Archive for February, 2009

Jobless Recovery in Many Career Sectors?

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

After the recession that technically began in 2000 and intensified after the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001, the recovery brought corporate growth—but did not restore as many jobs as people had hoped. Many people were able to find work, but under different conditions and at less salary and benefit replacement values. However, that phenomenon is predictable according to the trend lines for moving to an indipreneurial workforce. For the definition of an indipreneur, see my blog dated November 21, 2008.

After the recession that we are now experiencing is over, the job climate may be more of the same as happened after the 2000 (into 2002) recession. Corporations will be reeling for a while trying to get back to secure footing. The global workforce will be available for outsourcing jobs to them. The climate in the United States may not be as business-friendly as in past years. Thus thinner profit margins, global competition, and the need to make up for lost time during the recession will cause businesses to keep their costs as low as possible. Hiring indipreneurs will be a welcome opportunity. This will allow businesses to control the numbers of people on their payroll at any one time depending on market conditions and will allow them to ask their workers to negotiate their own independent worker contracts.

I mentioned in the November 21 blog that I would be expanding on the idea of indipreneurship in the coming blogs. So this is the second installment in the series that began in that November blog. I will offer other blogs in this series in the following months.

There are five indipreneurial lifeskills that we will explore in this and future blogs. Mastering these five indipreneurial lifeskills will enable you to do the following:
1. Develop greater self-reliance.
2. Function as an indipreneur—both inside and outside the corporation.
3. Prepare for predictable uncertainties (such as accident, illness, job loss, and retirement).
4. Learn to manage change effectively.
5. Take control of events that appear to be uncontrollable.

The five lifeskills that we will be discussing in the next few blogs are futuring, optimizing, resourcing, tracking, and balancing. Let’s begin with the futuring lifeskill.

Futuring can be defined as looking ahead. I use the definition “anticipating and exploring tomorrow” to explain this lifeskill in the sessions that I facilitate. To deal effectively with the difficulties we face today and to prepare for the predictable uncertainties that can befall us at any time, we must sharpen our futuring skills. My profession is that of socioeconomic futurist. I work with organizations to help them determine the best paths to take in order to have a successful future. However, individuals can be their own futurists for their personal and career lives if they develop and apply futuring skills that I use to help corporations and other organizations.

Such important questions that should be addressed are
1. What are the predictable uncertainties I’m likely to face?
2. How well prepared am I to respond to those eventualities?
3. What kinds of proactive plans can I make?

As a last thought for this blog and before we talk further about futuring lifeskills in the next blog, I’d like to share eight basic steps you can start taking today to sharpen your futuring abilities.
1. To develop a broad knowledge of futurism, consider joining the World Future Society (see for more information). This organization’s forums and publications will provide you with information about what is likely to happen down the road.
2. Read books, materials, articles, and research reports about the future. You can do a search via Google and for such resources.
3. Whenever you read an article or view a topical TV/Internet program, make it a habit to ask yourself (a) How might these events influence or alter my future? (b) What subsequent events might be set off?
4. Keep your mind-set in a proactive mode, always looking for problems to solve today in order to create tomorrow’s opportunities for yourself.
5. Develop effective ways to cope with fear and anxiety in facing future uncertainties.
6. Select an area in which you can become an expert—the area in which you wish to develop your career and brand yourself. Set up a system for storing, managing, and accessing information about this expertise.
7. Create ways to publicize your brand—perhaps blogging, publishing reports, speaking, and/or writing a book. Set up a method for receiving feedback.
8. Form focus groups or social/career personal and online networks to constantly explore your specialty and exchange ideas.

Becoming an indipreneur is hard work but is very rewarding. Beginning to master the required lifeskills through futuring is an exciting beginning. More on futuring in the next blog.

 © 2009, Carolyn Corbin.