Who’s at most risk?

Opportunity Matrix™ - how NOT to be a Busy Fool

In the current economic climate, I suspect that the old work paradigm is going to fail a lot more people.  We already know that the promise of a “job for life” has gone – that’s been the case for a long time now, probably since the 1980’s at least.  So any hope of leaving education and settling into a comfortable career that will last you to retirement is long gone.

Whos most at risk ...

Who's most at risk ...

With specialisation it has become increasingly difficult for experts to find alternative companies that can employ them – because only the largest need somebody full-time doing what they do.  So when the downturn pushes vulnerable companies into “rightsizing”, these experts are the hardest to re-deploy – either inside the company, or via outplacement.  Of course, there are plenty of smaller companies who need their skills, but they can’t afford to take on a full-timer to provide them.  And the paradigm is that the secure way to go on is to have a full-time position.

So at best the experts find themselves in a job where they do their specialism for some of the time and something else (possibly allied, possibly not) for the rest of the working week.  I think that’s a bit of a waste – of the expert’s talent, and of their enthusiasm for their specialism.

I’m an expert in (and an enthusiast about) Key Account Management (it’s one application of my core skills: analysis, prioritisation and focus).  Since coming out of corporate life, I’ve been offering my skills to smaller companies on a “fractional” basis – they hire me for a proportion of my time, to look after their Key Accounts for them.  I’m currently working for two widely different businesses, neither of which is ready for a full-time account manager.  And the rest of my time is spent doing consultancy and developing other ways to use my skills – Key Accounts Strategy, opportunity (or portfolio) prioritisation, helping entrepreneurs get focused.  So clients are getting the level of expertise they need, and I can stick to what I do well.

And the great thing is, my overall income is actually safer than if I’d been in a corporate job.  I can seize opportunities much more easily – in order to take on another client, I don’t have to weigh up their offer against what I’ve already got, I can do both.  When I reach capacity, I can replace the lower-earning (or less fun) contracts with new ones as they come up, or bring in associates, and take a margin.  And if one of my “employers” does get into difficulty and can’t afford to keep me on, it’s not the end of the world for my bank balance.  I might lose maybe 20% of my income, but I won’t lose it all, which is what would happen (has happened to me) if I lost a full-time job.

About Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw
About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw