Random Acts of IT Project Management

Project Management for Information Technology

Posts Tagged ‘self-employment’

Entrepreneurship and Ruling the World

Posted by iammarchhare on 4 September 2009

I came across Kate Phillips article on “Why Entrepreneurs Rule the World”, and I wanted to share it with you in parting.  It’s a little long (but not any longer than some of mine 🙂 ), but well worth a read.  An excerpt:

Once upon a time… the world was full of small business people and independent entrepreneurs. Every town had a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker.  A blacksmith, a barber, and a farmer (or two).  A shepherd, a weaver, and a preacher.  There were no factories, no corporations, and… no employees.

One thing is clear to me: no matter what rung of the ladder you are on, jobs are going out of style.  Fast.

For years now, the trend has been away from hiring employees and towards hiring independent contractors.  Why?  Huge savings in benefits, also huge savings in waste.  Rather than paying for people’s time, contracts allow employers to pay for the *result* they want.  Deliver this, we’ll pay you “X.”

We’ve put our faith and trust in the wrong places, counting on an employer or a company to sustain us, when we should have been developing our own value in the market place.  We can no longer count on jobs to sustain us, rescue us, or bail us out.  Employers are doing their best to keep their own head above water, do not count on them to rescue you.

In case you didn’t get the memo: Jobs are Dead.

…Two years ago I attended an orientation at my daughter’s high school.  One teacher spoke about “how we’re going to help your children prepare for the job market.”  They would learn to write resumes and cover letters, fill out applications and interview for jobs.

I inquired afterwards what was being done to prepare kids for a world in which jobs are going away.  What do the kids learn about businesses?  About self-employment options?  Is there a class teaching entrepreneurial skills?  Could I volunteer in such a class?

You could well imagine the response from the teachers.  Of course, no one has trained them to think this way either.  We’ve all been brainwashed into believing that there is a job “out there”.  There are opportunities “out there”.  However, it is up to each of us to take ahold of our destinies and our lives and move on in a new economy.

It is not an economy of our own making.  However, opportunities rarely are of one’s own making.  Rather, opportunities present themselves and we either jump on them or let them pass on by.

Me?  I’m moving!


Posted in Consulting, Economy, Employment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Don’t Try to Get a Job

Posted by iammarchhare on 2 April 2009

I got a pointer that Seth Godin was guest posting on another blog, so it was with considerable interest that I read his post on the What Would Day Say blog.  He argues don’t try to get a job.

There are a few philosophical reasons, of course, but one that really hits home is that the opportunity costs are the lowest they will ever be.

You know, it’s funny because just yesterday before reading it, I was talking to someone who started their own business.  He said he started when the economy wasn’t so hot either, although it certainly wasn’t at bad as it is now.  What he found is that you start out stronger because you have solid coworkers and solid clients.  If he had started prior to the Dot Com Bubble, then he easily could have been one of those who had the carpet yanked out from under them.

IT project managers are usually an independent lot anyhow.  We’ve had to endure higher executives who didn’t understand what we did or what value we added.  We’ve had to run against the stream occasionally when a team went dysfunctional and developed the herd mentality while running full speed towards the cliff.  We’ve been unpopular when we said, “You can have it quickly, or you can have it work.  Which do you want?”  Let’s face it: You cannot be a successful PM and be a pushover.

Many PMs are contractors already, I’ve noticed.  It probably has a lot to do with layoffs, either to Dot Com-type situations, outsourcing or just plain businesses going belly-up.  Perhaps it is easier to hang up a contractor shingle than deal with the full-time routine.

Someone not long ago stated something very wise, I thought.  “No job is stable.  We are employed at the whim of our employer, and they can let us go at any time for any reason.  Let’s face it, we are all contractors.  The days of doing 20 years somewhere and getting a gold watch is long gone.”

Posted in Economy, Employment | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »