Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The American workplace is dramatically changing. The traditional “Dolly Parton…Working 9 – 5” is ancient history. I just checked out a copy of Michael Gerber’s book Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies. Wide ranging reading and studying all kinds of different academic disciplines is a passion and pleasure of mine. The focus of Gerber’s book fits well with a recent email newsletter from Dan Miller http://www.48days.com/

You're already self-employed


In last week’s newsletter I talked about how smaller companies offer most of the new jobs. What are those “jobs” likely to look like?

Work models are changing. The traditional 8-5 employee is becoming a less common model of work. We are rapidly approaching the time when only 50% of the American workforce will be “employees.”

50% of American workers will soon be:

· Free-lance workers

· Consultants

· Contingency workers

· Independent contractors

· Temps

· Entrepreneurs

· Electronic immigrants

These are legitimate, growing and profitable work models. Different perhaps from what we are used to, but real opportunities nonetheless. If you are determined to get a traditional 8-5 job with benefits, you are looking for a shrinking work model. If you can flip hamburgers, make French fries, restock the ketchup, and sweep the floors, you can get a “job.” But what if you have a highly developed skill in:

· writing proposals

· mediating conflicts

· analyzing data

· or setting up demonstrations?

Or maybe you are talented in:

· auditing financial reports

· training

· handling complaints

· or coaching individuals.

Maybe your talents shine in

· designing websites

· managing Twitter and FaceBook updates

· writing press releases

· and creating compelling videos.

You will find that 95% of the companies out there are not large enough to hire you to do just that one task. Thus you will be expected to go back to being the generalist. OR – you could find 8 or 10 companies that would love to use your specialized skills in that area – 1 day a week, or 2 days a month. Can you adapt to the new model of work?

AND – you may find it’s easier to find the 8-10 mini-jobs rather than the 1 big traditional (pay me take care of all my needs) job. In today’s workplace we’re all “Self-Employed.” Whether you choose to have one customer or several is not as big a leap as you may think.

1 comment:

L. R. Sexton said...

Have to tell you Earl,
in my industry, the ratio will be over 50% working in this new paradigm. Your probably looking at about 80%