Join Dr. Chaz Austin for an in-depth discussion in this video The multiple income streams approach, part of Creating a Career Plan.
- For prior generations, the working world looked pretty much like this: you found a job with a company when you were in your 20s, worked your way up and retired from that same company about 30 years later with a gold watch and a lifetime pension. But this model has changed radically. Why, you may ask? Basically, shareholders began demanding that stock prices climb higher every quarter, which meant that the focus moved from long term strategy to short term profitability.
The two ways to boost profits are by increasing revenue and cutting expenses, and the most expensive item in any company is people. So if you're running a company and your mandate is to increase profits every single quarter, and your bonus is tied to that, you have a number of tactics at your disposal. These include cutting overtime hours, laying people off, automating certain jobs, and this is where technology and the rise of the internet and social media come in very handy for you, and offshoring other jobs to countries where people will work for a fraction of what your current employees earn.
Finally you say to yourself, why do I need employees at all? Why don't I just hire people on an as-needed basis? They can pay their own taxes, and I'm freed up from offering them any benefits at all. And as soon as the project they're working on is completed, they're history. This is where we find ourselves today. It's a freelance world, and corporate loyalty is a thing of the past. You, in fact, almost all of us, are now freelancers. The dictionary defines freelancer as a person who sells services to employers without a long term commitment to any of them.
The sooner you understand that that's who you are, the easier it will be for you to prepare for and navigate this new world of work. That's the first part. The second part is that you need to start thinking of yourself as a business, given the fact that you're a freelancer who's moving from one project to the next, working for a series of organizations, you're operating just as any business does. I call this model the Multiple Income Streams Approach, and it's an appropriate strategy for anyone in any industry.
A business does not rely on a single client. In marketing your brand and treating yourself as a business, this approach frees you from relying on one client. I want you to think of yourself as a wagon wheel. The hub is your core brand or skill set. If you were, say, Apple, that might be that you manufacture and sell electronic devices. If you were Coca Cola, you bottle and market beverages. In this example, let's use musician as the hub.
The spokes extending from that hub are the various ways you can derive income from your talents. This might include studio musician, touring musician, teacher, which could mean private lessons, clinics, K-12, after school programs, high school and college courses, producer, audio engineer, arranger, managing other artists, mixer, song writer, booking agent, product endorsements, et cetera.
As you create a career strategy, you want to find as many ways as possible to generate revenue just like any other business would. Your focus needs to shift from finding a job to finding work. The multiple income streams approach is designed to create a steady stream of income from multiple sources. This is how you build a career in the 21st century.
- Understanding the 21st century workplace
- Identifying your monetizable passion
- Knowing how to interview well
- Managing your search for work
- Negotiating salary
- Becoming a lifelong learner