arhivă

Arhiva etichetelor: part time work

4.  Influencing as a key skill

If there’s a conclusion from the previous 3 trends, it’s that the days when your job was secure, tightly locked into an org chart, with a clear and stable job description, well, those days are nearly over.

They’re not over if you’re a specialist of some kind, working in a 1,000+ people unit. In those cases, the environment is still reasonably predictable. But in most of the other cases, you’re more or less on your own. The wind of change is blowing harder. Companies are relocating entire production facilities 10,000 miles away. They’re outsourcing what used to be core functions, they’re selling what used to be core businesses. Some companies are splitting up and letting people go, others are merging using Jack Welch’s famous equation in mergers: 1+1 = 1 (which means one GM here, one GM there, one will stay and one will do something else). Some jobs are disappearing and people are offered an alternative that is not always very appealing.

Who will be your promoter, your lawyer, the one who makes sure you get a good deal or a good project or not the worst office? It has got to be you. This is if you’re an employee, at any level. If you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, then all this comes without saying.

Influencing skills have become very important and they will, most likely, only grow in importance. You need to know how to stand up for your rights, how to sell an idea to those who report to you so that they do it properly, how to convince the ones whose signature you need. By influencing I don’t mean playing dirty games, I mean purely knowing what to say, how to say it and who to say it to.

When something happens that you don’t like, you can’t just go hide your feelings inside yourself forever or, on the contrary, explode like a volcano. People can’t read your mind. Take your time, breathe, have some water and prepare your case.

The bad news is that everyone’s got to do it. The good news is everyone can do it, at least to a reasonable level. It’s a skill, which means you can learn it and even master it.

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There are some other trends out there, of course. The key thing is to always be alert, to notice what’s going on and not ignore some signs just because they’re too small. To stay on top, we need to be open to change but clear with what is important to us.

Article written for DoingBusiness.

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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