If you are over fifty in the modern economy and out of work, you may well be thinking why is this so hard.
With artificial intelligence and robots taking jobs faster than kids eating M&Ms, plus Gen Y and Millenials hot on your heels, it's harder than ever to secure quality employment once you hit the magic age of fifty.
Remember when fifty was the golden age or approaching retirement? Now with housing prices higher than your dad's pants line and people living until 100, you are expected to keep working indefinitely. Easier said than done in a digital-based economy.
The job market has changed. Companies don’t want to hire you as you are expensive and had to get rid of when their business dips. Therefore the future isn’t full-time work, it’s contingent or contract based work. In Australia, 30% of jobs are now contingent and it’s expected to grow to 40% by 2020.* In the USA it’s already 40% and forecast to be 50% by 2020. ^
This is a fantastic option if you have your house paid off, kids have finished school and you have a strong CV and network. You can relax and take a few jobs here and there, whilst smelling the Superannuation roses.
For those not fortunate enough to have those benefits, it’s tough. Just ask my 55 year old friend that has taken to Uber driving after been retrenched from his magazine editor job after twenty years of service. He started a blog as a new business, but there is no money in that. Hence, the Uber shifts. If you can’t cut it as an entrepreneur, work for one!
So what’s the answer? If you can’t beat them join them.
Get ahead of the curve and build your personal brand, network and consulting skills before you get retrenched. LinkedIn is your core asset, so start treating it with some respect and put some effort into your profile. Develop your digital skills as one day you might not have a team to do it for you.
If you do the work now, prepare and get skilled up, the transition from full time to contingent work can be liberating. No more office commutes on overcrowded trains set your own hours around your family time and choose whom you surround yourself with.
The choice is yours! Prepare for the oncoming tide of contingent work or not. As Master Yoda said “Do or not do, there is no try”.