Job Market Update 07/30/20

Jobs market for strategists – How are things tracking?

The opportunities for paid work have picked up in the last month but the focus now and through the remainder of 2020 will emphasize, freelance/flexi/’permalance’. Why? Because clients, uncertain about consistency of consumer expenditure will not want to lock themselves in to extra marketing and in turn, so agencies similarly will not want to be locking in cash, least of all on full time hiring. There are of course exceptions. Where full time hiring is really happening is with agencies that in ‘normal’ market conditions, might relatively struggle to attract top industry talent. For those that really want to freelance, after many job cuts in this marketplace, expect plenty of competition, as a huge surplus your strategy peers are also now looking for freelance.

Flexi/Freelance Working Opportunity – Should I Consider It? Yes if:

Money – You need to keep the money rolling in and it can be lucrative.

Sanity – You need to keep your mind engaged whilst waiting for full time.

Availability – Because there is no full time!

Assessment – Because it provides a much better way to assess your fit as part of a new team/with a new client. You have the chance to ‘trial,’ as does the agency.

Variety – Allows you to have a better variety of work.

Skills Focus – You can focus on using the expertise you prefer to focus on.

Connections – Allows you greater industry exposure.

Career Direction? – If you’re unsure about what’s next for your career, freelance gives you time to re-evaluate.

Flexibility – Freelance allows you to work when you want.

Flexi/Freelance Working Opportunity – Should I Consider?

Flexi/Freelance Working Opportunity – Should I Consider It? No if:

Lack of security – Freelance unlike full time, is temporary work. When an agency needs to cut back, the freelancers tend to lose out first.

Constant hustle – As freelance is temporary, you need to constantly be pursuing next.

Loneliness – You are very often not part of a team and working in isolation.

Lack of Structure – You are in business for yourself. This is good but you have to create the structure of your day.

Dealing with Admin’ – If you work for yourself, you’ll have plenty of non-strategy things that need to get done.

Team Involvement – You don’t usually have the same level of information or involvement with the team.

Project Completion – Project work invariably means you work on discrete parts of a campaign or brand building exercise which you may not see through to completion.

Career Paralysis – Freelance can be a detour from a time needed to reflect or retool.

Freelance – What Are My Next Steps?

Instead of being the end of the world, the loss of a job can be a good thing, the need for money aside, it really does depend on how you ‘want’ to see things. As a crisis or as an opportunity. For certain, some form of new beginning but, what should your focus be if when you are laid off?

1.If you desperately need to work, (to keep cashflow or sanity) then take any freelance role where you know your skills are needed.

2. If you’re not desperate for work – Use the time you now have to reflect and assess what would be an optimal next career step; Which skills you would like to develop and which experiences do you want to have next. Clarify whether this comes from non-vocational training or from specific freelance or full-time roles.

3. Smile – Know that the job you’ve been paid to do, understanding consumer behavior, is a dream scenario for many. So, from time-to-time, why not now, remind yourself what you get paid to do for a living. Really think about it. Then, smile. I promise, you, you will feel energized.

For more on the subject of Freelance working, sign up for our ‘Free’ newsletter, which goes to thousands of your strategic problem-solving peers. The next edition is out 8/3 and focused on freelance working.