Foreword Reviews

Workquake

Embracing the Aftershocks of Covid-19 to Create a Better Model of Working

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

With awareness that the fastest growing sectors of tomorrow’s job market may not yet exist, Workquake assesses ongoing upheavals in changing workplaces with clarity.

Steve Cadigan’s Workquake concerns the continuing evolution of the business world.

We are living in an “era of unprecedented technological change,” Cadigan says, in which people change jobs at the fastest pace in history. Encouraging workers and employers to adapt to the changing workscape, Cadigan calls out contemporary challenges and upheavals, such as that companies provide little job security, workers show little loyalty, and no one can predict what skills will be most needed in the future.

The book considers how artificial intelligence, automation, and other forces disrupt traditional modes of working, and notes that repeated financial downturns have undermined marketplace stability. And in this mire, it says that employment has gone from being paternalistic and stable to turbulent and dynamic. With this in mind, the text concerns itself with seeking out new workplace models as the old ones fail.

The book addresses employees and employers separately and on a subject matter basis, covering individual mindsets, strategies, and career management well. Its sunny tone is a soothing complement to its accounts of workplace disruption, wage stagnation, and stress, which induce anxiety in many. Still, the text emphasizes upsides to excess and sometimes downplays challenges. Some suggestions, such as that the ability to learn new skills is “the new career insurance,” are underexplored, as are references to talent and the talent war, and examples of changes to careers in banking.

The book combines data and studies from various publications with anecdotes from the corporate world to support its points. In doing so, it ably communicates its ideas about seismic shifts within the economy. Still, some such anecdotes indulge in name-dropping, and others are too narrow in scope, as with an illustration of burnt-out managers on college recruiting trips that’s used to amplify a discussion of mental health issues in the workplace. More supportive are the book’s quotes from expert sources and tendency to pull salient points forward for emphasis. Pop cultural references to The Simpsons, zombie movies, and basketball star Zion Williamson enliven the book further.

Throughout, Cadigan challenges long-held assumptions and outmoded ways of thinking well. He works toward prognostications for the future of work that are based on current trends, and proposes compelling game plans for navigating these changes. The book is accessible and dispenses much useful advice.

With awareness that the fastest growing sectors of tomorrow’s job market may not yet exist, Workquake assesses ongoing upheavals in changing workplaces with clarity.

Reviewed by Joseph S. Pete

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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