Killing Them Softly: Are Sidepreneurs Bringing Decline to Corporate America?
Happy Friday everyone! It has been another great week in the blogosphere and in the Frugal Rules home. I just want to know how ON EARTH it’s mid-September already! Don’t get me wrong, I love fall but this year is just flying by.
If you’re a reader of many personal finance blogs, you likely already know of the “hustle.” There are many other terms to describe those who hustle, such as: sidepreneurs, entrepreneurs or solepreneurs. As I was reading this article on Yahoo Finance this week it discussed the growth of sidepreneurs, especially among the millennial generation. The article went on to state that nearly half the workforce will be millennials by the year 2020 – which is only about six years away, and that they’ll likely work for at least six companies over the span of their careers. What this brought to my mind was how this will change the face of corporate America over the course of the next few decades.
Will Corporate America Weather the Sidepreneur Storm?
Corporate America has long been the backbone of our society, as it has provided many of the jobs and ingenuity in our country for years. Yes, there have been those that have gone off and done their own thing, but I think by and large so much of what has been produced as a country has gone back to the firm in our society. For many years the company, generally speaking, would provide a decent salary to the employee and often provide a good retirement plan. As I’ve shared before, that is really no longer the case and I think it could be argued on numerous levels that many larger employers simply do not care about their employees and thus it leaves things previously provided by the firm up to us as individuals.
My Dad talks from time to time about how there used to be a bond between an employer and an employee and remembers a time when the two felt a responsibility, loyalty and commitment to one another. It’s not that way anymore and it has to do with more than just companies not giving out pensions. Call me a jaded Gen-Xer if you will ;), but I think the relationship between companies and their employees has changed. It seems today that most people (employers and employees) in business feel loyalty only to themselves. As corporations pinch wages, cut jobs, slash benefits and leave things like insurance and retirement completely up to employees, workers begin to realize that they must look out for themselves. That cultural shift is to me at the heart of sidepreneurism. Workers today realize no company is going to take care of them and if they want to earn a good income and enjoy a comfortable retirement, they can’t depend on one income source from one employer to provide that for them.
Back to my point, this rise in sidepreneurs leaves me thinking how corporate America will be able to handle this shift. We’ve been seeing a growing change over the last number of years where people have become more entrepreneurial by either starting their own business or working a side gig in addition to their normal 9-5 routine. We even have a number of clients who’re in the latter camp who are growing their own business so they can eventually leave the grind and control more of their own destiny. How will the larger firms handle this and deal with the possibility of losing talent to the entrepreneurial world? I am not certain exactly how that’ll play out, but certainly a growing understanding of the need to provide appropriate benefits, rewarding top talent and allowing pathways to pursue the entrepreneurial desire that many have – especially amongst those that call themselves millennials, should be at the top of every corporation’s list.
Sidepreneurs Are Here to Stay
It could be easy to say that sidepreneurs will fall by the wayside and that it’s a passing fad – especially for someone as jaded as I am. I believe, however, that would be greatly discounting the growth and desire behind many sidepreneurs. If you read the article I cited from Yahoo Finance, you’ll notice there’s a video attached to it and it was interesting to watch as it points out the different reasons why many turn to sidepreneurship. Speaking generally, they want to be able to be a part of something that matters to them, be creative and hopefully create alternate streams of income for themselves. Looking back over the past few decades, this is not really something that was championed or even possible for many, but as the article points out, the internet has really made much of this possible.
Thinking of our own personal lives, we’ve benefitted greatly as we can do work for anyone around the world as long as we can communicate via email. This is not something that was possible when I was in high school (I know, I am THAT old as I graduated high school in the 90’s) and would’ve been much more difficult to manage just a short few years ago. Of course, the internet makes it easy for many to start a business of their own, or become sidepreneurs, but that does not mean it’s necessarily easy to do the work. That’s exactly my point though, I think we’re going to continue to see a growth in sidepreneurs as many are doing it even in light of the time it might entail.
One of the concerns I have is not only how Corporate America will respond but how this sea change will affect workers from lower socio economic backgrounds. How will people without the education, time or skills necessary to create multiple streams of income scratch out a living? And, what kind of work will be left for them to enjoy? If many of the highly skilled workers leave to start their own gigs, what kind of jobs will lower income workers have? That said, I think sidepreneurs are here to stay and I believe that they’ll only diversify in their efforts as they look for ways to grow themselves and their income – and corporate America will be forced to shift and change in order to deal with it.
Say Goodbye to Search Terms and Blog Posts
What – no blog posts or crazy search terms to share? I know, it was a tough decision, but for the sake of mainly time, I’ve decided to eliminate both from my Frugal Friday posts as I simply have not been able to keep up with it and need to devote time to other things blogging related. That said, I’ve also started to take on more freelance work, so if you’re looking for a writer on pretty much anything personal finance related, take a look at my Hire Me page and let me know!
What are your thoughts? I know many of my readers have their own side hustle, so how do you think corporate America will deal with the continued growth of sidepreneurs? Do you have anything fun planned for this weekend?
Photo courtesy of: Pamela Stocks