2014 – Make it Happy!

Happy New Year and here’s wishing you a wonderful 2014!  A New Year brings new predictions. And, with all that’s changing in the workforce, there are many predictions to go along with the changes.  Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk recently posted the following and we think he hits the nail on the head.  Take a look……

Disrupting Employment: The Career Trends for 2014

Work is no longer a place. If there’s a phrase that sums up 2013’s work trends, that’s it. Technology is rapidly democratizing where and when we work, and even who we work for. To see rapid disruption in our expectations of what employment looks like, you have only to recall the backlash that Yahoo’s work from home ban caused in February 2013. Imagine similar pushback a generation ago over being brought back into an office… it wouldn’t have happened.

So what’s next? As the way we work continues to change, I believe we’ll see these five trends in 2014:

1. Freelancers will gain recognition as a segment of the workforce

The growing community of freelancers has been relatively hidden given outdated government practices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report does not capture freelancers as part of our workforce. Yet MBO Partners research shows that there are 17.7 million independent workers in the U.S., accounting for $1.17 trillion in income! We must support this massive community by updating how we officially measure employment. Counting workers based on a work setup that’s disappearing is cheating everyone involved. To borrow a suggestion from Sara Horowitz of the Freelancers Union: “Instead of focusing on whether someone’s job is full-time or part-time, how about asking if they have enough work to sustain a life?” Recognizing freelancers will help build out better support infrastructure, such as freelancer group insurance plans. It will also ensure accurate employment numbers, delivering more precise profiles of overall economic growth and strength — vital statistics that influence policy decisions from the national to the local level.

2. The teams of the future will be like movie crews

We’ll see a shift away from hiring for rigid full-time roles, and towards hiring for dynamic projects. This shift will free organizations to choose team members based on the results they can deliver for a specific, urgent need, rather than speculating on general fit for a larger, more nebulous role. Said another way, results-driven hiring will become the new norm — thus the creation of sites like GitHub, which shows developers’ code samples as proof of the results they can deliver. Teams will come together like a movie crew, in order to deliver on a project. Each person will bring their specialized skills to bear and, once the “movie” is complete, will move on to their next project.

3. Voluntary job quitters will abound

This year we surveyed freelancers who were still also at “regular” jobs and 72% said that they wanted to quit to go independent. Why? Freedom and flexibility are bigger motivations for people today. Millennials especially prefer working where and want they want, plus on issues that will help change the world. They opt for jobs that offer these things over higher compensation even. Similar to how social media empowered consumers versus companies, technology (especially the Internet) is now empowering professionals versus restrictive employment. 2013 really was the year that freedom became table stakes for workers. You only have to look at the backlash Yahoo’s work from home ban caused to see this in action. According to future of work expert Jacob Morgan, “Freedom has become such a competitive advantage that, moving forward, professionals will hold majority voting power on flexible work policies. If companies don’t listen to their vote, many will eventually quit.”

4. We’ll reinvest in being people-focused, rather than tech-focused

In 2014, we’ll see reinvestment in the people-powered side of tackling our business challenges. Fancy automation, high-octane software and big data only get you so far without help. Now that we have our software and databases, what do we do with them? Those who combine programming expertise with data science proficiency are going to have golden tickets. And beyond big business challenges, people have many other needs for which they’ll seek expertise. As we move towards a new balance of technological and human capital, we’ll see more opportunities for people to turn their brainpower into capital. A perfect example of this is the recent launch of Google Helpouts, which claims to offer live help from experts on pretty much any topic at any time.

5. Careers will launch virtually

An Accenture survey found that 41% of recent college graduates were underemployed, and almost 63% said they’ll need more training to get the job that they really want. Many students try desperately to find internships in order to gain a job market advantage, often willing to work for experience rather than money (remember the backlash over this infamous search for an unpaid intern?). Now, imagine that students can tap into paid job opportunities via the Internet and craft their own internships by freelancing. “Virtual internships” are a growing reality. Millennials — the professionals of the future — will turn to virtual jobs rather than hunting through competitive, slapshot local options. Or as Dan Schawbel, New York Times best-selling author of Promote Yourself puts it, “Freelancing enables Millennials to cultivate their skills with meaningful work. The result is that, by the time they grab that diploma, they will already have a resume of experience that helps jumpstart their careers.”

You my find the full LinkedIn posting here    So…..what do you think?  Do you agree with Gary’s predictions?

We do.