Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Me, Myself and I: The Independent Contractor

In the last few posts, we have focused on several career realities:

1. The job market is seriously contracting. This is primarily due to technology and its HUGE effect on the way we do business (just ask any newspaper company).
2. We can no longer depend upon an employer for work! This sounds really odd, but is completely true. Each of us must develop a set of core skills that individuals, companies and organizations find indispensable. Those skills are contracted on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. In essence, you may be working for several companies at once. What I am writing about today, will be the primary means of employment in the future workforce. Definitely within the next 15 to 20 years. Possibly, a lot sooner.
3. We cannot be passive about our career development. No employer is going to tell you what to do to enhance your skills. You are in charge of keeping on the forefront of your industry and field of expertise.

With those main points in mind, here is a list of important questions for you to consider:

Do I see myself as an independent contractor?
If asked today, what would I say are my top ten skills?
What have I done in the past month or year to develop interdependent relationships with colleagues?
What classes can I be taking to improve, enhance and develop new skills necessary for a global economy?
What goals can I determine to reach that will engage my brain to take me to the next level of my expertise?

Most people are way too stressed out by the job market to be asking the questions I just posed.  The irony is that they should be focused solely on answering those questions because of it. 

We will look back in a few years and say, "Oh, my!  Those years between 2005-2020 were the most agonizing years for job seekers, the unemployed and underemployed of all time."  Yet, they are also the most exciting because a new worker emerged in the rubble of change, redirection and new industries:
The independent contractor. 

What exactly does it take to become one?  What are their hallmarks?
That will be my next post.  And, we will also look at what I meant by "interdependent relationships with colleagues." Every independent contractor has them.

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