Changing Demographics | Risk Averse Employers | The Trend Towards Outsourcing
The workplace has fundamentally changed. The prospects of landing full time employment if you’re (ahem) of-a-certain-age are slim. If you haven’t had a FT job in more than a year, you’re painfully aware of how difficult it is to get an interview.
So what’s causing this tight job market for Boomers? It’s a trifecta of factors:
- Changing demographics. There are 80 million Baby Boomers competing with 46 million Gen-Xers and 100 million Millennials, sometimes for the same job. So when a Boomer leaves the job market, the chances of squeezing back into a youth-oriented workplace that typically hires between the age of 25 – 45, is unfortunately, slim.
- Risk averse employers. Even before the Great Recession, employers were downsizing their staffs and less willing to take a risk on anyone they thought would need a longer learning curve or anyone they thought wouldn’t be challenged in the role (hence the “overqualified” label.)
- The trend towards outsourcing. Keeping FT employees on overhead is extremely expensive, to the tune of at least 1/3 of an employee’s salary, and that’s not including mandatory health care and other employee benefit costs. Technology and virtual work has made it possible to outsource projects to maintain a “flexible workforce.”
And that’s where BoomerWorks comes in. Enter the emerging work of “gig” employment! Our goal is to teach Boomers how to transfer their many skills into flexible, sustainable income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2020 there will be 50% of American workers in 1099 freelance roles. We’re already at 38%. Clearly, there is a growing trend that is shaking the workplace, and the ground underneath Boomers’ feet.
We’re here to help level the playing field.
Turning Your Skills Into Gigs
What’s a Gig, you ask? It’s a temporary, project or short term work that you are paid for.
Our goal at BoomerWorks is to help you suspend your FT job search - for now - and consider the possibility that your short and long term income might be generated from multiple sources – some which you’re hopefully passionate about, and some which might just provide some “fast cash” to pay the bills.
We currently offer “Boomer Boot Camps” to help Boomers identify their gig-able skills in a safe, welcoming peer support group. We believe in the power of community and hope that these workshops will lead to future gig-finding tools including a searchable database and a job board for employers to post short-term projects.
We welcome your feedback as we begin your gig journey together!
Think Only Full-Time Work Will Provide "Stable Income?"
Boomers need to consider changing their mindset about stable income.
We realize there is a basic mindset that needs to be changed in order for any Boomer to consider this new world of gig work – i.e. the idea that “stable work” can only be achieved by being a W2 employee. That premise had great merit back when pension plans were flowing. Once the faucet was cut off, starting in the 1990s, job stability became a thing of the past. Employers – and employees – needed to look out for themselves which, in turn, launched the flexible workforce.
We didn't see this trend emerging before the Great Recession, but have become increasingly aware since. When you need income, change is especially difficult.
We are tempted to focus only on the next job application or multitude of online announcements. It is even harder to lose out to a candidate who had the “perfect mix of skills” for that risk averse employer.
We realize that most future “BoomerWorkers” may start out on this journey a little reluctant. We appreciate and respect that. We also know the incredible opportunities that could be in store for people who are willing to think a little differently about work, and open their minds to shorter term income over a longer term period.
Will there be ups and downs on this journey? Count on it. But we believe that the potential for sustainable income is worth it. That’s why we’re here to partner right alongside you.
Are you willing to join us? The journey is more rewarding than you might expect.