The Future of Work

The End of the Permanent Employee

  • Toby Toudal Nielsen
  • September 03, 2020

The job market is currently seeing many new set-ups and constructs, and it is rapidly changing. Getting a permanent job with a fixed contract is not necessarily the ideal anymore.

Independent work has become a choice for top professionals—the skilled people who are hungry to work on their own terms. With today’s modern technology, it has become easier than ever to transition to independent work across industries.

While cool start-ups and disruptive businesses, such as Uber and Airbnb, see a lot of people working on a freelance or flexible basis, it is interesting to note that the trend for independent work is also taking over the traditionally “heavier” industries, such as consulting, law, and IT, where we see seasoned professionals choosing to work independently and making a very good living.

The consulting industry often needs to sell change, and it lives off being able to spot trends and implementing transformation. And currently, it is undergoing a transformation of its own. Many consultants are transitioning to independent work, offering their knowledge, skills, and industry expertise to businesses looking to do consulting in a new, different, and often more cost-effective way. These companies hire an independent consultant or set up a team by handpicking exactly the right kind of people they need from consultancy “match-makers”, such as COMATCH.

These portals or marketplaces offer independent consultants a place to showcase their portfolios and experience, while giving companies a chance to find a consultant that will bring the perfect skill set for any project need. 

At COMATCH we see how the industry is changing. We see senior consultants with years of experience from the top consultancy houses making the move to independent work. Not because they have to. But because they want to. The flexibility of being their own boss and the flexible nature of independent work allows them to choose the projects they want to work on, try out new areas, cultivate new skills, and generally have more of a say in their work.

At the same time, we also see another trend. Young graduates with a few years of experience from a consultancy house, who often bring fresh experience from start-ups, are also setting up as independent consultants. Some of these people will never see a permanent contract in their life again. They opt for independent work because they want to be able to pick and choose what they work on. We know this to be true for the Millennials in the job market, but with a new Generation Z on its way, we will probably see this trend of independent and flexible working grow. Generation Z is the first generation to not remember a time before mobile phones or the internet. They are truly digital and technically skilled and are exposed to limitless opportunities for independent and flexible work.

So yes, the job market really is undergoing some big changes at the moment. But are you going to change with it? Could independent work be for you? Does your company know how to make the most out of independent workers? And is your business ready for this new model of work – whether you are the prospective independent consultant or the business buying in consultancy work?

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