This is a topic I’ve been speaking publicly on and is based on my Future of Work Presentation that I have been giving since 2016. And it’s quite startling how 2020 really accelerated much of these trends.
One major trend: The decline of corporate longevity. The average longevity of a Standard & Poors 500 company went from 50 years to 15 years. This is due to the rising Tempo of Change. Incumbents being attacked by challengers in every sector. And because the bigger a company is, the dumber and slower they are. They have a harder time reaching market changes.
These companies need to cut costs to survive. Guess what is the biggest cost on the balance sheet? Employee salaries. Hence you see the Rise of Software/Automation and outsourcing to developing regions like India, Latam and Central Eastern Europe. All of which basically eats people & middle class jobs in the developed world.
You see the rise of major layoffs every year. This happens regularly, most companies cut the bottom 10% of staff every year. Thank you Jack Welch and GE for pushing this as a best practice in corporate America. For anyone who thinks full time employment is safe needs to have their head checked.
I can understand someone growing up in America up until the mid- 80s, where there was some social contract between companies and employees. That was pretty much torn up as middle level managers were laid off in masses when companies hit hard times or just needed to be cut as costs as they have shareholders to please.
I recall IBM being called “I’ve Been Mugged” as they laid off 60,000 people in 1993. Yes, Sixty Thousand! I tell everyone to set a google alert tagging the term “mass lay off” or “corporate restructuring” and you literally will get a wake up call every morning. If this does not wake you up to reality, not sure what will. Your company will remove you the minute they don’t need you.
So that’s the bad news and hard reality. The good news is there are some rules for thriving in this new world.
- Be Like Jay Z: He says “I’m not a BusinessMan, I’m a Business, Man”. Basically treat and Think of yourself like a business.
- Focus on a Niche market: Niches are riches now with the internet you can aggregate large numbers of customers or clients interested in the most random things. Read Kevin Kelly’s a “1000 True fans”https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/.
- Be a lifelong Learner, there are so many tools and classes you can take to upgrade yourself on a regular basis. Learn copywriting, take classes on online advertising. Learn Bubble or some other No Code tool. Join an Ondeck Fellowship.
- Learn to Build an Audience: Everyone is a Media Company of One. Gary Vee & my friends Eric Siu and Pomp has done to perfection
- Be a Digital Nomad & learn the benefits of GeoArbitrage. Earn developed market wages and currency while living in a lower cost country.
- Learn to Invest the difference. Inflation is a real thing and everyone needs to understand how to make your money work for you. It’s the ultimate leverage in life.