You may have already noticed: the job market is changing. Forecasters have been predicting this for years, and research continues to come out showing that the contingent â€“ otherwise known as temporary, or contract, workforce, is growing. The Harvard Business Reviewâ€™s Tammy Erikson wrote, â€œTemporary placement service provider Adecco predicts the growth rate for contingent workers will be three to four times the growth rate among traditional workforces, and that they eventually will make up about 25% of the global workforce.â€
Workplace expert Alexandra Levit reported on technology firm Mavenlinkâ€™s 2012 infographic, The New Independent Workforce, which shows the number of self-employed, independent service firms, solopreneurs, and temporary workers grew by an estimated 4.3 million workers since 1995. They expect the contingent workforce to grow to 40 percent, or 64.9 million by 2020. By 2020, 40 percent of American workers, or nearly 65 million people, will not be working in what we know as â€œtraditionalâ€ jobs, where they work consistently for one employer who provides benefits and insurance.
What does this new world of work mean for you? Even if you have a traditional job now, you may find yourself in a position down the road where your livelihood depends on your ability to market yourself as a one-person company. The writing is on the wall: the job market and career opportunities are changing â€“ you need to change, too.
Follow these three tips to get yourself ready for the new job market:
1. Pay attention to trends in your industry. Try to predict hot topics and problems organizations will need to hire people to solve. Since no one has a crystal ball, this is a tough assignment.
2. Develop niche expertise. When youâ€™re really good at something specific, itâ€™s easy to make a case for why an organization should contract with you for short- or long-term contingent jobs.
3. Learn to market yourself. The concept of â€œpersonal branding,â€ which suggests individuals should think of themselves as a brand and market their skills accordingly, meets skepticism and criticism, but if 40 percent of American workers will effectively be working for themselves in the near future, there is no doubt the ones who land the best opportunities will be those who understand the value of broadcasting their expertise beyond the four walls of their current workplaces.
Donâ€™t be complacent; always think about the future and how to position yourself and your expertise if you want to maintain any control over your professional future.
Do you need some help navigating the new workforce? I can help! As a career expert and social media consultant, I am perfectly positioned to teach you how to market your skills so you’ll be able to maintain.
photo by iansand