By Brett Fox at www.brettjfox.com
The world has changed seemingly overnight.
Forget it. That’s a thing of the past.
The idea of lifetime employment is gone forever. Less than 10% of all companies in Japan (a country where lifetime employment used to be the norm) offer lifetime employment.
A person starting their career today can expect to change careers seven times. Seven times!
I can’t even think of what life will be like for Avery when she grows up.
I just know it will be different. A lot different.
The concept of working for one company your whole career is long gone.
You graduate from college and get a job. Then you expect to rise the company ladder to the top. Or, at the very least, you expect to have a stable career until you retire.
That was the American dream, and that dream is gone.
You already know this, don’t you?
You’ve likely already changed jobs at least once if you’ve been in the workforce for more than five years. Many people have changed jobs two or three times already by the time they are 25.
There are two things going on here:
- Many employees are no longer happy just climbing the company ladder.
- Companies are getting leaner and leaner as they become more efficient.
Many employees are no longer happy just climbing the company ladder.
I saw this every day while interviewing people for my company. The young people I intereviewed wanted more than the status quo:
- More responsibility
- More authority
- More meaning in their work
No more, “Just wait your turn.” They want it now.
Companies are getting leaner and leaner as they become more efficient.
The Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 ushered in a new era for employers. Employers were forced to cut costs in order to maintain profitability or just survive.
Budget cuts were a necessary evil, and many employees were laid off as a result.
Add in the efficiencies brought in by the internet and increased computing power, and you have a new normal:
Employers realized they didn’t need as many employees to get the job done.
Many of the unemployed are adapting to the changing landscape by reinventing themselves. It’s a matter of survival for them.
Enter The Helping Economy: Your success and survival will depend upon your ability to help people.
Avery is turning eleven. She’ll be entering the workforce in eleven years or so.
Blossom and I wonder what the world will look like in eleven years.
The answer is no one really knows. We just know it will be different than today.
And like all parents we just want our daughter to be happy and fulfilled.
How will Avery be happy and fullfilled? How will you be happy and fullfilled?
There are two trends we can likely expect to keep accelerating:
- Companies will continue becoming more efficient.
- Workers will continue changing jobs at a rapid rate.
What does this mean for employees?
You are changing jobs every two or three years. You only have your reputation and your ability to help the people you work with.
You need to be thinking about helping people first and yourself second.
Here’s the hard part: you help people with no expecations at all of anything coming back to you.
This is a massive leap of faith to take.
But, when you take it, you set yourself free, and you allow abundance into your life.
I know. This sounds absolutely crazy.
It just can’t work. You just help people giving away your expertise and expect nothing in return.
Yes you can, and you must.
You will be a solopreneur working for yourself and being paid by others for your work.
Why is someone going to hire you? Because you can help them.
Now, this is no different than its always been. Employers have always hired employees because the employee can help them.
The increasing instability of employment changes the equation:
- There will be less full-time jobs, so…
- There will be more consulting jobs, so…
- You have to actively show people how you can help them.
The fundamental change is you have to put the people you work with first and yourself second.
Those who put other people first will thrive in the helping economy.
The old paradigm versus the new paradigm
It used to be, “Hire me, and I’ll show you what to do.” Just nail the interview and you’re hired.
The shift taking place is solopreneurs are helping their prospective employers before they are hired.
Yes, I know there is the risk of being exploited. I view this interaction between employers and employees as healthy and self-correcting.
It’s good for employees:
Let’s say you help your prospective employer and they take your knowledge without ever having the intention of hiring you. This is good for you because you wouldn’t want to work for an employer like that anyway.
On the other hand, your employer knows exactly how you can help and hires you because you have already demostrated value to the company.
It’s good for employers:
There’s less risk in the hiring process. You know the employee can help the company because the employee has already demonstrated it.
The more certainty employers and employees have the better.
I hear you saying, "Well of course it’s good for employers because they are getting free information and free assistance."
Yes employers are getting free information and free assistance, and yes, there is some will exploit employees. There are two reasons good employers will not do this:
- It is so hard to find good employees. I don’t care what your profession is. You will be in demand if you are good. Employers know this. Giving away your ideas only makes you more desirable.
- Good ideas are tough to come by, but the implementation of good ideas is even more difficult. Let’s say you give ideas of how a company can improve in a certain area because you are expert in that area. The company would have already implemented these ideas if they knew how. The company requires your expertise to implement the ideas.
Yes, it requires a change in mindset. Yes, it requires you taking a leap of faith. Those that take the leap of faith will be richly rewarded.
Avery, I hope you take the leap of faith in eleven years. For now, happy birthday! I love you!
Like what you read? Click here to get my best business, marketing, career, and financial guidance.