The New Age Worker
The days when careers started and ended in retirement with pension packages have all but dissolved.
While this is not a revelation to many of us, it’s the fallout and emerging new norms we all face.
A few moments spent researching industry trends, forecasts, and the brave new world illustrates the need to both understand and react to the realities of the 21st century. While not entirely new, the terms mobile worker, flexible and interim have gone from prognostication to reality.
The recession of 2008 has had a profound impact on the acceleration of these new realities. Tighter budgeting, the volatility of the downturn and prolonged recovery have many employers reluctant to hire full time, but their needs for expertise and specialization remain a corporate necessity.
Did the change begin with the disenfranchised worker who suddenly found their career job was eliminated through merger/acquisition or rightsizing or the realities of a global workforce where competition comes from every corner of the world? Was technology the catalyst? Or perhaps it was a more pragmatic economic view of how today’s corporations remain economically viable. Regardless, two things started to emerge – the experienced worker and the now undermanned corporations struggling to make do with less. Enter the new age workers: skilled, capable, and more than ever wanting to be in charge of their destinies.
Technology has been influential but maybe more as an enabler than a villain. The ability for virtual teams with instant collaboration across any void and access to experienced and diverse workforce has proven to be highly effective. The need isn’t just confined to teams for project work. It has encompassed the individual role, be that as a specialist or generalist where delivering value and timely results are of paramount importance.
Some industry experts suggest that as much as 20+% of the fortune 500 corporations workforce needed will rely on the use of this new age worker. Indeed mission critical initiatives that in the past were only entrusted to the in-house resource are often undertaken by these temporary professionals. This reality is seen at every level from start-up enterprises to the corporate who’s who.
Osborne Interim Management, and now its new sister division Osborne Business Advisors, are a direct reflection of this new norm. Our professionals have extensive skills and experience in delivering value added services to our client base.
This statement comes from MBO Partners – Prediction Number One – One is the New Majority (December 20, 2011): “The US is entering the fast lane on the road to the independent majority. By the year 2020, MBO Partners predicts that 70 million people, more than 50 percent of the private workforce, will be independent. This shift toward a new workforce will accelerate in 2012 as both individuals and organizations embrace new models of work. Flexibility and autonomy are two key drivers of this trend with 74 percent of independents indicating that flexibility is more important than making the most money and 60 percent indicating they always wanted to be their own boss.”
Prediction Number Two – A Growing Demand for Experts and Seasoned Skilled Workers: “The future workforce will largely be made up of experts and seasoned skilled workers, including a greater number of mature workers (those aged 55 and older) starting independent careers based on acquired expertise. Of today’s 16 million career independent workers, seven in ten are experts whose occupation requires specialized training, skills or education, and 40 percent are mature professionals.
Osborne Interim Management and Osborne Business Advisors offer a complete business infrastructure supporting our professionals. Our support services include a process to handle many of the administration functions and Errors and Omission and General Liability insurances. These, along with marketing, system support and collaboration access allows the new age worker the environment and tools necessary to thrive in the new reality.
Managing Principal – Alberta