Jobs in 2020: Freelancing Rules?

Here’s another goodie from Chris Russell… he pointed to this TechCrunch article: The Freelancer Generation: Why Startups And Enterprises Need To Pay Attention.

On Facebook Chris wrote:

“It’s also predicted that by 2020, contingent work (freelancing jobs) will become the dominant form of labor, making up to 50 percent of the labor force. Another interesting stat is that 43 percent of freelancers are Millennials. That’s important to know, because 1 in 3 American workers today are Millenials.”

I was talking to Robert Merrill years ago and he said something like “it won’t be long until we are all 1099 contractors.”  This is a huge shift from the 1900’s when we were full time employees and had some expectation of security, benefits, and a long-term relationship.

To think that our new workforce is going to shift to 1099… the implications!  To me, this means that we are much more likely to change our main income source (previously known as “employer”) with regularity.  Sometimes months. Sometimes years… but nothing will be constant.

It means we will be responsible for our own training, benefits, lifestyles, etc.

Wait… isn’t that already happening for many of us?

I think about a lot of the friends I talk with… they are W2 (full time employees), but many are changing jobs and careers every 2 to 5 years.

Whether you are a full time employee or not, you better start thinking like an independent contractor.  Continue networking, and always keep an eye on the current job landscape.  Continue your education so you can stay relevant, and make sure you know what stories you can use to help others understand your brand.

The alternative is to get really comfortable with an employer and hope they like you for the duration of your career.  I think we all know how that usually ends.