Is the COVID-19 pandemic messing up your career plans?
Many of us start at our first job out of college thinking it will set us up for the rest of our career. And stepping off that path seems like a huge risk. Selecting a major and degree program is a difficult decision as it is. When you’re on a straight and narrow career path, it’s easy to panic if you want to make a change. And since change is a constant, you’ll be much better off in the long run if you’re able to adapt and roll with the punches. If finding that first job turns out to be more challenging than you thought, then maybe a pivot to self employment is an option you should consider.
The good news is that these kinds of pivots can make you a better professional. And even in industries like consulting and finance, it’s becoming quite common to grow your expertise across industries.
With a positive approach and an open mind, you can take big strides in the right direction—even if that direction seems way off your original course. Here’s some hard-earned wisdom on how to make a pivot, no matter your industry or experience level.
Self-employment could become safer than full-time jobs
Hayden Brown, president and CEO of Upwork, thinks we’ll be seeing more and more freelance workers as the pandemic continues—largely because people feel more secure having more than one income source.
“We have heard from many independent professionals, particularly in the last ten years since the 2009 recession, that they feel a heightened sense of security having multiple sources of income via various clients they serve,” Brown says. With the pandemic and the recessionary period that may follow, “we anticipate that more workers will seek out independent contracting arrangement”, she adds.
Others who have been freelancers for a long time, and always interpreted that as a risk, now feel differently. I’m glad I learned this a while back because so many people are realizing that even ‘secure’ jobs aren’t guaranteed.
Remote work could become the norm
Upwork and the Freelancer’s Union believe that the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelance as soon as 2027. As the new work-from-home reality of corona virus leaves its mark, we could find that number growing even more quickly.
Remote work, and the talented freelancers who work remotely, will increasingly be the norm. The trends supporting this started well before the current crisis, and may be accelerated by the changes everyone is making to adapt to new realities.
Evidence of the trend is already on the talent side, with the increased number of freelancer sign-ups in the past weeks. As businesses are rapidly adopting more flexible, remote work models, as well as contending with an uncertain economic climate, we expect them to be more open-minded to working with remote, independent freelancers than ever before.
While it may be hard to imagine exactly what the future of freelancing would, or could, look like, this enforced shake-up is being used to redefine things individually and collectively. “This crisis provides an opportunity to show how large of a workforce [freelancers are],” Espinal, of the Freelance Union, says. “And why we should be supporting the future of [that] work.”
While businesses are dealing with an increase in demand, other businesses are pivoting to focus on new business goals. Don’t waste a crisis. Adapt quickly and take the opportunity to prepare for the future.
If you’d like some help in determining your path to self employment, I’d be glad to assist. Send a little information through the quick contact form at www.tomclairmont.com/contact and we’ll work together to see what options are best for you.
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