A new book by Jay Conrad Levinson & Andrew Neitlich

Why Jobs are Obsolete

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Stop thinking in terms of jobs. I imagine that fifty years from now, historians will look back on the idea of commuting to work, sitting in cubicles, and being tied to a single employer (even for a short time) as a short-lived anachronism.

Why would you want a job? With a job, you have more risk than if you are self-employed, even as a consultant, coach, or freelancer. As an employee, you have one client....your employer. If you lose that client, you have lost 100% of your income. Because it can be harder to land a new job than to land a new gig, especially with all of the vetting that HR departments put you through, it takes longer to find the next employer. Also, you can be ambushed at any time by so many things outside your control: economic shocks and downturns, new competitors, scandals at the top, a dysfunctional boss or coworker, outsourcing, government intervention, a board of directors looking for quick profits, and low-cost foreign competition.

Meanwhile, working on your own, you have less risk. If you have 10 clients and lose one, you have lost only 10% of your income. Plus, you are always marketing and so it is easier to keep finding new sources of work. You also have unlimited upside, and can grow your firm according to your goals. If you learn to put systems and structures in place, you can make much more money in much less time. In my own case, I make more money and have more time now -- and play tennis almost every day, in the middle of the day -- than I ever did as an employee. I also love my life, and couldn't make the same claim as an employee.

That's not to say that you should never have a job. There are two reasons to have a job. First, your employer offers you a clear path to get rich. These days, there are very few companies that do that, maybe a select number of investment banks. Second, you are learning so much and making so many great contacts that your job continues to set you up for great things when you make a move.

Some people in this economy think that there is a third reason, namely that they can't find anything better. That's a mistake, based on resignation and a victim mentality. If you are even thinking that there are better opportunities out there for you, then pursue them. The Career Guerrilla works hard to get into the opportunity flow, so that people are constantly letting them know about new opportunities. Add more influential people to your network. Beef up your skills. Practice communicating your value. Moonlight until you get established as a freelancer. If you feel stuck in your present situation, make a proactive, constructive plan to get something better!

Meanwhile, think about lower-risk, higher-reward ways to work than having a job. It will change your life for the better, forever.


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