When I crafted the poll question “How do you classify yourself in today’s workforce?”, I considered a variety of answers from full-time temp to contractor to consultant to business owner, but I never considered one of the write-in responses:
That one floored me, because I conveniently tucked away in the back of my mind (and heart) the path many of us take from being “regularly” employed to being an independent — whether that’s a contractor, consultant, business owner or entrepreneur.
The path to independence is riddled with pot holes.
Whether it’s by choice (I’m leaving to start my own gig), or not (we’re going to have to let you go), making the leap without a net, which most of us don’t really have, is not for the feint of heart.
Trust me. It’s not. Sometimes the pot holes are way too deep.
You can argue the pros and cons of a greater contingent workforce, but it’s here and here to stay. Those who can better “sell” themselves — and who can actually do the work — will generate revenue streams for themselves, although maintaining cash flow can be difficult, just like many small business experience. That’s because “independents” are in the business of “Me.” Actually, we all are these days.
Downturns inspire many to try their hands at entrepreneurism, and although technological advancements have reduced the typical barriers to entry in many marketplaces, unfortunately many will fail. But like the path independence above, innovation knows no other way.
There are just no guarantees when it comes to employment and employers aren’t providing the same level of benefits they used to. I didn’t research any stats for that statement, but the fact is the way in which we work and are compensated for it continues to evolve, for better and for worse. Entitlements be gone. Personal ownership and multiple income channels be here.
Forty percent of the poll respondents said they were full-time permanent, while 35% said they were consultants (you can see the results graph below).
Last night’s topic was deeply personal to me considering the last 12 months of my professional journey. My recommendations to full-time employees and consultants alike?
- Underestimate your “marketplace”
- Overestimate your “sales cycle”
- Stay hungry without growing hungry
- Don’t wait for something to happen to you — make it happen for you
- Keep yourself in good physical, mental and emotional health
- Back fill the pot holes
- And repeat the cycle every, single, day
You can see the #TChat reach here, and these were last night’s questions:
Make sure to read Monster Thinking’s “pre-cap” if you haven’t: The Changing Identities of Today’s Workforce.
Thank you all for joining us last night. Next week’s topic is tentatively “Globilization — not just for the enterprise any more.”