Is Full-Time Employment a Good Career Strategy?
First, we had 911 and the dot-com bust. Then came the great recession caused by a meltdown in the housing market and now we have the COVID-19 pandemic.
For those of you who lost full-time employment each time you start wondering whether putting all your eggs in one basket makes sense.
I learned a long time ago to diversify my investments. With that, I was told not to invest in the company that I worked for. Whether it was enrolling in employee stock programs (ESP) or stock options, I was told not to hold the investment in my employer to a minimum. I was always very dependent on my employer. Besides my paycheck, I was dependent on my employer for health insurance and retirement. But if the company goes under, then what?
Maybe it is time to diversify our careers.
What are the Options?
If all you have ever known is full-time employment, this is going to feel strange.
The first option is to develop a portfolio career that diversifies your income. This may include part-time work, your own business, and contracting.
A second option is to develop your own business with many different income streams. This is what I have chosen to do.
A third option is to continue to work a full-time job while you make your move to one of the first two options. This is also referred to as stair-stepping to a new career. Taylor Pearson writes about this concept in his book The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5.
If you are really interested in developing a portfolio career and move away from full-time employment I recommend you pick up 2 books:
- And What Do You Do?: 10 steps to creating a portfolio career by Barrie Hopson and Katie Ledger
- Portfolio Careers: How to Work for Passion, Pleasure & Profit! by Steve Preston
You can listen to Steve Preston discuss portfolio careers on the Repurpose Your Career podcast episode Is a Portfolio Career Right for You? With Steve Preston [Podcast].
We have several people in the Career Pivot Membership Community developing portfolio careers.
Debra is working as a contractor teaching online classes to seniors. She is also developing new courses for the same company. At the same time, she is developing a coaching practice to help small business owners.
David is working part-time for his local city government helping out with public policy and planning. At the same time, he has developed a blog that is guiding him along developing a side business around transportation planning focusing on bicycle and pedestrian issues.
Adele is working for a consulting company working on email marketing. She is also developing websites for several non-profits and creating her own physical and virtual art gallery.
The idea is being able to diversify your income so if one area goes into decline you have others that can pick up the slack. It also helps those of us who are multipotentialites.
Your Own Business with Multiple Income Streams
I am going to use Career Pivot as the classical example of a business with multiple income streams.
Career Pivot Membership community generates income via a modest monthly membership fee. As the community grows in revenue, income will grow more rapidly because expenses for the website are a fixed cost.
Repurpose Your Career books sell between 70-100 copies per month and generate profits between $400-700 per month.
You see ads on the Career Pivot website and via Ezoic more than $200 per month in income. That will grow as website traffic grows. Website traffic is about half of what it was over a year ago due to an attack.
Finally, I still do a small amount of one on one coaching which includes the Career Pivot evaluation.
Stair Stepping Your Way Out of Full-Time Employment
Most people do not move from full-time employment to a diversified income stream overnight. It takes time and for most of us a lot of planning. Based on your risk tolerance and financial resources you will have to determine a plan that works for you.
You should be prepared for a lot of ups and downs which is why you are doing this in the first place. You will likely fail from time to time and that is okay.
When I started the Career Pivot business, I did the unthinkable and quit my day job long before the business even existed. This is not something I ever recommend, but there are times when you have to do this. In my case, my job was killing me. My health had gone in steep decline due to the stress.
Start the planning process. You might consider joining an online community to help with this transition. I recently joined the Smart Passive Income Pro community to help me grow the Career Pivot Community membership. Previously, I belonged to the Flipped Lifestyle community which was a big help in getting the community launched.
I no longer believe that full-time employment is a good long term career strategy.
What do you think?Marc Miller
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