The key word is free agency, the idea of working temporary positions as a consultant would and then moving on to the next project without an expectation of long term employment with one company. Spirrison points to younger employers as being most adaptable to this new reality: “Rather than train for one job or industry, the most employable workers of the 21st century must be skilled in mobility and flexibility.” Later in the article, he writes, “The sooner the rest [of us] recognize that (like it or not) we are all hired guns in some capacity, the more fulfilling our careers will be.”
Very few people will work at one company for their whole careers. Most of us change jobs every 3-5 years. Like it or not, we are free agents. The problem with this trend is that, in most cases, the employer holds all the cards. An employee with an extraordinary skill in any industry can command top dollar and write his or her job description. Very few people have that ability.
For most of us, free agency means uncertainty. The best way to address this concern, as Spirrison suggests, is to network so the widest number of people in your industry know what you have to offer. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and join professional groups that are related to your current career. Use the Internet to follow industry news and key player, especially in the city where you work. When you are changing careers, it is vital to learn that new career world and engage in its network. Whether you are hired on a full time or temporary basis, the volatile nature of the economy may make your next job short term. Be ready – and able – to move fast
Postscript: Even if you’re not a tech geek, I recommend reading Spirrison’s columns (link here). We live in a world that is more and more defined by changes in technology. The better we understand those trends, the more we can benefit from them.