Everybody’s Self-Employed

As I caught today's announcement of December job numbers, I began to think about how serious things are.  Mind you, I didn't just start thinking about the seriousness.  But I thought about it differently today.

We are self-employed…whether we know it or not.

The fairy tale of retirement, security and prosperity has truly been the poison pill.  What's tragic is the pill was given to us slowly (intravenous like) over time.  Makes you wonder how careerists will find a new life.  A new life that looks different from the one they know today.  Your employer is moving on even if your office chair is still warm. 

Shouldn't you do the same?

I see things as permanently changed.  What looked stable yesterday has now been disrupted.  I'll save you the analysis of what I consider to be the catalysts/disrupter's (mind-numbing government debt, the over supply of money, leadership voids, fear) of what we've come to know.  I used to think life would be better is it were predictable.  I even, in a past life, tried to manipulate circumstances to try and block the threats (change).  The reality is we're better for a life that sometimes gives us smelling salts.

So how do you if you're a self-employed careerist?  Consider the following:

  • When you get to the end of your story, who will stand beside you and give a detailed report?  I have the answer; not your company, just you.
  • On the whole, who is paying/paid for all of that schooling you took?
  • Your employer requires some type of at-will agreement/contract.
  • Your share of health insurance premiums has grown significantly over the last 20 years.  This trend will continue, or your employer will get out of providing this benefit all together.
  • You carry a lot of risk working for your company.  This applies whether unemployment is 5 or 7%.

I could go on, and maybe you have some other ideas as well.  But one of the biggest reasons we're all self-employed is the implication of ownership.  You should be the owner of your career because you already are.


  1. I agree. It definitely is a time to take ownership of your career…heck, your life. We must be responsible rather than blaming. An additional thought is that we need to be more responsible in building households that are responsible, initiating, and independent. In some ways this is a return to old times where a family understood that all it had was the family…not government, not corporations. This means that the head of the household has even more responsibility to raise mature children, to develop them with entrepreneurial skills, to build in them a foundation of faith and values, to teach them to be creative and to take risks and to create value.
    I personally believe that only such families will survive and only people from such families will be in a position to impact the world. Everyone else will be in bondage or paralyzed.

  2. If we can get this one idea across this year — you own your own career — I’ll consider the year a success.
    What is going on in the economy is truly “creative destruction” where everything is shifting and changing to something new.
    I doubt we will be able to plan anything anymore; but if we have skills and good job performance, we will be presented opportunities. It’s the opportunities that will drive our career.
    Good thoughts, Eric.

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