The rapidly changing work environment is leading to statements, such as this one on the front cover of People Management, May 2017 edition and leads me to ask the question – if companies no longer need employees, what does it mean for your future career?
The article discusses the “Gig economy,” which it defines as “online platforms that act as marketplaces for services offered by freelance or self-employed individuals.”
Self-employment and Your Future Career
According to the article, around 16% of the UK labour market is self-employed. That share continues to grow at a rapid rate, whilst full-time employment remains roughly static (in absolute terms i.e. numbers of employees) even as unemployment levels decline. The suggestion is that our future careers are likely to include periods when we are self-employed or employed on short term contracts.
I know several people in their mid to late twenties who have only ever worked on short or fixed term contracts and some who have always been freelancers as well as many working on ‘standard’ employment contracts.
Does it Matter to Employers?
Putting on the shoes of an employer, I think that it probably does, because it changes the psychological contract (the unwritten rules of behaviour) between the ‘worker’ and the employer. And I suspect that many employers will struggle to manage and embrace this chance, hoping instead to maintain the same levels of employee loyalty they are used to, even when they aren’t offering the same terms of employment.
Or as I have found, over my years of self-employment, struggling to understand why I might prefer to be self-employed and refuse their offers of employment. This will mean that these employers are a turn off for Young Professionals focused on their future career.
Does it Matter?
The wonderful thing for many (but not all, of course) of us is that;
- This is the reality of working life anyway
- You have fantastic skills and capabilities – your Career Capital
- With some thought and effort you have the agility and drive to take advantage of this shift
So long as you take care to invest in yourself, develop your skills and reputation, build your networks, continually demonstrate your value and pay attention to the five keys:
- Key One – your career is your responsibility
- Key Two – you can’t have it all now
- Key Three – you need to know where you are going, otherwise you won’t get there
- Key Four – the road to success will be paved with challenges
- Key Five – you need to ensure that your career is not at the expense of having a life
then your future career may well be exciting and filled with interesting projects. Although there are likely to be setbacks as well, when you worry over your future career. On balance, this may well prove to be a great time to be a professional. Your value is likely to be in demand, even if its not as a traditional employee.
I talk more about this and provide a complete blueprint for your future career success and resilience in my new book “How to have an outstanding career.”
Have a great week and do get in touch if you want to discuss this more.