Posts Tagged ‘griffen o’shaughnessy’

Confessions of an Accidental Free Agent

There is a lot of chatter about the gig economy — independent contractors, self-employed consultants, on-demand workers, e-lancers, high-lancers — and whatever new terms come out tomorrow that describe this shift in the way people are earning a living. It is usually described in the context of highly capable people choosing a different path, intentionally blazing their own trail, and embracing the American entrepreneurial spirit.

I have a confession. I’ve been an independent consultant for seven years now, and I feel like one day I tripped, tumbled down the proverbial rabbit hole, and ended up in freelance wonderland. Here is the ironic part. Most of the work I do involves advising clients on being intentional and structured in the way they drive their business forward. I help them create strategic business and marketing plans to grow in a deliberate and measurable way. But when it comes to my own consulting practice, it began a little less…deliberately.

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The professional on-demand workforce includes all generations

Older, more experienced independent professionals between the ages of 35-55 are the ones most sought-after by today’s businesses for on-demand assignments. This makes sense, given businesses’ emphasis on proven skills and experience (See previous post). Mid-career professionals satisfy this need.

Not only does this arrangement work well for employers, it works well for on-demand consultants as well. A professional woman in this age group is often stressed out by balancing career goals with the challenges of caring for a growing family. On-demand work provides her, too, with a good solution.

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Nearly all U.S. companies use flexible, on-demand talent

In 2015, an impressive 88 percent of U.S. businesses of all sizes relied on on-demand workers as part of their workforce. More than 40 percent of these companies used on-demand professional as more than 30 percent of their overall workforce.

Not only are businesses planning to increase their use of independents in 2016, it appears many of them are already taking advantage of this new class of “free-agent” talent. This may suggest that these independents are proving their worth and are able to integrate well with their full-time counterparts.

The most common reason the surveyed companies gave for using on-demand professionals was increased flexibility. Using on-demand professional talent allows businesses to respond to opportunities with more agility, scaling their workforces as conditions require.

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Stress Rampant in Traditional Workforce

If you suspect that the traditional workforce is more stressful than ever before — especially for women — you are right.

In January, The Huffington Post discussed constantly increasing workplace stress in an article titled The American Workplace Is Broken. Here’s How We Can Start Fixing It.  Here are a few excerpts we thought you might find relevant:

Americans are working longer and harder hours than ever before. Eighty-three percent of workers say they’re stressed about their jobs, nearly 50 percent say work-related stress is interfering with their sleep, and 60 percent use their smartphones to check in with work outside of normal working hours. It’s no wonder that only 13 percent of employees worldwide feel engaged in their occupations.

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By 2025, the #1 place to work could be wherever you are sitting

There is a clear shift shaking up today’s labor force. Technological advances and a growing comfort-level with alternative work arrangements are fundamentally changing how people work.

This trend is not just entrepreneurs leaving the “comforts” of corporate America to build a better mousetrap. It also includes service professionals going out on their own – pursuing intellectual, economic, and personal independence and balance.

Companies are using this on-demand talent at higher levels than ever before. In addition, amenities that serve this freelance national are growing rapidly.

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