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Welcome to the Knowledge Age

Welcome to the Knowledge Age

While young workers are in a good position to thrive in the information economy, knowing how to thrive using your skills and talents is the key question.

What good is knowledge, anyway?

'Welcome to the Knowledge Age', proclaims the title boldly. Preceding generations understandably scoff at the notion that something as ambiguous as knowledge could be worth such a big fuss. Knowledge is hard to define, and even harder to pin down when it comes to measuring its value. Yet, we will try to make the case that knowledge is an important aspect of your career.

So lets start with two different types of knowledge - borrowing from a Hindu perspective. Hindu Scriptures present two kinds of knowledge: Paroksha Gnana - secondhand knowledge, obtained from books, stories, hearsay etc; and Aparoksha Gnana, knowledge borne of direct experience. Thousand of years later, early careerists are dealing with the fact that Aproksha Gnyana is what lands a job.

Knowledge is of little value to the employer by itself. It doesn’t create value. When transformed into skills and actions that produce outcomes, knowledge becomes immensely valuable. Being born into a knowledge-saturated environment gives us a strategic advantage, but only when applied to a career goal.

The rise of knowledge workers

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Farmers ushered in the Agricultural Age. Yesterday’s enterprising industrialists gave us the Industrial Age. And today’s knowledge workers are creating the Knowledge Age, where wealth is based on the ability to transform knowledge into creating or improving products and services.

So where’s the proof? How do we know that the Knowledge Age isn’t all just made up by conspiring over-intelligent academics, hell-bent on making our world bow down to the mighty prowess of Information?

Information companies like Google, Yahoo and Apple are the flag wavers of today’s Knowledge Age. Commercial projects like the open-source Linux operating system and the Human Genome Project also come to mind. 

At a local level, the City of Melbourne, renowned for its innovation, management expertise and ability to create a livable city, recently launched an ‘Office of Knowledge Capital’, designed to make Melbourne Australia’s knowledge capital. Interesting move for a local government.

The Net Gen advantage

knowledgepower

Gen Y are the first generation born in the age of knowledge. As information technology becomes increasingly pervasive in the business world, the ability for Gen Y'ers to interpret technology-knowledge to create well-informed decisions, priorities and strategies gives them an advantage as knowledge workers.

Maybe you’re an avid social media buff, a digital photography expert or a party organizer. It is valuable to know what you know and what you are interested in, to identify career paths. You are more likely to enjoy a job if you can demonstrate your knowledge in the workplace, and are interested in it.

In a job interview, making your knowledge known and showing a prospective employer how it could benefit the organisation is a differentiation strategy that makes you stand out. This is because employers know that specialised knowledge helps you to perform in your role, and build your personal brand.

So go ahead, and let your employer or prospective employer know that you can create a social media strategy for the company, snap digital images for promotional materials or organize a rocking staff party. It will make you both very happy.

Do you know how much you know? Knowing your knowledge is very useful in your career. Get yourself a WorkLifeGroup career development package to discover your genius.

Expert
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EARLY CAREER: Gen Y, Graduates and Early Careerists

Guy has worked as a business journalist, urban planner, slow food chef, denim salesperson and digital media manager, and shares original insights on diverse Gen Y career experiences.

Guy holds a B. Urban Planning & Development (Hons), has worked in 5 different industries and knows what its like to face the challenge of graduate transition. New career choices, personal branding and balancing passions with money are all part of the mix.

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