Trends in the way we work (part 3 of 4)

3.  Multiple sources of income

Partly, this is a result of the previous trend. Partly, this is triggered by the same impatience that makes us switch TV channels one after the other or do five things in the same time.

More and more people move into freelance work, contract work, part time work, project work or all of the above. The result is that there is a little income from here, a little from there, an occasional income from somewhere else. Sometimes it’s a salary, from another project it can be a commission, from a small business it’s a profit. There might be some rent coming in from our first studio. This situation can become hectic in terms of how we work, but it can also allow time for jogging, for reading, for family, much more than what a normal job would allow. In a way, it’s less stable. But it’s also less risky, as not all the eggs are in the same basket.

Some people get to this situation by reducing the time they spend on their regular job, while young people might get into this situation because they simply can’t find a full time job, so they help here and there or they try out an idea.

If you’re a leader and you need to get some work done, don’t think that employing a few more people is the only way to go. Be innovative in your search for talent. Agree on a project result with someone and stick a reward to that project. Don’t promise employment and retirement packages. If there’s someone in your team that you don’t want there in the long run but whom you don’t want to just let go, set up a project based co-operation. It’s a nice way out, that allows them an income while they look for something else.

If you think about yourself, see how this trend sounds like to you. Can you picture yourself in the context described above? Do you feel it would give you wings? Can you afford not to have a stable source of income? Or does this scenario scare you?

Think about it. 10 or 20 years ago, making a decent living like this would not have been easy at all. Now, with the emergence of the service industries and with the explosion of the means to stay in touch, to promote yourself and to add value, it’s doable. But to succeed, you must really be good at something. Whether it’s  graphic design, social media, coaching others on public speaking, business restructuring or what have you, you need to have a strong pillar to be able to benefit from this trend. Contrary to what people are tempted to imagine, you don’t need to be good at 10 things to succeed with this trend, but you need to be unbelievably good at one. And passionate about it. Then projects will come. And with them, joy. And also money.

If you think this is not for you, don’t exclude it entirely from your mind. Your employer might surprise you one day.

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