Recently I attended a “town hall” event entitled “Just-In-Time Jobs: Getting by in a world of part-time, contract and precarious work.” Matt Galloway of the CBC Morning Show hosted it. This 90-minute event showcased the short term disadvantages and hardships experienced by people who work in non-salaried jobs.
As a professional recruiter since 1981, I have witnessed advantages to thousands of workers who chose this so-called “precarious employment” career path, including:
- Freelance workers go where the need is greatest for their accumulated skills, knowledge and experience. Their wages are generally higher, and their employers get greater productivity – a win-win scenario for everyone, including the economy.
- Flexible work schedules make room for the pursuit of other personal and/or professional interests.
- Career freelancers experience many different work environments and take “lessons learned” into future workplaces to their benefit and to the benefit of their employers.
- Self-employed contract workers can reduce their taxable income by claiming tax-deductible business expenses.
- The single biggest benefit can be summarized in one phrase: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Freelancers understand that their accumulated achievements, skills, specialized knowledge, professional references, personal productivity and adaptability are critical for remaining gainfully employed in our uncertain, modern job markets.
Survival is the #1 human need. Survival instincts are continually challenged by precarious job markets. Improving one’s “working game” is not an option. In a nutshell, the best guarantee for job security is marketable skills.
Lauren Friese, one of the four CBC “town hall” panellists and founder of TalentEgg – a national online career resource for students and recent graduates- advises her clients to think of themselves in entrepreneurial terms – to develop a “Me Inc” mindset. Lauren encourages them to continually re-evaluate their one-person business models and to make the necessary, market-informed adjustments to carve out their own personal road to success. Great advice!
Now, let’s consider a contrasting scenario for a moment.
In attendance at the CBC “town hall” were many teaching assistants from York University and the University of Toronto who were on strike. Having been employed for 28 years without a salary – relying 100% on sales commissions- their demands for job security were foreign to me. They expect job security by employing the state-sanctioned bullying and force-based “negotiation” tactics of collective bargaining… really? What makes them so “special” that they should be entitled to these legal privileges? Why should they have the power to coerce these advantages for themselves when they are not available for other working taxpayers?
Human capital is a terrible thing to waste in a world in which change is the only constant, and the ability to successfully adapt to change is the best strategy for long-term success.
For the sake of creating a fair and level playing field for all workers, and greater productivity for our nation’s businesses and service providers, isn’t it time to eliminate these regulations? They only serve to shelter thousands of government, unionized workers from becoming the best working professionals that they can be.
Let’s free all unionized workers to truly experience our “precarious employment” markets and to acquire the “Me Inc” self-reliant attitude too! The ultimate benefits undoubtedly will be greater long term career success and a higher standard of living for everyone.
Gene Balfour, Candidate for Thornhill