2011 Career Predictions: What It Means For Us

I wrote about my career predictions yesterday… here’s what it means for us, individually:

>> The economy is going to continue to be in the toilet, despite any reports otherwise.  There will be too many job seekers, too many laid off people, and way too much age discrimination.

In 2010 we heard the ratio was five job seekers for every job posted (which, as we all know, doesn’t mean they were real jobs).

If this continues then we have 4 out of 5 of every job seeker that simply won’t get a traditional job.  SO MAYBE IT IS TIME TO STOP LOOKING FOR THE TRADITIONAL JOB?

Maybe it’s time to look for something else. I wrote about this in my first post for 2011: The Job Search Rabbit Hole, where I talk about how perhaps we are down the wrong rabbit hole… !

>> I don’t think employers are going to hire normal employees like they have because it is so expensive.  Between healthcare, benefits, etc. it is just too expensive.

I don’t see this changing, ever. We’re headed down a bad path. This does present opportunity, though.  Look at how the so-called beltway bandits operate in the D.C. area.  It’s too hard to hire new federal employees, so companies have started to fill the gaps and the owners can make a ton of money off of the inefficiencies of the federal government (and their employees make very good money, too).

Maybe that “traditional job” needs to be replaced by owning a company, whether you have employees or not (in which case you’d simply be a contractor/freelancer).

>> I think we’ll see a lot more people go the freelancer/contractor route, as well as try their hand at a business idea.

Two thoughts:

First, get started now, learn what you need to, refine your pitch and product and get the wrinkles ironed out.  When the opportunity comes you’ll be better prepared than if you have to hustle down to get your business license, etc.

Second, if you have experience with this, perhaps there will be a lot of opportunity to help others navigate this water.  In other words, there will be opportunity to be a consultant to new consultants and freelancers.

>> And maybe more of the deinstitutionalization of the corporate structure, as we know it.

What I mean by this is that companies will continue to change.  This change is painful for us, but it is a necessary part of business evolution.  When some kid from Harvard can make a simple website that has a market cap bigger than many Fortune 500 companies, and is poised to control the world (Facebook), and two dudes from Stanford can turn the way business is done upsidedown (Google), with very little investment and no manufacturing needs/issues (inventory, low margins, etc.), things have to change.

If indeed the world is changing, what does that mean for companies – how are they going to change?  And how do those changes impact us?

I think it means we all need to act more like CEO of Me, Inc. and less like Employee #134982342.  We have to be more aware of our surroundings and more in control of how we act on opportunities.

We can’t rest once we land a job.  We must continue to be vigilent, continue to network, continue to work on our brand, etc.

2011 is a year of intense career management.

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