A desire for independence has long been a foundation of the American culture. The drive to ‘have it our way’ is showing itself in a new way—this time in the professional realm. A recent study by MBO Partners provides stats that confirm the traditional way we think about doing business is being replaced by an economy where people seek fulfillment over a steady paycheck.
According to MBO, 20 million people will classify as independent workers (aka consultants or freelancers who work at least 15 hours a week) by the end of this year. While that bar seems a little low, the trend gives insight into what the future workplace will look like—your home office or managed ecosystems like the one provided by Teqcorner.
Only about 1/3 of respondents say they lost a job. The 4 primary reasons people choose to work for themselves:
- 64% want to control their own schedules
- 62% want more flexibility
- 52% like being their own boss
- 52% want to do what they love
So, what’s really driving this trend? The folks at MBO say lack of traditional jobs and low job satisfaction underpin the decision to take more control over one’s professional life.
Given economic conditions, people really have little choice. For the past 30 years, all new job growth has come from small business. Yet, according to The Gallup Organization, we’re starting only 20% of the new companies needed to support business as usual. The not so new reality: If you want a job, you have to figure out how create your own. Communications and computing technologies enable the economic shift to independence.
It’s particularly interesting to note that women slightly outnumber men in the move toward entrepreneurship. Even more interesting is the generational distribution curve.
- Gen Y = 12%
- Gen X = 48%
- Boomers = 30%
- Matures = 10%
If you’re curious about what’s causing the different generations to take the risks associated with entrepreneurship, check out the report.
I’m running into a lot of parallel entrepreneurs these days. That’s the trend I’m watching.