I loved this picture even though it only represents men! When I started to write about careers in the 1970’s we were already saying that the average worker was likely to have at least 4 jobs before retirement. That was well before this century when we now have portfolio careers, huge increase in self employment, the gig economy and all generations – espeially millenials and the 60+ – creating a portfolio lifestyle for themselves. See my earlier blog on this.
A further 25 % said they predicted 30 % or more of their workforce would be contingent workers by 2020.
The growing use of gig economy workers is down to strategic reasons beyond cost control and filling temporary posts, said Tony Steadman, principal in EY’s People Advisory Services. “The survey responses suggest that organisations are welcoming gig workers as a part of their growth and change management strategies. The gig economy looks very different to the traditional picture of seasonal workers or workers who provide common services to consumers.”
Key reasons cited by employers for turning to contingent workers included: using expertise beyond the capability of the existing workforce (56 per cent); helping to control labour costs (55 per cent); helping to overcome resistance to change within the organisation (50 per cent); and season work requirements (42 per cent).
Part of my portfolio career is chairing the Quality in Career Standards Consortium QiCS. Our job is to encourage schools and colleges to apply for a Careers Quality Award and we ensure that the 12 organisations who can give out these awards are indeed qualified to do so. I cannot but think back to when I wrote the first book on careers education in schools in 1972. The world of work looked very simple then compared to today. And I have a genuine concern that more than ever now youngsters need to he aware of the huge range of work and career lifestyles that are available to them and to realise that for the rest of their lives they will always have alternatives and that they in theory at least can continue to reinvent themselves and their style of living.
The future of work is constantly changing and in so doing is contributing towards nothing less than a new industrial revolution but this one will take a fraction of the time that the previous one took to get established and this in turn will be succeeded by the next one that will be very different again.
Welcome to the world of portfolio living! Again!