Half of project managers will be independent workers by 2020!
In the May issue of PMI’s PM Network magazine, there seems to be an indication that at least half of the American workforce who call themselves project managers will be independent workers. This is based on a study by MBO Partners which “showed that half of the U.S. workforce may be made up of independent workers by 2020. There are currently more than 16 million independent workers in the country—a number the report expects to reach 70 million in the next decade.” The executive summary of the study sums up the situation quite well:
The 2nd Annual MBO Partners State of Independence in America workforce study shows continued growth in America’s commitment to independent work. Since the launch of the first-ever baseline study of independent work in America in 2011, nearly 17 million workers – up from 16 million last year – report in for independent work. They’re increasingly satisfied with their work style and coping even better than before with the challenges that come with this less charted territory. And, consistent with the results of last year’s inaugural report, independents show an even stronger preference for this path and have no plans of turning back.
The total independent workforce grew, and so too did the projected future size of this workforce, to be as many as 23-million strong in the next five years. The simultaneous growth in size, satisfaction, commitment and intent to choose the path, together suggest independence is far from a cyclical economic choice. It instead appears to signal a conscious structural shift and recognition of a new model of work and engagement by innovative Americans.
In fact, over the last year, despite the U.S. economic uncertainties, global volatility and election year jitters, independent workers continued to creatively forge their own economic opportunities and perceived that the drawbacks to independence were less daunting than the anticipated benefits. Channeling their entrepreneurial initiative, these independents bring in roughly one trillion dollars in revenue.
In 2012, it is clear America continues its march toward a new age of career independence where individuals will not just move from job to job, but rather move from engagement to engagement and client to client as masters of their own career destiny.
This is in line with and confirms what this site has advocated for, in that those who work as project managers need to merge their hard earned professional competencies with a more entrepreneurial mindset and become a projectpreneur! You need to define your profession on your own terms like a business, rather than have a company define it for you. This entails incorporating all the essential skills of a CEO to run a company called You, Inc.
People who work as project managers are well suite for this environment, for as the PM Network articles points out, “a January 2013 analysis by Forbes magazine showed that project management is the second-most lucrative job in the freelance arena, paying an estimated US$34 to US$46 an hour on average. Project management is also the third-most popular career category for job seekers on Flexjobs.com, a freelance jobs site.”
If you haven’t already adopted a more entrepreneurial and business oriented mindset to your project management career you need to do so more than ever.