If you are a job-seeker looking for a full-time position with benefits, perhaps you are feeling the competition, pretty intense at times. I recently conducted a search for an experienced middle-to-upper management position, and found a large (0-plus) number of candidates with the qualifications we agreed we needed for the hire. The distilling process of the search was driven by a few key factors which had more to do with chemistry fit in the organization and specified number of years of experience than capacity to handle the role. From what I’m seeing, landing a full-time job with benefits is very competitive.
The fastest growing employment status today is ‘contracted service.’ As much as 12% of the workforce work is in ‘temporary’ positions and that number is growing rapidly. Now it’s time to use that fact to your advantage.
Let me recommend a book to you that oddly may prepare you to win the full-time-hire-with-benefits competition, even though the book’s focus is the careful preparation of a freelancer career. It’s called “The Freelancer’s Bible” by Sara Horowitz.
First, what’s a freelancer, and who should read this book?
Freelancers include the following:
- New grads starting their careers.
- Full-time workers wanting to earn more for their kids’ education, or saving more for retirement, or transitioning to a new career.
- Laid-off workers who are job-hunting.
- Workers who leave full-time jobs for greater work-life satisfaction or more flexible hours for school or training.
- Parents who want a flexible schedule to take care of kids or aging parents.
- People who turn their hobbies into profitable ventures, making money doing what they love.
- Seniors seeking to supplement their incomes and stay active.
Recognize yourself in this list? A lot of working people would raise their hands to at least one of these situations today.
So how do you develop and take advantage of a ‘freelancer mindset’? It’s a different approach to the job search world or the career-planning world that empowers rather than diminishes your confidence in what you bring to the table. You don’t put all your eggs in one job basket. Establish contracts with various clients, and look at your time servicing those clients as your financial investments.
Diversifying the investment of your time can show you the value you bring to the market place, because you see what businesses and clients are willing to pay for your services. And, if you are prepared to seek out clients and business relationships that respect that value, you begin a freelancer life in the ‘balanced lane.’
Horowitz provides a VERY thorough look at all the parts of a freelancer business development plan (this is a Bible, a resource as much as a read). A ‘freelancer mindset’ knows the value of a start-up business plan (part one), creating a process for getting clients, and getting work (part two). It involves marketing yourself and your brand to grow your business (part three), managing your business, your time, your office, and your taxes (part four). And, working and playing, and staying on top of your game, including safety nets like affordable health insurance and scheduling down time, and giving back to your community (part five).
If you are an experienced professional or a new college graduate, in need of supplemental income or a new job, finding a full-time-job-with-benefits gets easier when you begin to live the confident, entrepreneurial mindset of a freelancer. If you want to position yourself in this global economy, consider The Freelancer’s Bible by Sarah Horowitz.