Career Advice

Career advice and business insights for those who want to create their own future in today's new emerging economy.


You and I spend the prime of our lives and the prime of our days focused on making a living. What most people fail to recognize is just how much their work plays a significant role in how they feel about themselves and the kind of person they become. What you focus on to make a living is ultimately important to your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.

11996679_shands-between-barsAccording to an ongoing study by Gallup involving over 25 million employees in 195 different countries, only 13% of employees are engaged in their jobs. That means that only one in eight workers feel they are making a positive contribution and are committed to their job and organization. Sixty-three percent of employees are not engaged in their jobs. In other words, they have “checked out.” They are not motivated. They do their jobs, but not with passion and energy. Twenty-four percent of the workforce is actively disengaged. These workers are extremely unhappy at work. They are even hostile to their organizations. There are almost twice as many employees who are actively disengaged as there are employees who are engaged in their jobs. Gallup estimates that the cost of active disengagement within the U.S. alone is between $450 to $550 billion dollars per year.[i]

Businessman ball chainsNow is the best time to plan for your new future. Why waste your career doing something that you can’t really be fully engaged in? I encourage you to determine not to waste the prime of your day and your life somewhere doing something that doesn’t inspire you.

There is another reason you may want to begin to develop and implement a new plan for your future. Companies typically staff up with temps during a recovery and convert them to permanent workers as conditions improve. That hasn’t been happening. According to an article in Forbes written by Elaine Pofeldt, “currently about 20-30% of the workforce in Fortune 100 companies is made up of ‘contingent’ workers: that percentage is expected to swell to 50% by 2020.”[ii] As of 2013, the number of temporary jobs rose more than 50 percent since the recession in 2009.

The use of temporary employees has expanded into all sectors (e.g., lawyers, doctors). U.S., Adecco predicts that the “rate of growth in contingent workers will be 3-4 times the growth rate of traditional jobs and will soon comprise at least 30% or more of the global workforce.”[iii]

Tammy Erickson, in a Harvard Business Review blog article titled “The Rise of the New Contract Worker” cited the benefits of contingent talent:

  • Cost flexibility: companies don’t need to invest in full-time employees.
  • Speed and agility: getting the right talent to meet new needs.
  • Innovation: new knowledge and fresh ideas.

These temporary employment trends are symptomatic of a more basic dynamic. Companies do not last as long. Fortune started tracking Fortune 500 companies in 1955. Of the 500 companies on that list, only 71 were still there in 2008. Also, “a full one-third of the companies listed in the 1979 Fortune 500 had vanished by 1983…”[iv]

It is not certain that this trend toward temporary and contract work will continue. Unless businesses and the economy stabilize, however, this trend will likely continue. One thing is certain. To assume the economic environment will be the same as when our fathers or grandfathers had long-term and even life-time jobs—isn’t wise. It is estimated that workers today between the ages of 21 to 31 will likely have between 12 to 15 jobs.

[i] Crabtree, Steve, “Worldwide, 13% of Employees Are Engaged at Work.” Gallup. Gallup Press, 8 Oct. 2013. Web, 25 Oct. 2014.

[ii] Pofeldt, Elaine, “What You’ll Need to Know to Be the Boss in 2020.” Forbes. Forbes Media LLC, 3 Apr. 2012. Web, Oct. 2014.

[iii]Williams, Ray B., “The End Of Jobs As We Have Known Them.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers LLC, 9 Sep. 2012. Web, Oct. 2014.

[iv] Erickson, Tammy, “The Rise of the New Contract Worker.” Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business Publishing. 7 Sep. 2012. Web, Oct. 2014.


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