Millions of people continue to apply for something that is increasingly rare – a full time job.
The U.S. government estimates that 35 per cent of all workers are currently contractors or freelancers. This number is expected to hit an astounding 50 per cent in the next ten years.
But, there is no security in being a contractor, you say? Read on.
Corporations don’t want to hire full time people
Today, companies do not want to hire full time people. The economy is too unpredictable and profit margins are too thin. A full-time employee costs far more than the salary given to that person. A person earning $50,000 a year is actually costing the company up to $70,000 when employment taxes and benefits are taken into account.
If that person cannot prove that they are worth $70,000, it won’t matter how much experience or knowledge they have, they’ll eventually be let go. But their own skill set will account for only a tiny part of their fate.
The true long-term outlook is that even if you do get a job, you won’t be able to keep it, through no fault of your own. Restructuring due to global competition and other factors that are out of your control will result in a lay-off. It won’t be a matter of “if” but “when”.
Why create your own job?
Creating your own job has the following benefits.
- You set your own income.
- Your pay is not tied to an hourly rate. Rather, you can be paid “per job” based on the value you offer.
- You will not reply upon a single employer. Instead, a range of clients will support you. Even if some choose not to hire you any more, others will replace them. This will result in ongoing cash flow.
- You can focus on your work, free from the threat of poverty.
- You will have much greater security.
- Applying for contracts is generally less competitive. There may be 5 or 6 other contractors competing for the same opportunity, but you can be up against thousands when job hunting.
- You will have the freedom to choose projects of your liking.
Creating your own job is creating your own security
Let me focus for a minute on this issue of security because the belief that freelancing is not secure is a major reason many people continue to look for a job.
There is MORE security in owning your job than if you work for someone else. There are 4 major reasons for this.
- Diversified income: You will develop multiple clients and services, creating a diversified income base so that no single client can ruin you.
- Client confidence: Companies are increasingly putting more faith in contractors than their own employees. An employee gets a pay check no matter what – even if they do nothing (for a while at least, until they are terminated). A contractor, on the other hand, absolutely needs to get the job done, and do it well, or they will not be paid.
- Your value-added offerings: If you are good at what you do, you will have a job for life as a contractor. People who are highly skilled, reliable and get along well with others, will always be hired. Your security is in direct proportion to how good you are. That is not the case if you’re an employee because your skills and experience mean nothing in a corporate layoff.
- Play with the numbers: I spoke today with a talented young man, who, like most young people, completely devalues himself. This is why he chooses not to be a contractor and also why he’s having trouble getting a job. But, together, we played with the numbers. In his chosen field, he could make $250 per job (a job lasting one day). 12 such jobs in a month is $3,000 per month or $36,000 a year. He is applying for minimum wage jobs that pay between $18,000 and $25,000. When you start to play with the numbers, you gain the confidence that yes, you may just be able to make as much, or more, creating your own job.
This is what is stopping you
If you have accepted my arguments, you may still be hesitant. Why? Because of a lack of confidence in yourself. To overcome this, do a personal audit as follows.
- List your skills, abilities and everything you can offer a client as a service. What you can do is more important than where you’ve worked in the past.
- List any credentials and degrees.
- List major past accomplishments. What did you do successfully for an employer in the past? Volunteer accomplishments are valid here too.
- Make a list of guarantees. These include reliability (always being on time), availability (clients can contact you outside of business hours) and quality of work.
- Differentiate yourself within your chosen field. If other contractors, suppliers and companies stop work at 5pm, offer to work to 6pm. If people in your industry are generally unreliable, stress your reliability factor. Do what others are not willing to do.
- Outline your business philosophy. Essentially, this is a list of your values. For example, belief in excellence and honesty. These can become your code of conduct, something many businesses do not have, or pay lip service to only.
Upon looking at this list, which, by the way, would translate nicely into your marketing web site, you should have more confidence in yourself.
Most importantly, develop a business owner mindset in which you choose not to rely on others, but to rely on yourself. You are your best friend. You must believe that you have a lot to offer the world and that you can overcome whatever challenges may lie ahead.
Create your own job in 2016
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