Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The New Normal

It's been a while since I've gotten around to making a new post. My excuse is that I have been busy, which is good news.

I just read a piece that said that the average job search is taking 2.5 weeks per 10K of income (i.e. 100K salary = 25 week search). It seems to me that I heard that you should plan a month per 10K of income for your job search but either way, the point is that someone with a $100K salary can expect to spend 25-40 weeks in a job search mode. If the average job lasts for 3 years, it means that 17-28% of your time will be spent in transition.

This is probably not news for the close to 10% of Americans who are unemployed at this minute, but it raises an interesting question about the future of work in America. Having spent the last six years as a consultant, my reality is that I am always looking for work. In the initial years, I probably spent more than 28% of my time looking for clients and my goal is to reduce the percent of business development hours spent each month without reducing the amount of client projects I have in my pipeline.

As an employee, if I lose my job, i generally lose 100% of my income. As a consultant, I can give my self a 20% raise any time I can bill 20% more hours in a month. Which scenario appears more secure? The idea of a safe and secure job is increasingly becoming a myth in corporate America. We have seen many mighty corporate icons fall over the last year. How does that bode for the future? From my view, it is likely to evolve to a great share of the workforce pursuing free agent employment or entrepreneurial ventures. The American workforce is likely to become more creative, more inventive and more resilient over time which will improve our global competitiveness. The new normal is to be always seeking new opportunities.