By 2020, about 50% of the workforce will consist of contract workers or freelancers. This is caused by multiple factors:
- The notion of a workplace changing: There is a mass exodus from the conventional 9-5 corporate job among newer generations, with people subscribing to the idea of working out of co-working spaces, with unlimited access to the internet and technology.
- Shifts in the knowledge economy: With change as the only constant in the current economy, as professionals we are always on a look out to sustain our careers and constantly reassessing our careers to stay on course with our goals as well as survive tumultuous economic shifts.The combination of the above 2 reasons has led people to develop portfolio careers.
Portfolio careers are usually built around a collection of skills and interests, though the only consistent theme is one of career self-management. With a portfolio career you no longer have one job, one employer, but multiple jobs and employers within one or more professions.
Traditionally being self-employed or freelancing may be accompanied by stigma, or with the feeling of not really being employed or having a real job. Today with companies restructuring all the time and the volatile economic conditions as well as varied career interests harbored by millennials, portfolio careers are the preferred medium of growth.
In such careers, an individual has a multitude of roles across multiple organizations, not just one. This trend is on a rise because individuals have diverse skill sets and prefer customizing their career paths instead of fitting into just one defined role. Each job may utilize different skills and allows individuals to follow their passions with flexibility, develop their skill sets as well as survive economic slumps.
All this means less stability and employment protection, although many self-employed people grow to value the autonomy, flexibility and variety in their work so much that they are willing to trade security for independence. They are also more likely to build and nurture professional networks that last. And because they have to be more sensitive to the winds of the market and continuously adapt to their clients, they also hedge themselves from becoming entirely irrelevant and unemployed. Research suggests that countries and companies with more flexible work cultures are more innovative and creative. The career path should also adapt to this new world order. Only the innovative will survive. – Insead Business School
How do you explore opportunities and grow in your portfolio career? Follow this blog to learn more next week!