the work revolution.”
Through your work, you realized that jobs were changing. What gives this time a “revolutionary” feel?