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“Gig Economy” poses major challenges to traditional workers June 29, 2016

Almost 90% of Americans don't know what the "gig economy" is, yet 40 percent of American workers are predicted to be independent contractors by 2020,  according to surveys by the Pew Research Center and Intuit.

For the lesser-informed, a gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.

Besides the more obvious impact of loss of those lovely employee-related benefits, such as paid annual leave, paid sick leave, subsidized group health and retirement insurance, there are the versatility implications of rapid learning curves and frequently changing work environments.

A generation or two ago, you found a job, learned the ropes, put in 40 years of loyal service and retired with a gold watch and company pension. Now it's different.

With rapidly changing business cycles, organizations don't want a large, high-overhead, permanent work-force, expensive to maintain and expensive to trim.  They want the flexibility to hire skills when they want those skills and for just as long as they need those skills.

Hence the rise of the self-employed independent contractor, the hired-gun ready to take on a temporary assignment. But not as easy as it might at first appear - this morphing from an employee mentality to self-employed mentality. Ask anyone who has transitioned from the world of employment to the uncertainty of the self-employed.

The independent contractor needs marketing skills - always in search of the 'next' gig. Financial skills to manage the variables of a fluctuating income. Managerial skills to maintain control of the new business model. And above all, the flexibility, adaptability and versatility to adapt to the needs, practices and procedures of each new client.

Starting any new job involves a learning curve. While the time spent on learning the ropes in a new long-term job might be more easily forgiven as a long-term investment, short-term contractors are expected to hit the ground running. And getting up to speed quickly requires solid reading skills.

While average reading / comprehension speeds range from 150 to 350 words a minute, a weekend of intensive coaching consistently yields measurable increases in reading efficiency and reading time productivity with most people achieving an average 5-fold increase.

If you're suffering from reading overload, test your reading / comprehension rate at ExecuRead.com and if a 5-fold increase looks useful, give us a call at 704.451.0525

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