Photo credit: Anton Glavas www.antonglavas.com
For better or worse, the days of having a steady income at a 9-5 job—and the health benefits, vacation days, and sick days that usually come with it—are dying.
If you’ve spent most of your career hopping around from part-time job to part-time contract (maybe even starting your own business in there, too), you can breathe a sigh of relief.
There’s nothing wrong with you.
You haven’t failed to become an adult yet because you haven’t secured that lifelong “career job” that provides you a steady pay check with benefits.
You’re actually pretty normal. I promise.
In fact, you just might be ahead of the times.
Why is 9-5 job security dead?
Job security has changed, because companies have changed.
Back in the 1930’s, companies were structured like this:
Companies provided a lot of different jobs, because they did a lot!
For example, the company Eaton’s—which used to be Canada’s largest department store retailer, but is now bankrupt—followed the pyramid company structure.
Back in the day, this company functioned as most other companies did: doing everything. They sourced materials, manufactured products, handled and shipped the products, marketed the products, housed the products, and sold the products to consumers.
As such, they needed a lot of employees in charge of different things.
Employees typically worked 9-5 hours, and worked at the same company their entire lives. They’d start at the bottom (as a peon) and work their way up the company ladder.
Here’s what happened in the 1980’s:
That’s right, the middle management was eliminated from most companies.
This is when companies began outsourcing, meaning instead of getting all their goods and services from inside the company, they began getting more goods and services from outside the company.
As a result of this, here’s how successful companies began to be structured in the 1980’s:
Lollipop Company has a storefront for lollipop’s, but they don’t design, manufacture, brand, market, or transport the lollipops—they outsource all of those things.
This means Lollipop company has one owner (CEO), perhaps some upper management, and a bunch of minimum wage employees (peons).
In this model, employees work an average of 7-10 different jobs in their lifetime, but still within the 9-5 working model with steady income, benefits, sick leave, and paid holidays (i.e., job security).
(Note: Companies that remained in the archaic pyramid structure, such as Eaton’s, did not fare well during this time.)
Now here’s where it gets really interesting.
Let’s take a look at the structure of successful companies today, and in the future:
Sunshine Company is a small corporation made up of 3 individuals. Their main product/service is offering web design services. They also offer other sub-products/services depending on market demand, such as graphic design, digital marketing strategies, photography, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Sunshine Company hires workers on an as-needed basis, depending on how much work there is, and the type of work. If they need a digital marketing strategist for a 6-month project, Sunshine Company will hire a contractor for a 6-month contract.
This model is called the “on-demand” model—workers get hired on an as-needed basis. That’s what this model provides.
In this model…
If job security is dead… how do I build income security?
Well, you’re reading this article, so you’re already ahead of the curve!
Lots of people are still mistakenly seeking a job that will be their “career” job for the rest of their life—one that offers secure hours, paid vacation time, and benefits.
These jobs do still exist in select sectors: primarily in health care, teaching, and government.
But outside of these sectors, it’s time to let the notion of “job security” go. Because for better or worse, it’s on its way out (if it isn’t already gone).
Income security is, however, totally possible.
This—not job security—should be the goal of every millennial in the workforce today.
Income security is gained by the ability to land contract work consistently—and ideally, this should be contract work that is meaningful to you, and that you enjoy.
How do you land meaningful contract work consistently?
By coming up with a stellar personal brand and marketing strategy.
Everyone needs to treat their career like a business: YOU (the employee/contractor) are the business and the brand.
Here’s what you need to get clear on to develop your brand:
Once you are clear on your brand, you’re ready to market yourself:
To thrive in today’s job market, we need to be entrepreneurial, flexible, and adaptable.
What are the perks of the on-demand work model?
I know this can be overwhelming to figure out on your own, which is why I recommend working through this process with a professional.
But in case you’re really self-motivated or like to figure stuff out on your own, I’ll be writing another blog explaining how to brand and market yourself in more detail soon. (Sign up to get notifications of new posts below.)
Going through this process and figuring it out will benefit you for years down the road, and is truly the key to long-lasting income security.
To your income security,
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.