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July 2017

“Job Security” Is Dead—And That’s A Good Thing

By | Consulting Industry, Professional Development

What We’ll Cover in This Piece:

  • The disappearance of “job security” in the modern professional landscape.
  • The economic factors driving job security away.
  • How all of these forces benefit you.

Related article: Consulting’s $500 Billion Future – And How it Benefits You – Consulting is one the largest industries in the world, and it is growing at one of the fastest rates. There is no better opportunity for professionals like you, you just have to know how to take advantage.

Estimated Time to Read: 5 minutes

Many professionals experience a particular kind of anxiety—a kind of nagging suspicion that their job just isn’t a career in the same way their parents’ were.

They’re right.

A modern professional has almost nothing in common with a professional from fifty years ago.

In previous generations, professionals joined a company in their twenties, and worked there till they retired, taking promotions and raises at regular intervals.

Now, the median 34-year old professional has spent just over three years in their current job.

Our concept of job security is a relic from an age of business that no longer exists. In order to succeed in the current professional landscape, you have to understand why job security is a myth, and how our new economic reality benefits you.

Why “Job Security” As We Knew It Is Over

Job security, as a concept, relies on one fundamental assumption: If a company has room for you now, they will have room for you in the future.

For decades, that was the case. For the modern professional, however, it is completely untrue.

We’ve talked about this before, but companies are shrinking the number of full-time employees on their payroll by using flexible workforce solutions (FWS). Jobs that used to be done by a full-time employee are now done by consultants, whose contracts end as soon as the project is over.

There are many benefits to this model for employers, including:

  • Hiring and onboarding costs are lowered drastically, as staffing firms handle sourcing and contracting consultants for employers.
  • Contracting consultants on an as-needed basis allows companies to be flexible, and aggressive, in their spending and growth.
  • The infrastructure overhead necessary for managing a massive workforce is no longer needed.

No severance packages, no paying salaries for under-utilized employees, and no hiring costs. With all of these incentives, employers have no choice but to use flexible workforce solutions.

This means that virtually all full-time positions are at risk of being replaced. The notion of “job security” no longer exists.

That should make you happy.

Why This Change Should Make You Happy

Professionals who fear the lack of job security in today’s market are looking at their careers wrong.

When you are a full-time employee, you are not secure—you are completely dependent. All of your work comes from one employer, and if that employer ever decides to take away your job, you have to reinvent yourself with a new company.

As an independent consultant, you can receive work from any employer in the world. If one employer doesn’t have work for you at a given moment, another will. As an independent consultant, your only limiting factors are your skills and your time—things you are in complete control of.

You can take as much or as little work as you want, knowing that there are always more projects that need consultants, and because you’re being paid a higher hourly bill rate, you’ll end up making more money.

Less reliance on a single employer, more income overall, and complete control over your career.

That sounds better than “job security.”

You’re A Qualified Consultant Whether You Know It Or Not

As workforces shrink, there are simply fewer and fewer full-time positions left. Everyone is aware of this change, but many professionals are still afraid to make the jump into consulting.

They mistakenly believe that being a consultant means developing an entirely new set of business skills, learning how to advise CEOs of Fortune 100 companies.

The reality is that if you’re a professional, you have skills that translate directly to consulting. There are administrative assistants billing at $75 an hour as consultants—roughly $150,000 a year—because they know their niche and articulate it well.

If you’re a professional, you qualify to be a consultant, you just need to translate your skills into a consulting-friendly resume.

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