For the past 90 years a 40 hour work week has been the centerpiece of American life. This structure was necessary because it was the only way to bring people together to collaborate or produce. It was the norm and we all subscribed. But lately, that’s all been changing – and changing fast. Technology, a retiring work force, a changing economy are all playing a role. According to a recent study, Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce, there are currently 53 million workers that consider themselves “freelancers”. These independent consultants make up 34% of the American workforce.
That number will grow. Over the next 15 years 40% of the current workforce, the Baby Boomers will retire. Replacing them will be a challenge. Generation X is small and Generation Y, the group most familiar with the concept of independent consulting, has a different concept of how they want to work. By 2020 it is estimated that over 49% of the American workforce will be independent consultants. In fact, this exodus has already begun and employers are feeling the pinch. A recent Corporate Leadership Council report states that nearly 60% of organizations surveyed revealed that they are currently experiencing a leadership shortage. 76% of these companies are not confident they will be able to adequately fill these positions. This talent drain is inevitable and without planning, organizations will struggle to maintain a bench with enough depth and skill to ensure their firm’s success.
In 2014, more than $1Trillion (with a “T”) dollars were contributed to the economy by independent consultants. This change in the way Americans work is, according to Sara Horowitz, Executive Director, Freelancers Union “an economic shift on par with the industrial revolution.” The corporate landscape is changing and as an independent consultant, you should be planning. Securing a steady stream of desirable contract work requires a different skill set and mind set from landing full-time employment. To help guide your efforts towards securing projects and position yourself with employers as high-caliber talent review the OnDemand Resource Your Resume: Best Practices infographic. This common sense resource will reinforce the steps necessary to stand out with hiring managers giving them the positive experience they need to feel comfortable hand you their business.