The international workforce evolution is upon us, and it has been for some time now. In generations past having a career meant that you had one, maybe two jobs that defined your corporate vocation, where you essentially worked your way from the bottom to the top, trying to climb the corporate ladder. Worker for yourself may seem scary at first, but in the grander scheme, becoming a freelancer or independent contractor offers more control, job security, diversified income, and often more varied, intriguing work.
The dynamic has changed, and Generation Y, or the Millennial Generation, is seeking to redefine the workplace trend. Staggering figures report, up to 91% of this generation will only stay loyal to one job for three years or less. Where the Baby Boomers and Generation X worked 30-40 years in one company saving up their 401K, receiving sound benefits throughout the duration of their career until they could cash in on their retirement plan, and maybe even pension.
According to a census reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2015, 15.5 million people in the United States are claiming the status of self-employed, an increase of 1 million since May 2014. It is estimated by the year 2020, more than 40% of the entire American workforce, which equates to 60 million people, will be independent workers, freelancers, contractors, temporary employees, or what many have come to term "contingent workers".
What caused this change?
1. Instable Economic Conditions
The 2008 economic crisis was a pivotal point where we saw this shift in paradigm occur. Jobs people considered safe were taken from them at a moment’s notice, as the recession plummeted in a significant downturn spiral. Departments downsized, hundreds to thousands were laid off and business were forced to restructure financially to stay afloat. This was the eye-opening moment where individuals began to realize the inherent risk working for a business is unlimited; your salary, benefits and sense of security can all be taken from you for any reason and at any time.
2. Corporate Downsizing
Cutbacks, mergers, and consolidations, industries of the future are being bootstrapped looking for various opportunities to minimalize their expenditures. The new tendency is to outsource labor to cheaper, hungrier countries, shrinking the workforce. With the addition of artificial intelligence and automated processes, the demand for certain professions are being reduced and may, one day, be eliminated entirely.
3. Employee Loyalty
Looking out for number one has become the new motto. As with most of this list, this theme stems from the Great Recession. The tragic truth that when employees do not feel valued in the corporate world, whether that be by recognition, compensation or prestige, employees will move on, seeking new opportunities with better conditions elsewhere.
The innovative workplace environment. We all have seen it, the adult playground on the Google campus, also known as the Googleplex, in Silicon Valley, where employees are happy to work endless hours because their environment is comfortable and supports their efforts. Offering such amenities in the workplace such as a communal kitchen, wellness activities, gym memberships, vending machines and team outings promote a sense of community that places value on the employee and promotes their growth. Companies, in order to attract and keep top talent, must revolutionize the workspace to stay competitive.
5. New Platforms
Technology is paving the way for future generations to live a more nomadic lifestyle. With more ways to work remotely than ever before, from devices, apps and ecommerce websites, individuals are more connected and flexible working from virtually anywhere there is an internet connection.
Having a steady stream of clients is one of the biggest obstacles freelancers are faced with. This involves building a business plan, networking, and being able to sell yourself, providing a service or selling a product. The beauty is, there are pipelines fueling independent workers with the projects they need to stay busy. These online marketplaces are focused on a wide variety of industries from web development to graphic designers and journalist, connecting contingent workers with large companies outsourcing talent to fulfill their needs.
7. Co-working Spaces
Working independently can be lonely, lacking the social stimulation that big corporate offices provide. Don’t worry; there is a solution. The increase of popularity of co-working spaces has transformed the way we look at self-employment and the start-up scene. These urban hubs foster a community vibe while also offering the support services like human resources, web consulting and accounting, removing some of the headache having to contract these individuals separately around town.
One of the most notable co-working spaces called WeWork, a company started in 2010 offering common spaces that have a distinct aesthetic and vibe that will inspire teams, large and small. Their motto resonates with Generations Y, that is to create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living. With 19 locations in the United States and an additional 15 workspaces worldwide, WeWork is now valued at $10 billion and continues to expand meeting market demand.
What does the future hold in store?
Talent-matching portals and co-working spaces are only two trends that emerged to support the freelance economy. It won’t end here. In the dynamic globalized digital space, there is no doubt, there will be more products and services popping up acting to connect, support and foster this relatively new means of independent working.
How can GBSB Global Business School help you become a successful entrepreneur working for yourself?
Every successful entrepreneur knows that a great idea is only as good as his/her ability to execute it. Access to accurate research at the right time is often the linchpin to launching a successful business. The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship is an advanced graduate degree that provides students with the tools to acquire the skills and competencies needed for successful entrepreneurship careers in a dynamic, global business environment. It is an exciting program designed to equip students with a specialist understanding of the field of entrepreneurial management.
The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program is not simply a set of different management disciplines, but it focuses on fostering creativity and entrepreneurship skills that are applicable to a variety of industries. Students benefit from GBSB Global Business School professional network, participating in industrial visits, and interacting with professors – experienced entrepreneurs themselves.
Entrepreneurial skills have never been more important and in demand than they are in today’s dynamic world. Companies in Spain, Europe and around the globe need entrepreneurial managers to perform a wide variety of functions in the international marketplace. Multinational firms need people who can anticipate, stimulate, and manage change: this is what the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program is about.
The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program at GBSB Global Business School in Barcelona prepares students to be successful entrepreneurs in a global context, whether it be starting a business, working independently as a contractor, or developing an entrepreneurial project within an existing organization.
Written By Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Content Manager