A recent article in the Guardian provokes more discussion about the motivation of people doing part time work and setting up their own small businesses. The author, Melanie Stern, writes a fascinating piece about what she labels ‘odd jobbers’ – of which her mum is one. She gives many good examples of people setting up small businesses to develop a desirable work/life blend. She also quotes John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, who points out that between summer 2008 and summer 2011, nearly 27% of the new self-employed moved into “elementary occupations”, or unskilled, intermittent odd-jobbing.
“It’s likely that most would take a job with an employer if only they could find one,” says Philpott. And just what proof does he have of this? He continually talks like he is living in the last century. He just doesn’t get it! We talk more and more about career surfing rather than career planning, looking for projects not jobs and moving in and out of different career patterns depending upon life circumstances. More and more people are realising that it is very dispiriting waiting for someone or the G’ment to find you a job. You need increasingly to create your own whether as self employed or working in an organisation. The huge problem we have with this is that our schools are simply not teaching youngsters about this nor the life skills required to make this happen. And many unions, some employer groups and clearly the CIPD seem to believe that after the current economic ‘blip’ business as usual will return. I not only think they are wrong but hope they are wrong as the new developments will provide more power for people to determine and design their own futures. This is not to underestimate the stresses and pain that many will experience as indeed always happens in times of social transition.
In an earlier post I argued that you now own your own means of production. You can develop them, hire them out, use them to create your business, teach others to use them. Karl Marx would not have recognised this as in his time the factory owned the means of production and you would have been one of the instruments in creating wealth for the factory owners. Today, for very little outlay sometimes, you can be the factory.
So lets here a big cheer for the odd jobbers, the self employed, the part timers, the 5-9 home based businesses and of course for portfolio workers.
And this is my final new photo of which I posted a while back. One homemade photo that worked for years and now too many to choose from!