Freelance and conquer the job market

Suit business red
Think of your career the same way you think of your stock portfolio: diversify, so you can stand out. Credit: Digital Vision

Gone are the days when you could rely on one source of income to survive. Secure full-time jobs are scarce — the economy is too unpredictable, and there are many external factors that you can’t control — like your company going into bankruptcy or eliminating your department.

Amid all this uncertainty are corporations that aren’t hiring, even though they are making more money. And just because you work at a well respected company doesn’t mean you’re protected from unpredictable layoffs. For instance, Macy’s is laying off 2,500 employees, Merck is laying off 8,500 and Cisco is cutting 4,000. These layoffs happen with alarming regularity.

In this kind of employment climate, you need to have multiple sources of income. The best way to accomplish that is by having an entrepreneurial mindset; think about career diversification the same way you think about managing a portfolio of stocks. If you put all of your money on one stock and it plummets, you are broke and living with your parents. On the other hand, if you invest in a series of stocks across various industries, you are more balanced — and if one tanks, you can stay afloat.

Although freelancing can be difficult, it is the easiest path to career diversification, and it’s becoming more and more popular. Intuit predicts that 40 percent of American workers will be freelancers by the year 2020. With freelancing you can take on multiple clients, and if you lose one you can still survive. Aside from the benefit of freedom and flexibility, it diversifies you in a way that protects you from economic uncertainty. If you work for a big corporation, you should be doing side projects (such as freelancing) just in case you get laid off. You can also parlay your entrepreneurial activity outside of work into a full-time job if you concentrate enough effort on it.

Diversifying your career is the smartest decision you can make because it gives you the upper hand in your career, and is your best insurance plan against things that you can’t control.

Dan Schawbel is a workplace expert, keynote speaker, and author of the New York Times best-selling book, Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…