Everyone is in Temporary Jobs

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 - career change, career management, contract negotiation, credit crunch, economics, Employment, unemployment

Everyone is in Temporary Jobs

White Collar Girls Ghost Sign

I spoke to a CV client of ours yesterday, who after sorting out where he wanted to go next, got employed as a contract Project Manager with four weeks. He has been happily self-employed now for 18months

However, he came at me through LinkedIn, asking if we could chat about finding him a permanent job. I wasn’t surprised.

Corporate Career

He had spent a 20 year career in one organisation, been recognised by two CEO’s of FTSE100 companies – his customers – for his excellent delivery. As a consequence, he was personally picked by the CEO of his own FTSE100 employer top take a specific secondment to a company the CEO was a non-executive board director of, to sort out their IT strategy. After 18months on secondment, he thought he was made – but he returned after the dot.com boom. Much as though he talked it up, his last six years of career before our conversation were a series of 12months paper-pushing projects, and not the onward push to the level he thought he should be at. Part of his pressure was that his family was quite young, he had three children all under 10, and his wife had just spent the last 18months converting from a classroom assistant with a degree to a Primary School teacher, and to fund her through this they had increased their mortgage.

I called him and said I would love to meet, but not right now. I gave him three reasons:

  • Now (post Easter/pre summer) is not a good time to look. Most HR departments are focused on graduate recruitment
  • Now (economically) is not a great time to look. If you are earning, keep doing it and keep your head down!

Self Employment:

But its the third reason I create this post for:

If we look at the long term, there will far fewer full time jobs. Corporations will need to become more flexible.

To me, a full time corporate job in ten years time or less will just be an illusion. It will constantly be a question of when they reorganise and by how much you are effected.

In the medium term you would be better filling out your skills to keep you employed, over seeking a full time job

If you think you have a safe and secure permanent job right now, then think again. Even putting aside the current economic downturn, to compete corporations will need to become far more flexible in their ability to deliver, and hence change.

Think I am wrong? On Evan Davies Radio4/BBC News Channel programme “The Bottom Line,” Harriet Green the CEO of Premier Farnell (ex-Arrow) said recently:

Your organisation is too big if you can’t change it around in less than 90days, and ideally 30days.

If a corporation is thinking in 30 to 90 day time-scales, and you think you have a safe corporate job – think again.

Career Management

If you lost your job tomorrow, or at the end of this month, what would you do next? I have said before, if your CV is more than 90days out of date, then it is practically useless.

Good career management is about having at least thought through the “what if” scenarios, and even better having a plan to implement should the call from the HR department be made. In a good career plan, you will have written down a goal that says: I want to be at X point in Y time scale. So if you can do that in your career plan, why can’t the company say: In X years we don’t need Y divisions?

Hence I say, today good career management should have a strand called self employment. Because if you don’t think you are self employed, and working for yourself and your family, I fear soon that whole illusion could be horribly shattered.

Good Luck!

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One Response to “Everyone is in Temporary Jobs”

  1. Everyone is in Temporary Jobs « The 10 Minute Career Solution Says:

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