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 independent contractors or freelancers. This number is expected to hit an astounding 50 per cent within the next ten years.
But, there is no security in being a contractor, you say? Not true.
1. Corporations don’t want to hire full time people any more
Today, companies do not want to hire full time workers. 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 the company is not able to make any money from their $70,000 a year investment, then it will not matter how much experience or knowledge you have, you’ll eventually be let go. And it won’t matter how nice a person you are.
The true long-term outlook is such 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”.
2. Why create your own job?
Creating your own job has the following benefits.
- You set your own worth, rather than having your salary dictated by an HR department spreadsheet.
- You are not vulnerable to the whims of incompetent managers.
- Your pay is not tied to an hourly rate. Rather, you are paid “per job” based on the value you offer.
- You do not rely upon a single employer. Instead, a range of clients support you. Even if some choose not to hire you any more, others replace them. This results in ongoing cash flow.
- You can focus on your work, free from the threat of poverty.
- 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 have the option to choose projects and clients of your liking.
- You can conduct work from any location – your home, a coffee shop or while travelling – removing the stress and costs of daily commuting.
3. 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.
- Corporations are increasingly putting their faith in contractors, more so 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.
- 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 reorganization.
- Independent contracting is all about your skill set, not office politics.
- There is no limit to your income, giving you the opportunity to save more money, thereby developing a more secure future.
- You are not vulnerable to the collapse of private pension funds most of which invest in the volatile stock market.
4. The Great Myth
Many people still buy into the idea that having a job is the only way to make money. It is, in fact, the least effective way. Millions are in denial and refuse to acknowledge that we are now in the contract economy.
The most vulnerable among us are low skilled workers being replaced by outsourcing and new technologies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this shift is happening at the astounding rate of several hundred thousand jobs per year.
Despite this, there remains a huge industry that pretends we can all have high paying, secure jobs. The industry, made up of recruiters, job search services and HR experts, make their living perpetuating the myth.
Salaried bank tellers, equipment operators and even accountants are among the professions on the chopping block.
What the economy is now looking for are project managers – people who can effectively oversee budgets and personnel on a per project basis. Also needed are creative thinkers and people with strong “soft skills” who can provide excellent customer service.
All hired on a per-need basis.
Far too many people still believe they are owed a job. None of us are. Our ability to support ourselves and our families is directly proportionate to the value we can bring to the table.
5. This is what is stopping you
If you have accepted my arguments, you may still be hesitant. Why? The answer to this question is not what you want to hear. But the cold hard truth is that you likely lack confidence in yourself.
This lack of confidence may be completely warranted. You may have no marketable skills. You may have a self-esteem problem. You may be a difficult person to work with. You may even hate yourself.
Ask this question: if you were running a corporation, would you hire you? And if so, why? And if you would not hire yourself, why should anyone else?
The point here is that the causes of your inaction can be rectified by working on yourself. The single most important thing you can do right now is to work on YOU.
Fix the issues. Be open-minded. Start believing in yourself. Learn about business. Get excited about your own potential. Let your imagination run wild. Keep asking “what if”. Know that you are as good as the next person.
Above all – do not listen to others who say you “cannot.”
Because that’s a load of BS and we both know it.
Stop wasting your life applying for go nowhere jobs, working for people who do not have your best interest at heart, and start thinking about how you can contribute and add value to this troubled world.
You…yes YOU, are needed more than ever.