For a long time, I’ve been comfortable knowing that every job, in essence, is a consulting job. We work at the position to build our job skills and perform well so that we will be given other opportunities.
But, part of what my job entails here at Cube Rules is not assuming that what I know is known by everyone who comes to the site. Just as I assume everyone “knows” about the differences in Gen Y compared to other generations at work, I just assume that everyone “knows” that every job is a consulting job.
Yet, the traditional media, in the form of Business Week, needs to pronounce:
The guiding principle for all working people in today’s environment is this: Every job is a consulting job. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been a full-time W-2 employee thus far, or a contractor, or consultant, or a combination. At this moment, we’re all consultants; only the lengths of our assignments vary. Anyone who relies on the security of a position because of its full-time W-2 status needs a reality check.
Yesterday, I got e-mails from two good friends of mine. One a consultant, one a full-time employee. Each just lost their gig. Now, the consultant, knowing that the gig was ending, was already working toward getting the next one at the next company through the consulting firm. Consultants are good that way – they work at knowing when the position will end and actively work to be ready to have the next one lined up.
The full-time W-2 employee? That was a layoff. And even though that person knew that the layoff was probable, the details were still not there. And instead of looking for another job in the same company, this person is now thrown out into the marketplace where 500,000+ people lost their job last week.
I would contend the consultant did better this time around.
How do you work in your job to know when the position will end?