How to Find Career Longevity in a World of Temporary Work

by Tim Clark and Bruce Hazen

“In the future, everyone will be either a temp or an entrepreneur.”

So writes James Altucher in Choose Yourself. Altucher is referring to the trend that has many organizations around the world quickly replacing full-time “permanent” positions with part-time, contract, or temporary workers.

The trend has been growing for more than a decade and will likely continue. You might call it a global shift from traditional full-time employment to “permalancing.”

How can you find career longevity in a world of temporary work? It helps to recognize two things.

First, in an increasingly temporary work world, loyalty to specific organizations and job titles makes less and less sense.

At the same time, loyalty to a profession makes more and more sense.

Loyalty to a profession means forging a strong professional identity.

Professional identity means your persistent, distinguishing character as a worker that transcends any organizational affiliation or job title.

A clear professional identity focuses your skill-building efforts and reinforces your understanding that work “lives” everywhere in the career universe — it’s not confined to certain organizations or functional sectors (it’s not always defined and packaged in the form of a “job” either). To strengthen your professional identity, refine the Value Proposition in your personal business model.

A second way to achieve career longevity is to improve your professional skills. Simple economics tells us that relatively rare skills are needed to win relatively desirable work. And one skill that remains rare is the ability to understand, describe, and help modify business models — both at the enterprise and personal level.

Why? Because most workers concern themselves primarily with doing their specific jobs well. They lack interest in — and understanding of — how their employers function. In other words, they fail […]

Four Hidden Places You’ll Find Work

When we think about looking for work, job listings, and placement services, career Web sites immediately jump to mind. But wouldn’t it be terrific to discover some of work’s secret hiding places?

Well, there are exactly four. And they were revealed in a new book; Answering The Three Career Questions: Your Lifetime Career Management System, by author/career and management coach, Bruce Blackstone Hazen, President of Three Questions Consulting in the U.S.

We say “hiding places” because job-seekers often fail at searching for work. They look in physical locations such as offices, factories, or campuses. But work is reachable only by visiting the collective consciousness of a profession: by speaking with its practitioners, reading its journals and newsletters and blogs, listening to its spokespeople.

The best way to remember where work hides is with an acronym: PINT.

PINT stands for Problems, Issues, Needs, and Trends.

Problems means something’s broken or isn’t working right.

Issues means nothing’s broken yet, but rules, regulations, or conditions are changing.

Needs means something’s missing, or there’s an appetite for something new or different.

Trends means things are changing or moving in new directions, or people are behaving differently.

Together, the four invisible PINT elements generate work, all day every day — in every organization and in every market.

We can all use a little extra help finding work. That’s why we’ve created a new tool to help you uncover where work hides.

The new PINT Value Proposition Designer™ matches your personal business model to the real engines of work, rather than to job listings and solicitations. It’s a key element of our upcoming workshops and master classes in Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels, and elsewhere.

Two Essential Inquiries for Enterprising Professionals

Are you working in information technology, creative services, or another sector vulnerable to outsourcing?
Does your team have trouble seeing the “big picture” behind projects?
Do you need a fresh way to recruit or develop talent?
Are you considering freelancing or starting your own venture?

Those are tough questions without easy answers. Still, you can gain clarity by pursuing two inquiries essential for every enterprising professional. These two inquiries assume that you serve enterprises, either as an employee or as a supplier. Here they are:

How does the enterprise make money?
How do you make money?

These questions may sound obvious or simplistic, but they’re not. Every enterprise — whether nonprofit, government, or social venture — must generate cash to carry out its work. How can one best grasp that crucial process?

Through business models. A business model is the logic by which an enterprise creates and delivers something valuable to customers — and is paid for doing so. As a professional, understanding the enterprise business model is vital.

But you, too, have a personal business model: the logic by which you create and deliver something valuable to the enterprise — and get paid for doing so. Greater success at work requires not only grasping the enterprise model; it demands understanding and communicating your personal model and how it helps the enterprise.

Whether you want to progress in your current role, change jobs, or start your own venture, you must know 1) how enterprises make money, and 2) how you make money — or can make money, perhaps in new ways you never considered before. Our workshops and soon-to-be-unveiled online course will teach you to pursue these two essential inquiries, step-by-step.