Seriously... do you really need to be "employed"? By "employed" I'm talking about the traditional sense of employment, at a business or company away from home, owned by someone else, who pays you money to do something.
A lot of people need that so-called security. You get up at the same time every day, go off to the same locaiton, every day, and do pretty much the same thing. It's comforting to know, day to day, what to expect. It's nice to be able to get that regular paycheck and apply it to your regular bills. And, on weekends, you're off.
Seriously? That's pretty 20th century. Hardly anyone does that, anymore. You might have a 'job' and go into 'work' at the same time every day...sit at the same desk...and sort of do the same 'thing'. But, in today's economy, you're likely now doing the work of 2 or three people because the company had to let a group fo people go. And, your work is not by rote - you need to show creativity and innovation, to prove you're worth keeping around. Plus, you don't always get to leave at 5:00 and you don't always get weekends off. Right?
That makes me wonder... why do you do it? I haven't done it for years! The so-called security isn't there because you could be let go at any moment. You're not likely to get a raise, given the economy, and you will always be at the mercy of... your boss. Good or bad, that's how it is.
We live in a Freelance Economy. Have for some time. Research from the Kauffman Foundation, as noted on BoM,"Starting Smaller; Staying Smaller; America's Slow Leak in Job Creation", shows a steady decline in "new employer businesses" - especially when adding the "freelance economy" to the mix.
They write, "There’s still money to be made, innovations to be marketed and ideas to be harvested. The difference is that many businesses today are choosing to hire on an as-needed basis, relying on a freelance workforce. But rather than being traditional freelancers, many of these people have become freelance entrepreneurs, crafting businesses out of projects."
I refer back to a favorite author of mine, Daniel Pink, who wrote Free Agent Nation many years ago and identified this phenomena - that of having self-employed workers on the rise [note: affiliate link!]. As I wrote last week, much of this is being driven by smart people forming partnerships in business. Smart people recognize the enormous possibility in (a) being their own boss and (b) working with a colleague to partner on projects, ultimately giving customers and clients the best you can.
Where is all of this going? Are we, the freelancers of the world, the entrepreneurs of the world, the go-getters "I don't want to do it your way, I want to do it my way" professionals, taking over? Maybe. Speaking from the baby boomer focus, I can tell you that women I talk to are tired...tired of working long hours for little reward (money or praise) and we're tired of squashing our dreams until 'retirement'. Many of us recognize that we have something to offer NOW! Let's offer it.
Pink is quoted in the BoM article saying, "All businesses are loath to hire because they're worried about demand and are as uncertain about the future as I've ever seen. Once demand picks up, I expect there to be more hiring. That said, many startups are able to have a big reach with fewer people, so perhaps hiring won't be nearly as robust as it was in the old days. The result of that: more startups and more free agents.”
Ready to join the freelance economy? Ready to be your own boss? Ready to call the shots? Here are places to begin: Elance, oDesk, and MBO Partners. Come on back and share your stories in our comments. And, share some other ideas... I know you have them.
Lip-sticking is part of an online influencer network for Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.