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Three ways to Prepare for the New Working World

s has long been predicted by leading industry analysts, the contingent workforce has shifted and expanded significantly over recent years and looks set to continue its growth trajectory into the foreseeable future. 

A CareerBuilder survey found that 36 percent of businesses will engage contract or temporary workers in 2012, up from 34 percent for 2011, 30 percent for 2010, and 28 percent for 2009. Areas of demand for staffing and recruiting positions include health care, information technology, clerical, and managerial positions.

The demand is unlikely to be short lived either. Recent research by Mavenlink suggests that the contingent workforce will grow to make up around 40 percent of the entire workforce by 2020.

Economic pressures on companies are a factor in the growth of this workforce with approximately 35% of American firms operating with smaller staffs than before the recession. Hiring temporary workers enables companies to remain agile and meet their demands without the commitment of hiring “permanent” workers.

However, the growth isn’t just employer driven. Many individuals are actively choosing to become project-based, contingent workers in favor of working a traditional job. According to a recent survey conducted by Randstad, 31 percent of workers opt to do contract or temporary work for schedule flexibility, 28 percent do so for better pay, and 21 percent choose to be an independent worker to have autonomy over their own career path. 

In fact, the Randstad survey also showed that 54 percent of contract workers are content with their pay versus 42 percent of permanent employees that state the same, while 61 percent of freelancers surveyed by Elance say they’re actually happier working as independent professionals. If you’re considering becoming an independent worker, here’s some tips on how to compete in the contingent workforce in the future: 

  1. Pay attention to trends in your industry: Don’t just focus on what’s going on in your company, but also find out what’s happening throughout the industry that you work in. A simple way to start doing this is by engaging in specialist online forums and attending events in order to network with other industry mavens. Keeping abreast of the latest trends will enable you to position yourself as a valuable industry expert and a much-coveted resource. 
  2. Develop niche expertise: Having niche expertise helps you stand out in a pool of candidates and increases your chances of being selected for a project-based position. . Having specialized knowledge will benefit the company you’re contracting for because you will be able to help with big projects that need to be delivered on a tight deadline. Engaging in continued education and informal mentoring with your peers will help you to help your future clients solve critical business challenges and help you become invaluable.. 
  3. Learn to market yourself: 25 to 40 percent of workers will eventually work for themselves sometime in their career, and the ones who will be the most successful will be those who have created a strong, personal brand. Think about what makes you better than others in your field who may be competing for the same contract positions as you. Getting involved in social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) and using it effectively to demonstrate your expertise as well as learn new things can help with this process. 

Read the full article from US News here 

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Tags: change, contingent, contractor, contractors, freelancers, growth, independent, jobs, media, social, More…temporary, trends, workers, workforce


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