Monogamy won't pay off

Last week, Josh wrote about why it doesn’t make sense for companies to hire marketing teams. I’ll continue the theme, but posit from another perspective: If you have marketing or technology skills, don’t go to work for a company.

I know, I know. There are many good reasons to latch on somewhere as a full-time employee — namely, corporate-sponsored snacks — but keep a few things in mind.

  1. The world is opening up to the idea of getting work done using contingent labor, and as it does, more and more opportunities to ply your trade independently will emerge. Right now, more than a third of the workforce is made up of freelancers. A freaking third. (That’s about 53 million workers.) And the number is predicted to rise to 50% or more in just the next few years. Companies understand that hiring is expensive, inefficient and leaves teams ill-suited to the task, as businesses grow or change.
  2. Let’s be honest, companies don’t really care about you. Sounds harsh, and there are exceptions, but companies are set up to make money. Nobody’s fault. That’s just the way it is. Loyalty runs out quickly when leadership turns over or when the balance sheet starts making suggestions.

    2b. BTW, human resources departments can make you feel supported — even part of the family — but they aren’t there to protect you. They are there to empower the company and safeguard its legal interests. Sorry to bum you out. This can be disheartening, but knowledge is power, as they say.
  3. You will lose your job at some point — almost all of us do. And when it happens, the landing can be painful. Just like investing your money, your career prospects and client base should be diversified. It’s difficult to make this happen when you are beholden to a corporation, but if you are an independent, you’ll have the opportunity to work for multiple clients. And in this scenario, a loss will be a little less damaging.
  4. Robots are coming to replace you. We’ve been pish-poshing this idea for too long, and it’s time for everyone to get nervous. Did you read about this? Most of us are vulnerable.
  5. If you are a contractor and you visit the client’s office, they usually let you nosh on the snacks, anyway.

Please don’t run out and quit your job. I’m not advocating that. But do take a look at what’s happening in the world. The opportunity is thrilling.