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Your next job, next year, may be self-employment

Patrick Thibodeau | Jan. 2, 2014
Tech industry sees a shift to independent workers -- and different kinds of opportunities for IT pros.

IT hiring has slowed after the past several months, according to recent reports.

Jeffrey Leventhal, the CEO of Work Market, believes that demand for independent employees will only increase. That's based on Work Market's own surveys.

Work Market is a contractor management platform and marketplace for connecting workers to assignments.

About 95% of Work Market's jobs are for on-site work and are aimed at helping companies create networks of talent near a facility. The company now has about 15,000 people working on assignments, with more than 60% of them in IT areas. Many of the jobs require delivery, repairing, installing and moving, said Leventhal, and contract workers need professional and general liability insurance -- something the jobs service provides.

King said the good news, particularly for people with skills, "is there is a lot more opportunity to find part-time employment and set up your own shop and work as a consultant and contractor than there has been in the past."

But what if you want to keep working full-time?

King said young workers, who may change jobs frequently, already have back-up plans for independent work, but mid-career workers may not be as prepared. He recommends having an action plan. That may include thinking about how to earn a living as a solo worker, and developing networks outside the office. A lot of people are already moonlighting on part-time job services to "get a sense of what's going on," he said.

But there will also be full-time opportunities for younger workers as baby boomers gradually leave the workforce.

In California, for instance, Ron Hughes, the chief deputy CIO of the state's Department of Technology who recently spoke at a Gartner Data Center conference, urged younger workers to consider working for state IT shops.

In Hughes agency of 750 employees, 53% are already eligible for retirement, and in the mainframe group, a subset of the overall number, 73% are eligible to retire.

"The opportunities are going to be phenomenal," said Hughes.


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