I’m on a journey to make 30 predictions in 30 days – and strengthen my decision making abilities in the process. Join me on the journey by firing me an email with your predictions and comments.
Over the next couple of years ONLY the top jobs and career opportunities will open up to those with entrepreneurial and freelancing experiences.
In this survey by Freelancers Union and Elance-odesk, it states that 53 million people, or 34% of the workforce, are currently freelancers and this number climbs significantly when you add in the entrepreneurial movement. Furthermore, It is becoming more and more common that most companies are looking for “entrepreneurial spirit” amongst their team members. But large organizations and HR divisions are going to need to go a bit further than to say - “To Apply: Must have an entrepreneurial spirit.”
Today, there are so many tools available out there that allow you to create a business at home (Etsy), be a freelancer (CloudPeeps), or build a website with no technical skills (Squarespace). My friend Wil has built an entire ecosystem dedicated to the entrepreneur at Startups.co. Beyond that, tech accelerator programs, like Tech Wildcatters that I attended, gives you the opportunity to connect with great business minds through their mentorship program, access to amazing brands with their corporate innovation network, and a little bit of capital to get you off the ground and start building customer feedback. Furthermore, they recently debuted the Gauntlet Fund that will give even more support and access for entrepreneurs to succeed.
More and more people are getting access to online learning centers to learn new skills quickly and effectively - like LinkedIn’s Lynda or General Assembly. It truly is amazing how we can take complete control of our destiny today. We don’t need to go and get our MBA to prove that we know something about business, how to manage people, or model out financials.
I recently wrote a prediction about how Fortune 500 companies will be going on a spending spree in an attempt to capture this “entrepreneurial spirit”. Hiring managers will be required to hire past entrepreneurs and effective freelancers because at the end of the day these people proved that they could a) create something b) get people to buy that something they created c) that other people were willing to work and deal with you.
You can’t get that from an MBA or a corporate career.
Beyond looking for these “entrepreneurial spirits”, HR will be tasked with understanding what past entrepreneurs did and the success metrics they achieved. It won’t be as easy as looking at a resume and saying - “Oh wow, they worked at Apple, they must be amazing!”. These household company names will actually become more of a deterrent while more and more hiring managers opt to hire the “entrepreneurial spirit” which connotates vigor, rejection, risk, success, failure, fire-starter, innovator...most importantly, a doer.
Companies will go a bit further in their exploration for these noteworthy hustlers than simply stating, “We hire only rockstars!” (do you really want a rockstar working with you? Tearing up the furniture, employing questionable ethics, motivated by a desire for vanity, being egotistical pre-madonnas?).
While the entrepreneur is a far cry from a rockstar (except in San Francisco), they similarly march to the beat of their own drum (pun intended).
That being said, hiring the “entrepreneurial spirit” is inevitable and will require the traditional workplace to embrace new methodologies (don’t get me started on the wonders of holacracy) to welcome this new “special” characteristic.
As long as organizations encourage freedom to grow in the workplace, opportunity to increase one’s knowledge base, and provide access to tools and resources to build and develop new solutions internally, large organizations will find success in strategically innovating their hiring and talent acquisition strategies.