EP1256 The economy has begun to change. Swim with the river and survive or swim against the current and eventually drown.

Think Gigs | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

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In returning from vacation, I decided to change the format of the show from one where I was finding people to interview to one where I share my advice and advice more freely than I was allowed to previously.

Every day, Monday through Friday, 5 to 6 minutes, 10 tops, you'll be getting job search advice for me to help you find work more quickly.

This is the first show as I return and is not just simply design to help you earn additional income, but to head off any sort of difficulties you might have during the next recession. That's because I believe the economic framework in the United States has changed… Let me make my case to you.

Think gigs.

And if you like today show, give it five stars in iTunes; given a great review; it's can help other people discover the show.

If you have been paying attention, you've missed something that has been changing structurally in the US economy. That's the change to part-time work that has become so prevalent.

If you take a look at the recovery (this isn't a criticism of government policy or anyone politically), this is just an observation about how business has learned to cope with (1) the opportunities caused by changes in technology and (2) they'll see the value in hiring full-time workers anymore.

What's been happening more and more frequently is that companies are hiring part-time workers. That's in the government statistics. Some of the gets buried in the notion of the U-6 report where the statistic talks about people who would like to work full time but are actually working part-time.

I question that a little bit now; part-time can be broken up into two categories. One is part-time workers; the second is the new gig economy. Free agents. Freelancers. People who are working whatever hours they need to in order to do a particular task.

Some might fall under the category of virtual assistants; some might be web designers who are working on an individual project. Writers, editors, a whole host of people. Recruiters. Coaches. People who are doing particular functions for specific people.

They are not working 40 hour work weeks. Some are working less; some are working more. Some may work 40 hours. They are self-employed individuals were part of this new gig economy.

What I expect is going to be happening with the next downturn is that this is going to be ingrained in the culture and ingrained in our society that much more.

If you think about it, if your business right now, you're the headquarters building, you have buildings around the world where you are employing people. You are paying for benefits; you're paying for that building; you're paying for air conditioning and heat, for phone lines and computer systems… A variety of different additional things.

You are doing this even though you might need these people for a limited number of hours per week, a month or a year.

More and more firms, both small and large firms, and start to look at contractors, gig workers, people who are hired to perform a particular task. These people do it, are paid and move on.

You may complain, "Oh, it's these people in India again, or in China or wherever." But, you know, let me use myself as an example.

As I work on launching JobSearchCoachingHQ.com, I started looking at having some videos and the cost of having videos edited in the US was more than 10 times the cost of outsourcing it abroad. What would you do? You are buying close the made elsewhere. Don't criticize me; you are doing the same thing except to do it with your clothes, your food and many other things.

That's the trend I really see getting ingrained. Now, how does this affect you?

I want you to start thinking about things that you can do on the side or things that are part of your knowledge base that you can break apart that would create income for you in case the next recession, in case the next economic downturn or catastrophe affects you. Start now.

You can do research on sites like freelancer.com or upwork.com (that's a successful company to elance.com and odesk.com) in any number of other sites where there is information and experiences with gig workers.

Thank you from the standpoint of what special skills you have that, if you were marketing yourself and your knowledge, how you would sell yourself on a contract basis.

So, for example, if you are an accountant, you might the tax returns. If you are an engineer, you might do design work for different people. If you are a programmer, you might write specifications or design documents.

What is it that you do that can be broken apart into component parts and marketed?

Go to the sites and just do it from the standpoint of research. Take some time to proactively think but don't delay starting because gigs are going to be much more the norm in the future.

When I look at myself, my own background, and the work recruiters are doing, I am seeing more and more firms hiring contract recruiters, I am seeing sites that are paying for hourly work from recruiters. For example, there is one site I've seen where a recruiter sets the price (I have seen as low as $25 per hour in the US) for recruiting work. They are not paid a fee at the backend; they are hired to source, find and refer.

It's happening everywhere, folks. You need to be ready for it. If you are an administrative assistant, obviously, you can do virtual assistant work.

Start thinking ahead. Start laying the foundation for doing work for others on a part-time basis NOW. That way, if the economy craters, if the recession hits, if you lose your job, you have the financial wherewithal to last until you find your next job. That may take longer than you think.


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, 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, as well as executive job search coaching, job, 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 2200 episodes.

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