Say Good-Bye to Company Guy!
Say Good-Bye to Company guy!
Are you ready to fly and leave the corporate nest? Are you ready to cut the ties that bind you to one corporation, one product or service, one manager and one job?
Become a member of the fastest growing segment of the job market – become a free agent.
A revolutionary concept is sweeping America-now referred to as the “Gig Economy.”
During the last two recessions people became fed up with dead end careers, unfulfilling positions, and lack of employer loyalty, political agendas and dysfunctional workplaces. The result of this is a growing number of free agents.
These individuals “are free from the bonds of a large institution and are agents of their own future.” Says Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation.
In the first half of the twentieth century we had the “organizational man.” Typically tethered to a large organization with explicit corporate paternalism, these organizations operated much like parents, taking care of their own. Long gone are the days of Ma Bell.
In the first half of the twenty-first century the new representative figure is the independent worker who operates on his or her own terms, serving multiple clients and customers instead of a single organization.
There are typically three different kinds of free agents: soloists, contractors, and microbusinesses. Each works independently, but has nuances that make their situation unique.
Playing it Solo – The Freelance Artist
The soloist is not necessarily new to the twenty-first century. Artists and writers have worked this way for decades calling themselves “freelancers.”
Freelancers of the past were not free of charge but were often thought of as free of loyalty. In today’s electronic age there is also a new category, workers MIT Professor Tom Malone has dubbed the term e-lancers, as free agents finding gigs through the internet.
Soloists are free agents by design choosing to work independently. Even those who were pushed into this way of working prefer it over being a wage slave. The soloist generally works on shorter term well defined engagements and projects, and enjoys flexibility and a variety of clients.
Contractors – formerly known as “temps”
Temporary or contract employees have become a fixture of the modern economy, especially in large organizations. “Temp,” often viewed as a four letter word is now an area that is growing faster than traditional employment. The skill level and pay of the temporary employee has also changed, especially for white collar positions including roles in accounting and finance.
There is growing popularity for the interim executive, men and women who parachute into a company for six months to save it from disaster and then move on to the next challenge. Agencies and contractors often have good relationships since agencies can keep a contractor busy (when one project wraps up, another one begins) with knowledge of the market and open opportunities.
The Micro Business – exceptionally small by design, but very mighty
Millions of microbusinesses begin and often remain in the home. Half of home based ventures fall into two categories: services (including accounting); and maintenance (including construction and home repair). Microbusinesses are committed to a no-growth policy. The internet and social media is helping spawn new microenterprises where a tiny cluster of people can attain the power, scope and access of a large corporation without sacrificing independence, flexibility, and the joy of being small.
For employers, the use of free-agents gives them the continued advantage of being agile in a rapidly changing marketplace.
It eliminates the fixed cost of a regular full time employee while providing organizations with the advantage of hiring specific expertise necessary at differing times in a company’s growth and development-cycle.
As work continues to become more about both finding meaning and making money, free agents are expanding. For the independent worker, freedom and choice matter more than stability. And being able to define success on your own terms allow for great work satisfaction.
Find your new career, not your new employer!