Navigating Turbulent Times: How Job Market Instability is Changing the Landscape of Employment
Updated: Feb 24
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic the U.S. job market closed out 2022 on a high note with “223,000 jobs added in December, capping a year in which the economy added 4.5 million jobs, more than refilling the deep hole left by the coronavirus pandemic two years earlier.”
Yet, a recent NYTimes article predicts Less Turnover, Smaller Raises in light of “Americans in July quitting their jobs at the lowest rate in more than a year is a sign that the period of rapid job switching, sometimes called the Great Resignation, may be nearing its end.”
However, these two interpretations reflect a conservative viewpoint. Something deeper is happening right in front of our eyes: the job market's increasing instability is a transformational phenomenon and it is crucial to consider the implications of this shift for our future.
Transitioning to Fractional Work: A Evolution from the Gig Economy
The gig economy, also known as task-based labor, became more prevalent following the 2008 financial crisis as unemployment rates rose. The term "gig economy" mainly referred to jobs such as truck drivers, babysitters, electricians, plumbers, builders, and similar roles, but today the term has evolved and it's increasingly used to describe white-collar professionals who choose to work independently.
According to Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit "The gig economy is on the rise, and it's set to make up an astonishing 43% of the U.S. workforce by 2024. Currently, it's already at an impressive 34%. This is a significant shift that is transforming the way we work and think about traditional employment."
Nowadays, more and more individuals such as marketers, designers, developers, and CIOs who opt to branch out on their own and are opting for part-time, freelance, or consulting work as a way to achieve a better balance between their work and personal lives.
Additionally, companies are now more open to remote work allowing employees to work from anywhere, which can help to attract top talent and retain employees who may otherwise be looking to leave. Businesses are recognizing that the traditional 9 to 5 schedule is not the only way to guarantee employee loyalty and productivity, and that a more flexible approach may be more effective in the long run.
Thanks to advancements in technology, we now have the ability to collaborate in new and innovative ways, providing us with more options and flexibility in our careers.
To understand this new reality might require us to remove the filter of scarcity to be able to see new opportunities in a new world of abundance. In her latest book “The Abundance Economy” AcornOak’s member and fractional CMO, Virginie Glaenzer writes “Advancements in technology have opened up unseen opportunities and made abundance possible in previously limited areas. The Internet has created even more abundance of the fundamental resource of knowledge.”
So what are the implications of the job market's increasing instability for us what does that mean for us?
Individuals who supplement their full-time jobs with fractional work are driven by a variety of motivating factors which includes:
Relationship building outside of our work
We need to develop a personal brand and take our career planning and development even more seriously than ever. Job market instability means that it's increasingly important for workers to develop a personal brand and reputation, as it can help them to stand out in a crowded job market.
As a Fractional leader and AcornOak member, Rúna Bouius has observed a transformation in her coaching practice at the True Power Institute. "In the past two years, I've noticed a significant shift where individuals are seeking meaning and fulfillment outside of their traditional jobs. More and more employees are investing in their own careers and joining various leadership group programs and masterminds.”
We can’t depend on our employer which means finding other sources of income
Due to the job market's growing volatility, workers must become more flexible and take initiatives to achieve success, including finding new sources of income to reduce their dependence on a single employer.
As a Fractional CMO and AcornOak member, Sammi Dittloff was seeking a better work-life balance, and the ability to go back to school: “Launching my freelance career in 2022 and seeking out Fractional CMO work in 2023 have helped me achieve the kind of flexibility I need to serve my clients well and fulfill my intellectual interests.” Currently pursuing an MS in Nutrition while working with clients in multiple industries, going fractional has allowed Sammi to balance her academic and professional interests without compromise.
Life balance has become a clear goal which means money is only one of the deciding factor
Life balance has become a clear goal for many individuals as they seek a fulfilling and meaningful existence. This shift in priorities has led to a reconsideration of what truly matters in life and has resulted in placing more emphasis on aspects such as personal relationships, physical and mental health, and finding a sense of purpose in their daily activities.
As a Fractional CMO and AcornOak
member, Mindy Anderson shares “I’ve seen a transformative shift to people making their value system an end-to-end way of life through community, partnerships and family. People want to find purpose in their work and they want to reset by spending time alone or with family in a meaningful way. I think this shift is profound because people are choosing authenticity, want to be surrounded by like-minded souls and build their vision at the same time.”
What is Fractional Work?
As the next generation of workers enter the job market, the traditional employment model will fade away at an accelerated pace, making the gig economy the new norm, no longer just a trend.
It’s clear that a seismic shift in power is taking place right before our eyes. Cutting-edge technologies are sparking a revolution in the way we work, unleashing a wave of new values and aspirations among employees and workers alike.
The future is now, and it's time to embrace the next big thing - fractional work. This is an opportunity to break free from the traditional 9-to-5 mold and chart your own course to success.
Have you thought about bringing on a Fractional C-Level to help your organization?
If so, then “When Should You Bring on a Fractional? Timing and Considerations”, a LinkedIn live discussion is for you! On Thursday, March 30th, our fractional executive panelists from AcornOak will provide insight and analysis on various key aspects such as identifying the most opportune moment for such an hire, determining the duties and responsibilities of a fractional executive, expectations for performance, and market trends in terms of rates.
To listen in the conversation, register here.
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