Friday, December 14, 2007

A Future View of Work: A Generational Perspective

I like to read "futurism" stuff. Penelope Trunk, at the Brazen Careerist, provides a "future" look work. I found it very interesting, especially given the Gen Y view of how work may change. I happen to think many of these will predictions will come to be. The one I think will be most difficult will be "everyone becoming a consultant." I think labor and employment law will be a big roadblock, as well as the influence of unions. The idea of working for yourself is great until you need a steady paycheck, holidays, overtime, vacations, etc. and no one is providing these to you. As a consultant, you don't work, you don't get paid. Most people can't handle that and would cry "foul" if suddenly employers started treating them that way.

Anyway, read her predictions and tell me (and her) your opinions. I encourage you to leave a comment here.


Fun&Glory said...

Another great post Mike. After 5 years as an independent contractor, I took a full-time job at a large media company. I see a trend toward replacing employees with freelance personnel - hiring specialists to complete a job within a certain term. This move saves money in benefits and allows the company to hire people who keep customers happy.

Funny though that the company rarely replaces senior management with freelancers.

On a related note - What would's Dr Kersten do?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for linking to Brazen Careerist. Re consultants: I think there are some fundamental shifts in employee attitutes toward those roadblocks you cite.

For example, many of today's employees see vacation time that companies give as a joke -- it's too short and people work during vacation anyway. So the best vacations are in between jobs, when they can be as long as you want and you don't have any work to distract you.

In this sense, consultants get the best vacation time, not staff employees.

Here's a post I wrote on this topic:

Penelope Trunk