NOTE FROM DR. WAYNE BAKER—This week, we’re spanning generations and perspectives in welcoming guest writers Kathy Macdonald, president of The Macdonald Group with four decades of helping organizations through changes, and Miles Grofsorean, a junior at the University of Michigan, facing career decisions that will shape his working life for decades to come. We will all have fun this week as they show us some very creative ideas from entrepreneurs. Here is their first column …
Microsoft just announced 18,000 layoffs, about 14% of its full-time workforce. It wasn’t long ago that a high-tech job at a place like Microsoft was the ticket to a secure future for hopeful Millennial men and women—not unlike how Boomers once imagined a job at one of the big domestic auto companies several decades ago. For a growing number of workers, the Fortune 500 no longer holds much appeal in terms of long-term job security.
When Daniel Pink described the start of this revolution in his still-popular book, Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself, he advised readers: The job-hopping, tech-savvy, self-reliant, independent worker is transforming America as these workers choose to sell their services individually or in creative new businesses. Many of these “free agents” are providing goods and services that earlier generations earlier could not have imagined.
“Power is devolving from the organization to the individual. The individual, not the organization, has become the economy’s fundamental unit,” Pink wrote.
The turmoil of this past recession has only sped up this transformation. For many, finding employment has become increasingly difficult. More and more people have shifted from finding a job to banding together and creating one. This is a trend found across generations from the Boomers who have given up looking for work to Millennials who have found entry-level jobs too few and too competitive—and are shunning the corporate world in favor of creating their own new ventures.
These new Free Agents are everywhere. Check out the local strip malls or the second floor offices on any Main Street in America. They work from home, they work in shared office spaces, and of course, in your local coffee shop.
What evidence have you seen of these new ventures in your area? Have you started one? Tell us about it.
Join us all this week as we take a look at these new ventures. We’ll look at three types: the serviceable, the seductive, and the supportive.
Each day we will ask you to judge: Are you interested in these ideas? Will they make it? Or not?
PLEASE, leave a comment below—and share this series with friends by clicking on the blue “f” Facebook icons or the small envelope shaped email icons. This is a great time to invite friends along for this intriguing series. Tuesday: We’ll show you a cool new bicycle tool—and a high-tech park bench!