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Are You Ready for the Future of Free Agency?

Are You Ready for the Future of Free Agency?

My work world is drastically different from my parents.  Dad worked for the same energy company for 44 years, with perfect attendance.  His company really took good care of him.  Although he was not in management, he retired with a very nice benefit package and pension plan that covered both mom and dad. Many of his buddies were his coworkers.  Those were good days to be an employee.

Those days are history. It is unlikely you are going to work for a company over 40 years.  It is also unlikely you will have a pension plan waiting on you when you retire.  Consider yourself extremely lucky if you do.  You will probably work for several companies in your lifetime.  In fact, when you are in your seventies, you will probably find yourself saying, “remember when people used to retire and stop working?”

There will be an over-abundance of applicants for Walmart greeter positions.  There’s going to be so many gray-haired greeters, Walmart will likely move into the nursing home and funeral home business to capture the revenue from their aging workforce.  Employee turnover will have more of a finite meaning in the future, if you know what I mean.

Today the world of work is moving away from stability and towards free agency and flexibility. You may not notice this in your workplace at the moment. But there will be a coming tsunami of workers focusing on projects rather than full-time jobs at one company.  People will no longer be loyal to their company.  Their loyalties will be with their career, job skills and financial portfolio.

Where you work will change. You may work at an office, your home office, or a virtual office, to name a few.  The “where” will not be as important as getting the project completed and moving onto the next one.

We will be responsible for our retirement.  This will likely cause companies to reassess their compensation structures so they can afford to hire the best free agents who need the financial resources to be self-sufficient.  The next twenty years will bring radical changes to the world of work. This shouldn’t be news to you, but a reminder to get ready for the future.


Recommended Reading:

Free Agent Nation by Daniel Pink

Free Agents by Gould, Weiner and Levin


Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.


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