An article in the NACD (national association of corporate director newsletter) pointed out that more companies are turning to temporary workers …
“From Wal-Mart to General Motors to PepsiCo., companies are increasingly turning to temporary workers,” reports the Austin Business Journal (July 8, Caldwell). Such temporary workers include freelancers, contract workers, and consultants and represent almost 17 million people who have only thin ties to the companies that pay them. “While hiring is always healthy for an economy,” the Journal states, “the rise in temp and contract work shows that many employers aren’t willing to hire for the long run. The number of temporary workers has jumped more than 50 percent since the recession ended four years ago to nearly 2.7 million.” No other sector has come close in hiring.
These numbers are staggering and in some ways worrisome. But it seems to me there are two sides to this coin. I see a lot of people finding more personal satisfaction in their careers when it’s less “tied” to one badge; they are the fortunate ones who can put together a series of gigs to create a livelihood. They have the time to pick up their kids or to do more creative work, and so on. That said, it is not perfect. A bunch of people are doing way too much free work for very little return, in the hopes that one day momentum will allow them to earn sufficient fees to feed their kids, etc. The people doing TaskRabbit jobs are likely underemployed. (That particular thread I want to chase more..)If you accept that thin ties with organizations are okay (and I do) directly, then what do you take of these numbers? Where do we go next? What does it mean for our careers and our livelihoods to move in this direction?
And if corporate badge has “thin ties” then, I’m wondering where would the correlary “thick ties” come from?
(P.S. You might notice this format is different than other essays I write. As I recently did with another short post, I’m starting to do some short (tumbler-like) posts on the blog. With now over 400,000 people following across all the G+, Twitter, LI, etc platforms, even I can’t keep up with what content I’ve shared where. So I’m going to have a centralized place to post the short observations/insights based on something happening in the news. There’s a new web site / architecture coming soon so you can spot which ideas are more deep communiques, and which are simply sightings of ideas. That new Site rollout is probably a month away. In the meantime, please bear with me…)