How many jobs have you had in your lifetime?
… For how many companies and in which industries? You might have had a series of jobs and also been a self-employed consultant and a business owner.
The industrial revolution ushered in a concept of the ‘company man’ where you worked hard, kept your head down and gradually got promoted. If you moved jobs too often you could sabotage your career.
Now we’re in a situation where most of us have no choice but to periodically change jobs, industries and keep our options open.
Many of today’s jobs simply won’t exist in the future.
We’re all very aware of this phenomenon now, and we can’t reverse technology, or force companies to go back in time.
The question is, what can we do about it?
The only rational response is to nurture skills and strategies that are likely to work in any job environment. Fortunately, due to the internet, there has never been a better time to achieve this objective.
There was a time where someone with a full-time job dreamed of starting their own business, but struggled to find the time and/or money to do it. Now, an internet business can be started in an afternoon.
Likewise, many people who start their own business regret it, when they work out their new hourly rate, sunk capital and a negative work/life balance.
It’s common for people to be an employee, consultant and business owner at different times of their life, and in different orders. This is a trend that is likely to continue and become more common.
A 3 pronged strategy:
We can assume that in the future, it’s very likely that we will all be an employee, self-employed consultant and business owner. Age and experience don’t seem to matter, as the recent downturn has shown us. With shorter work tenures, delayed retirements and job roles becoming automated, we need to be pro-active.
The hardest thing when trying to start a business, is the setting up phase, the feeling that we’re starting from scratch. The excitement soon turns to fear as we run out of financial runway.
The hardest thing about being a self-employed consultant is staying busy and avoiding big, unintended breaks. The second hardest thing is convincing your next client.
The hardest thing about being an employee is a lack of control over your career trajectory. Office politics, nepotism and psychopathic bosses can suck the life out of you.
So, right now, we can get ahead of the curve, and our future competition. We can start to cultivate 3 future personas and portfolios:
- The employee portfolio includes your updated resume/CV, your LinkedIn profile, and letters of recommendation from past employers or clients. This is the ‘career 101’ step that most people neglect until they suddenly find themselves out of work. For example, they go to their favourite ex-boss and find that they no longer work at the organisation.
- The personal blog and social media profile portfolio is professional and has articles posted about hobbies, pass-times and issues that are important to you. Whether you love art, golf or cooking, this blog is an expression of your personality and character. It could also morph into a full-time business.
- Your future company website and social media portfolio contains information, videos or Podcasts that cover your professional expertise. You can demonstrate your credentials as an expert, and sow seeds of a stand-alone company. A new company in an industry that you already know, is infinitely more likely to succeed than jumping into something that you have no experience of.
These 3 portfolios will grow and mature over time. Whether your future career involves consulting, or a new business venture, you’ll never have to start from scratch. As each portfolio ages, you’ll see more followers on social media, and higher traffic from the search engines.
There will be no minimum or maximum number of hours that you will need to put into these projects, little and often works well. At any time, your current career will be bolstered by your online presence as a passionate and authoritative expert, who is happy to share and help others.
3 Real life examples:
After a distinguished military career as a Marine involved in special ops, Eric Roth entered the oil and gas industry. He earned an MSc at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University, and rose to serve as Head or Lead QHSSE Engineer for some of the world’s top oil and gas companies. Whilst over-delivering at work, he also spent time working with the IADC as committee chair.
Eric had a dream of entrepreneurship while pursuing a successful career in oil and gas spanning almost 2 decades. He felt that he could provide maximum value to the world at the helm, after training others to maintain a safe ‘engine room’.
He registered a couple of domains in 2014 and has been quietly building websites, content and an online presence for his future companies. Now, he’s made the jump and has hit the ground running with https://rigintegrity.com/ and https://senergyconsultants.com/.
Eric landed his first contract within a week of giving notice at his employed position. A training video course will be released shortly, because all the heavy lifting in creating the online presence was done in advance.
The Munro family have been involved in the safety and work clothing business, operating in Texas for 80 years. Josh decided to step out on his own and create https://www.FROutlet.com/. FROutlet is in direct competition with the family business, which might seem surprising at first glance.
FROutlet is an e-commerce store, selling fire resistant clothing, work boots and so on. Why did Josh do this, and why are his family OK with the competition? When someone searches in the search engines for “FR Clothing” how many results come up? Roughly 10 right? This means that there is room for 2 Munro family websites so this isn’t zero sum, as every result gets some of the clicks.
Another benefit, is that the higher sales volume allows purchasing discounts, and special marketing deals such as one just agreed with Ariat International.
Is one of the most respected well cementing experts in the world. He, like hundreds of thousands of other people in the oil and gas business lost his contract unexpectedly during the downturn of 2015/16. Lenin saw this event as an opportunity and potential benefit to him, and others that he could reach.
There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many days in a week, and if you’re a head consultant working in places such as Mexico, Iraq and Kurdistan, the schedule is busy. One of the most rewarding parts of Lenin’s job was when he taught others. After each contract, he gifted his team with a complete manual that he created during the project, showing solutions to all the local problems faced.
The sudden loss of contract meant that Lenin was able to create a website, and teach anyone that wanted to learn about cementing. Rather than passing knowledge to a small team, he could pass it to the world. Not everyone cares about fluids and cementing, but those who do find a treasure trove of information at http://better-cementing-for-all.org/.
This cementing website has now directly lead to new income opportunities for Lenin, although it was created mainly as a teaching tool.
You may be employed, self-employed, a business owner or unemployed. Thanks to the internet you can get started right away on your future business, consulting website, non-profit organisation, or anything else that inspires you!