If there’s one thing I have learned in the many years I have focused on the #futureofwork, it’s that big change is coming to how we need to think about our careers.
The age of jobs is being replaced by a project economy that changes not just the nature of work creation and distribution, but the nature of personal income. In fact, our own top three predictions as a company start with BYOW – a prediction that managers will start to bring their own flexible talent to project work, rather than relying on HR to do the job.
There’s excellent advice circulating in the media about self-employment. This recent post from Forbes is just one example of the trend we’ve been discussing at MBO: self-employment as the mega-trend of our era.
If you’re at a job, it’s relatively stable, and you’ve got the usual related responsibilities and financial commitments, like a family, a home with a mortgage, or children at school, it can seem as if the trend doesn’t apply – but nothing could be further from the truth.
Look back to the years you and many of your peers may have trusted the stock market – and the stock market alone – to grow your wealth. You cut a deal, and it didn’t always succeed, because there was a structural issue with the market. You needed to diversify – not risk it all on one bet.
The same advice is what I offer today for careers. By all means, continue to invest in excelling at your job. But also consider career diversification, including other work income streams. Can you monetize your expertise in speaking arrangements? Articles? Consulting gigs? Can you take the slow road to self-employment – a trend that will be the reality for 1 in 2 American workers in the next decade?
Scary as it may sound, if you don’t diversify your career today, you may be forced to when you aren’t as well prepared. Companies are releasing the golden handcuffs at even greater rates, and relying on project-based experts that come in to provide work on a flexible basis as opposed to a fixed arrangement.
Regardless of your work life stage, there’s a relevant question here for you:
· As a new Millennial, or recent workforce entrant, are you working to develop core marketable skill sets? Are you connecting with others in your target field? Are you open to project work, and not just fixed employment?
· As a midcareer worker, do you know how to set billable rates for your work? Do you know what that work is worth on the open market? Do you feel you have secured a professional reputation in a niche area within your industry?
· As a late stage worker, do you have an exit plan that includes sources of self-employment income that monetize your career’s earned expertise? Have you maintained - or even grown - your network in advance of, or after, a career change or exit?
We sat down with the MBO Partners Customer Experience team—the team responsible for making sure that Associates have a positive and cohesive MBO experience from first touch to last – and asked them for some advice. They shared with us a wealth of information, namely, 10 key takeaways that apply their learnings to the world of the independent consultant.
News and notes for independent workers and their clients. This is the September 26, 2016 edition.