We all thought we had it figured out — the New Deal of the new economy. Jump on the fast track. Work your ass off. Make it work for the short term. Grab the payoff. Breathe.
Then came the new-economy midcourse correction. All of a sudden, we found ourselves making midcareer corrections to our work and our lives. Companies can no longer play the game as a short-term sprint to the IPO payoff counter. At the same time, all of us have to recalibrate our own career pace and trajectory to take into account new answers to an old question: "What am I really trying to accomplish?" If you find yourself asking that kind of question, then do yourself a favor: Read "Are You on the Right Track?" and use the stories of some remarkable achievers — and some reflective competitors — as a template for coming up with your own answers.
If you're really serious about reviewing your new-economy journey, keep reading: Go straight on to "Family Values." It seems clear to us at Fast Company that the greatest tension in the fast-paced, high-stakes game of business these days isn't competition between rivals — it's competition between work and personal relationships. Simply put, how do you excel at a job that you love while sustaining a family that you really love?
Just how much has the weather changed in the new economy? No one knows more about the forecast for the new economy than weather.com — a success story on the Web that serves 12 million to 14 million unique users every month. To find out how weather.com does it — and to find out how your own company can navigate the winds of change — read "Weathering the Internet Storm."
And while you're considering the winds of change, take a look at two Short Courses that can help you move briskly into the new environment. Learn what it means to be a "natural leader" from Rayona Sharpnack, founder of the Institute for Women's Leadership. Then meet Jerry Sternin, a "positive deviant" who is making change happen in villages across the globe. His lesson: "The traditional model for social and organizational change doesn't work. It never has."
That's important information — and it's particularly important at a time when the new economy is changing direction.
A version of this article appeared in the December 2000 issue of Fast Company magazine.