EP 1759 I wanted to coalesce my thinking about the direction of work.

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I wanted to do a video today to contextualize a lot of stuff and offer a framework for looking ahead professionally. As I record this, it is early 2017 and we have a new president. Whether you like them or not, we have a new president. The trend I want to talk about is one that has been going on for quite some time.

When we were in school learning, we learned about how they were farmers who worked on small farmers, and then came The Industrial Revolution and people start to leave the farm and do their work in factories. That led to the rise of the cities, the clustered areas where people come together to perform work.

Interestingly, what I think we are coming to experience is that with the rise of technology, people can live anywhere that they want. For those of you who are living in cities, I have to ask the question of why? I understand you might like living there and that's where the jobs are. More and more firms are hiring remote workers. Even if you are working in the city, why are firms employing you when they can bring you on on an "as needed basis?"

"I'm a good individual! I show my loyalty! They want me around!" All this kind of stuff is hogwash. If you don't believe me, take a deep breath and looked back at 2008 when all that good work that you did resulted in you getting fired because the economics didn't work.

If you are under 50, the notion of you going to work for an employer and lasting from one economic cycle to another is going to become increasingly small. I don't care how successful the firm is. It becomes a question of "Why should they do it?" And, I must also say, why should you do it? Invariably, even in the world of corporate work, there are boom and bust cycles of interesting and uninteresting work, right? It's almost like you are better served by being an external resource that goes from project to project or task to task, rather than get stuck maintaining. It's one thing to create a program and another to maintain what has been done. Your mind starts to atrophy and frankly, your salary increases start to decline.

It's better to be in external resources and, frankly, more firms are pushing in that direction. You can call it the Uberfication of the US economy but actually precedes Uber. If you look at the Uber model. What do they have? Self-employed individuals who are connected by logistics software. It's a terrific model and in some cities there are more people that try for over 10 more rides collected by them and cabdrivers. Can you see this happening for what you do? I do.

If you're a white-collar worker-- engineer, accountant, IT professional – – why does a firm need to employee you? "Well, there is a continuity model where people know our systems." Okay, but why does it work for you?


Okay I go back to my previous question. How stable was it?

"I know I can rely on the paycheck."

We can go in this circle forever, but the reality is more and more firms are using temporary workers or workers-As-A-service in one form or another where individuals are in effect contracted to provide services at particular peak times and in order left to go off on their merry way.

What do you do about this? You have to think like a business owner and market yourself and do things to keep marketing yourself. As I've said before, you can start a side business off hours so that when the next recession comes (and there will be another recession), you are well prepared for it. You don't give away your loyalty freely. Just because they have given you a desk and a phone and a computer. You always have to ask yourself, "What's in it for me," when you receive a new assignment. I meant saying that you should necessarily quit, but if it doesn't serve you and your future, start planning for something else. After all, just to sit there and do the same drudgery over and over again doesn't help your marketability when a firm disposes of you. And you know they will dispose of you.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1700 episodes and “The No BS Coaching Advice Podcast” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com is also a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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