Dear Matt: I’m tired of the grind of the Monday to Friday 9-to-5 job. I would really like to go out on my own as a consultant/freelancer, but am not sure how to make it work. Is there a market for this type of worker, and how do I go about doing it?
Matt says: Tim Arnold, CEO of Fyre (getfyre.com), a cloud-based recruiting tool, called 2015 the rise of the “gig” workforce. “There will be growth in short-term, nontraditional work,” says Arnold. Ron McGowan, author of “How to Find Work in the 21st Century” (howtofindwork.ca), says: “The era of the traditional job, and all the stability that came with, is over.”
Full-time salaried jobs are on the decline and contract, freelance, consulting jobs — whatever you may call them — are here to stay, says Twin Cities-based career coach, trainer and speaker Catherine Byers Breet.
“You simply cannot afford to ignore contract work,” she says.
Want to learn more or how to make it work as a consultant? Then check out the workshop Breet is putting on, titled “Free Agent Nation: Contracting is all the rage, but will it work for you?” This free event takes place Tuesday, April 28 from 6-8 p.m. at International Market Square in Minneapolis. Learn more or register at arbez.com/freeagentnation.
“In the new world of work, every job is temporary,” says Breet. “Contracting can be a great way to keep your skills sharp and take control of your future. I know full-time employment feels a lot more secure, but it really isn’t. Look around you. Talk to the people around you about how they got let go from their last employer. It’s not usually very pretty. As a contractor, your expectations are that your job will end. You’re prepared for it and you’re taking charge of your career and always looking for that next opportunity.”
It’s not nearly as scary as you think, says Breet. Those points and more will be discussed in her workshop in a segment called “10 reasons companies use contractors”. Among them: The company doesn’t know how to do the work, so they need an outside consultant to complete it for them; they don’t have the budget to hire someone full-time; they need someone to manage a quick, one-time project; they want to try before they buy to make sure the contractor is the right fit.
The list goes on.
Consulting does come with challenges: the lack of a steady paycheck and concerns about benefits and retirement are what keep most people from making the move. Breet will cover this and other key challenges, including how to get paid what you’re worth and much more. After all, she’s been a consultant since 1997.
“You just might love the lifestyle and opportunity that comes to you through being a free agent. I know I do,” says Breet. “Variety, innovation, exposure — and a confidence that I am in control of my own destiny.”
Contact Matt at email@example.com.