1: Winning in a part-time, quick-change worldApr 16th, 2011 | By joegrimm | Category: Applications, News
(In this JobsPage series, I describe seven emerging job trends and strategies for using them to your advantage.)
Seven emerging employment trends will affect the way journalists run their careers in the years ahead.
Not all the trends are to workers’ advantage.
Like them or not, however, the better you understand them, the better you can cope with them or plan strategies to take advantage of the new realities.
In the next seven posts, I will describe the trends I am seeing, based on more than 20 years of recruiting, and tell you what you can do to prepare to make the most of what is happening.
There was a time not long ago when a good job would last for 40 years and a standard workweek was 40 hours.
Companies and whole industries are being made over so quickly that it will be a rare company that does not change fundamentally over and over again — and the ones that don’t change will not survive. This leads to rapid replacements of workers, even in thriving companies.
So, too, with the old 40-hour workweek. More and more companies have been opting for a variety of part-time, flex-time and short-term arrangements to trim payroll costs, remain flexible and avoid the expense of layoffs. Government and corporations are outsourcing jobs and using contract workers where before they used to use payrolls.
In many cases, employers are using short shifts and contracts to escape the costs of pensions and health benefits.
To be sure, the 40-hour-a-week job is not as endangered as the 40-year career, but many full-time jobs are being replaced by contract or part-time positions.
This will be hard for many traditional workers, but some workers will really like this trend. They will negotiate what they need and will be able to take leaves that were not possible before. They will be able to work for multiple employers and they will feel and be safer from layoffs and downsizing. They will like the security of having multiple income streams and they will like the flexibility and challenge. They will like choosing among projects.
- Prepare for a portfolio career in which you have more than one employer. I solid arrangement can have an anchor employer who offers health benefits, but in which most compensation comes from the other employers. That way, if you lose even your largest employer, you still have most of your income. Couples should think of themselves as one wage-earning team and try this. If one partner has the insurance for both, the other can concentrate on compensation.
- Figure out your day rate. How much do you need to be paid in a day or a week to make your goal for the year? Negotiate for it and trade up from jobs or assignments that will use up your time at wages that don’t meet your needs.
- Even if you have a steady job, develop a second and a third stream of revenue by freelancing, doing side work or monetizing a hobby. You may need to grow those streams if your main source of income stops. Being prepared means getting a head start.
- Specialize and negotiate. Specialists with rare skills command more than generalists. It is the simple law of supply and demand. The more unique and valued your skills, the more you can demand. Differentiate to win.
- Save for retirement, starting now. Pensions may get added back in when the economy rises, but it is irresponsible to leave your future in the hands of employers and Social Security. Keep some money in cash. Advisers recommend as much as three months pay, even though that is difficult. If you are not used to spending everything you make, you can better manage a wage cut and will have a cushion.