A successful businessman today has good business savvy and knows how to build strong relationships.
For my contribution to this book, I wanted to focus in on how the job market has changed and also how the recession has influenced the job market this time around more than any other time in our history. Since I live in the United States, this is where the focus of my contribution will be.
During the early part of the 20th century there was a large influx of Europeans into the United States. Many of them brought their work ethic with them. In the home villages, they often put their wares on pushcarts and walked the streets selling them. In America, they would take their wares and put it on pushcarts and sell it on street corners.
For those who went to work for companies, they want loyal employees because they wanted to work, and so the employees would often work for free until the owner was able to pay them a salary. For their loyalty, they were rewarded by having a job for life and so they were usually willing to work for that company until they decided to retire. Often these small companies grew to become large companies and in some cases corporations.
The first generation born in this country, fought during World War II, when their country asked them to fight for freedom. After the war, this generation went to work for the corporations. They started at the bottom and worked their way up into management. After 25 years they were given a retirement party and a gold watch for their loyalty. Their children were known as the baby boomer generation.
When they were in school getting an education, schools and parents, encouraged the students to go to work for the Corporation, which many did. But after 15 or 20 years, during the 1990s, many corporations had merged, and had multiple people performing similar jobs, so they needed to cut the workforce. Some offered buyout packages, because until then, when you went to work for the Corporation it was an unwritten rule, that an individual had a contract or life. Today if you go to work for the Corporation, your job expectancy may be five years or less.
Working for a corporation is a great way to learn a job ethic and then take the skills and apply it to building your own business.
Not only has the job market changed with the new century, but the work ethic has changed as well. Employees are no longer loyal to a company; therefore, the company is no longer loyal to the employee. Generation X., generation Nexter, and the millennial generation, need to consider alternative methods of finding gainful employment. Looking for the typical job working for the same corporation all your life, no longer exists.
During this current economic downturn, I have noted many more cultural changes taking place. Many companies, in order to cut expenses, are renting a smaller office space and hiring people to work from home. This allows the individual more flexi time and reduces operating costs for the company.
Another major cultural change that has taken place in the last century, is in regards to the way that much business is done today. When the Europeans first came to the US, they took their wares and sold them on street corners, but today business owners have websites (or e-commerce store fronts) that they load pictures of their wares on and sell internationally as well as locally.
These cultural changes have brought about changes to job titles. A secretary who worked in an office as an executive assistant, today works from home as a virtual assistant. A graphic designer today is also a web designer and a sales executive a Freelance Consultant.
When I am working with clients, I often encourage them to think about their passions and personal interests and how they can build them into a high paying income for themselves.
When I have asked clients this question, “If you could do anything you love to do and earn an income doing it, what would it be?” Many have an immediate answer, but they just don't know how to put together a strategic plan and build it into a business.
The future promises further cultural change, with the strong possibility of more people consciously choosing to work from home and instead of working for just one company in an office, why not choose to work for multiple companies.
Just because a company may not be willing to pay you the salary you want, they may be willing to pay you more money for less hours under this type of arrangement and working for multiple companies can subsequently provide you with better quality of life and a higher income.
I believe, that as children, we are good at coming up with many ideas, but education often teaches us to conform and listen to authority, so we lose our creativity as adults, therefore, we lose the ability to think outside the box when it comes to being creative about employment.
To summarise, these are my lessons learned during the recession:
• Be more creative when it comes to employment and learn to think outside the box.
• Do not be frightened to incorporate technology into your business.
• Think about having multiple streams of income.
• Think about alternative methods of financing your business.
• Use the need to change as an opportunity to think about what you have a passion for and how you can build it into a high-paying income.
• Build a mentor group around you, so that you can bounce ideas off them when growing your business.
• Since so many people are solo-preneurs today, why not use each other as a resource to outsource your business needs so that you are not wearing all the hats at the same time?
To tie all of this together one needs to learn to become adapted to their environment because it is always changing, just like the workplace is constantly changing. Jobs that existed 10 years ago don't exist today, jobs that exist today didn't exist 10 years ago, and there will be jobs in the future that haven't been invented yet. I came across an article that talked about how the job market has changed and how many jobs have gone overseas and these jobs have been lost to America forever. Part of the reason is because the unions out price the job market, but it's also because third world countries are becoming more educated and technology savvy, so they are able to fill positions that home grown employees are unable to do.