Thinking of making the jump from employed to self employed? There may be no better time.
Making it to the corner office or C-Suite may no longer be the American dream.
Reports and studies show that the self-employed will grow to 33% of the workforce in the coming years. According to a recent study by Fresh Books offers accounting and invoicing software services designed for self-employed professionals, some 27 million Americans will leave full-time jobs from now through 2020, bringing the total number of self-employed to 42 million. FreshBooks surveyed thousands of self employed and employed persons to form the basis for the report.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) –– which counts self employed workers in different ways–– reported in one count that there were about 9.6 million self-employed workers in 2016—and BLS projects this number to increase to 10.3 million by 2026. That’s a 7.9-percent growth rate, slightly faster than the 7.4-percent rate projected for all workers. Some of this growth is in areas where self employment is more prevalent such as farming, carpentry, hair styling, childcare and real estate agents.
However, there will be significant growth among the self employed in the coming years within the arts, design, entertainment, sports and media industries, with 25 percent of jobs in these occupations are projected to be for self-employed workers in 2026, the highest concentration of any group says BLS.
Opportunity for the self employed is clearly growing, but what about the desire to hire yourself? Well, that’s on the rise too as a a genuine mind shift is occurring within the ranks of the traditionally employed.
What’s Driving This Mind Shift?
Along with this new way of thinking, employees – especially those in large corporations – are experiencing problems at work that have always been present, but have now mushroomed to the point of exasperation. Here are a few common refrains:
• I am doing twice the work that I did before, and I’m getting the same pay.
• My department has lost people, and they’re not being replaced. Management is making us pick up the slack. I can’t get my real work done because I’m saddled with non-essential things such as team-building exercises, management seminars, endless meetings, and other, politically-driven nonsense.
- It’s difficult to be really productive when operating systems and procedures are constantly changing. Just as soon as I get used to a system, and can be productive with it, the process changes.
Lack of Productivity: Lack of productivity in core businesses often leads to non-competitiveness in the marketplace, and that leads companies to seek profits from acquisitions, or by selling off parts of the corporation, which tends to make the entity even larger and less nimble.
Office Politics: Big corporations get the rap for this problem, but in my experience, it’s present in smaller organizations as well. I have worked for organizations with less than 30 people in which office politics drastically affected productivity and growth. In mega-companies, office politics just becomes more prevalent.
Unrealistic Work Goals: The growing trend in the corporate sector is to grow LEANLY, which – in the new workplace – sometimes translates into making do with fewer people. People who leave are not replaced, and the remaining team members are asked to carry increasingly larger burdens, often reducing work quality and employee satisfaction.
High Turnover/Constant Change: In my discussions with corporate employees, many report that they feel frustrated and unproductive with frequent changes in managers and/or management policy, work practices, IT systems, and other aspects of daily work life.
The Self Employed Life Is Looking More Attractive To More Workers.
From conversations with those seeking advice and insights into the self employed life, it’s become apparent–– to me, at least–– that the traditional employed life has given up some of the advantages it once held over self employment. Among these are:
1- Job Security: This perk has been declining in American industry since the 1970s and pretty much went out the window during the Great Recession. One of the popular arguments against self employment was “lack of security”. Workers are realizing in greater numbers than ever before that you are more secure when you employ yourself.
2- Health Plans, Pensions, Benefits: These perks of the traditional employed life are on also on the decline. While Health Plans are still available, employers are doing what they can to reduce this cost by hiring more part-time employees, shifting to alternative plans in which the employees pay more in to the plan. As for pensions and retirement plans, these aren’t what they were 40 years ago, but they are still many employers matching employee contributions.
3- Flexibility & Life Quality: This is one of the biggest factors driving new interest in self employment. There are legions of 1099ers out there who realized that they could work from home or set their own hours working in a gig environment and earn as much, and in some cases more, than they made as employees.
It seems like forces are aligning to make the time ripe for taking the leap from serf to lord of your own lair.
Need some guidance and direction as you plan your own enterprise. Check out NEVER WORK A DAY IN YOUR LIFE! This handy go-to-guide provides a concise, step-by-step introduction to self employment.