Become a Tempreneur and Increase Your Job Security

temporary-services"I think there is a major paradigm shift going on in 2010 as a result of the great recession -- this is a defining moment in work-force history. There has already been a breakdown in the past years of the marriage between employer and employee; you are no longer guaranteed a job for life," says Lynn Taylor, author of 'Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT); How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job' (John Wiley & Sons, July 2009).

Growth of entrepreneurs

Our unstable economy is producing ample opportunities for entrepreneurs who do not require 9-5 office jobs as a guaranteed source of income. According to a the most recent job market index by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas: "The percentage of unemployed workers starting their own business rose to an average of 8.6 percent in 2009... up 69 percent from 2008, when the start-up rate was just 5.1 percent, the lowest annual average in the history of the Index. The biggest surge in entrepreneurial activity occurred in the third quarter, when 11.8 percent of job seekers started their own firms."

Clearly more and more people are beginning to think that their best chances for remaining gainfully employed are to be their own bosses. Employees benefit by experiencing fewer swings in layoffs, and employers like to use self-employed workers because it helps them cut down on overhead expenses associated with having full-time employees on staff.

Add to that the fact that there is more outsourcing these days, as well as major layoffs occurring in industries such as IT and banking, and it is no wonder more people find being self-employed more attractive than the alternatives.

More Baby Boomers will be working

Taylor also points to another source of manpower that will change the dynamic of the work force in the next few years: the "unretired". This group of seniors represents people who will be returning to work, because of personal or financial reasons, in the upcoming years. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) echoes Taylor's sentiments and cites that as many as eight out of 10 Baby Boomers will work part- or full-time, rather than opting to retire. That means that over 64 million Americans will not retire or will reenter the work force, representing a major demographic shift in the nation's work force.

-- See the average salaries for workers age 44-65 and 65 and older.

What is a 'tempreneur'?

With the combination of all these factors coming to a head this year -- and playing out over the next few years -- Taylor believes it has set the stage for what she has trademarked, the "tempreneur."

A tempreneur is a person who is half temporary worker, or temp, and half entrepreneur, or self-made businessperson who runs her own business endeavor or shop on the side. According to Taylor, tempreneurs work more mid-level projects by, "gauging what they can do based on what the market demands and what opportunities are present."

This is a growing trend within the American work force, and as Taylor comments, "its all about the flexibility. Being a tempreneur can be whatever you choose to make it." Working the temp side will ensure that you have a steady income flow as long as you are working projects and meeting deadlines, while the entrepreneur side is what takes over when you need to constantly make new contacts with clients, follow up and get in front of people to ensure that your pipeline always has future "potential" jobs available; this is when you need to run your "temp" assignments like a businessperson. This way, you are not a gigger who gets easy-to-land, low-level assignments, but a businessperson who is focused on developing long-term relationships with people who can be lifelong clients.

How to maintain your job security

These are Taylor's recommendations for how to increase your job security in today's changing and challenging workplace:

  1. Maintain your contacts.

  2. Go to events, network and develop warm leads when possible.

  3. Become indispensible. Align yourself with your boss's large objectives and learn to step up to stand out.

  4. Expand your skills. "Be the 2.0 you; do not become complacent."

  5. Take initiative.

  6. Take the high road because positivity is contagious.

  7. Take advantage of how much clout you have as an employee to manage your relationship with your boss. Be proactive, not reactive. In a January 2010 study conducted by Taylor, she found that: "U.S. employees spend as much as 19.2 hours per week worrying about what a boss says or does." Those wasted hours could be more effectively expended, says Taylor.

  8. Think about how you communicate and how the recipient will feel.

The future of America's work force

In the February issue of 'Human Resources' magazine, writer Rita Zeidner examined the issue of whether it is better to rely on temporary workers or hire full-time staff employees. She found that "employers are increasingly reliant on a blended work force where long-time employees work side-by-side with -- or one cubicle, hospital bed or classroom away from -- a temp who has a different boss."

'The Age of Paradox' (Harvard University Press, 1995) represents the work of Charles Handy who, 15 years ago, predicted: "Organizations will organize, but to do so they will no longer need to employ." Now it appears that his 15-year-old prediction has finally begun to come to fruition.

The key question is, do you have what it takes to be tempreneur and enter in the work force is a new and different way?

Next: Should You Strike Out on Your Own? Or Will You Strike Out? >>

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Otherwise known as "consulting"

July 31 2015 at 3:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

oops very interesting comment

May 11 2012 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

interesting comment

May 11 2012 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When I had to come back from retirement, I found it hard to find a job that would suit me, so I went on my own, looking for projects, clients, using old friends and acquaintances. Now I seem to be exactly the kind of "tempreneur" described in the article. I thought of registering a consulting firm, but the hustle seems to be too much, so I stay "self-employed" and enjoy the freedom and a very rewarding income. Hooray for tempreneurs!

July 15 2010 at 4:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's a funny thing - how I keep running into Lynn Taylor's stuff. I read her book, Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, to find ways to deal with my bully boss. Although her advice was excellent, I eventually had to quit (guess some tyrants just can't be tamed). I started freelancing, and now I'm a "tempreneur"! Remembering my old job, it feels good to be my own boss, or at least to be able choose which bosses to work for.

July 07 2010 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael M

Taylor makes some valid points here. Being a tempreneur helps me balance my professional and personal life. Today's employers understand that flexibility is what many highly motivated and effective employees require in their work schedules. I've never had a problem finding work, even in the current economy. I'm on the top of many Human Resource manager's lists so never have to go through a temp agency.

July 03 2010 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
not a bad boss

I work with temps a lot, and I have to agree, "tempreneurship" is a growing trend. I find that it's much better to have these established relationships than to scramble for temps every time a gap needs to be stopped. I think we'll see Charles Handy's prediction become reality in this generation. Kudos to Taylor for recognizing the trend and offering good advice to those who want to follow this path.

July 03 2010 at 2:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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