The headlong flight into self employment: what is waiting for mature age workers in the future?

| August 27, 2020

Whilst millennials are used to the idea of regular changes to jobs, and perhaps more exposed to the idea of the gig economy, mature workers – baby boomers and gen x are more used to the idea of a sequence of mid to long term roles with a single company, Hunter Leonard of Silver & Wise explains. 

That is all set to change in coming decades, and to a certain extent this ‘Future of Work’ is already here.

 Driven by endemic age discrimination in the work force from employers, mature workers will need to be prepared for a future of contracting, mixed part time roles, and gigs if they are to flourish and prosper in the future.

In my opinion, we’re going to see a headlong flight into self employment and a huge rise in the number of micro and small businesses in Australia. In fact I think we’ll probably see the swiftest rise in self employment that we’ve ever experienced in Australia.

Here’s some statistics to support this prediction:

 – Over 80% of major US companies are planning to switch to employing freelance labour (Intuit)

 – The Gig Economy is growing 3x faster than the traditional employment market (Forbes)

 – 63% of regular full time employees will leave their jobs for a gig (Go Remotely, 18 relevant
statistics on the gig economy in Feb 2020)

 – The GIG economy may comprise up to 40% of the entire workforce  – AI GROUP – “Emergence of the GIG Economy”

What does this mean for the mature worker?

For one thing, it means the mature worker needs to transition their skills – not from one technical discipline to another – but from being an employee to being a business owner. They will have to learn business planning skills, and marketing skills, and money management skills – amongst a raft of other critical general skills you need to be a successful business owner.

Mature workers will also have to get used to this idea of a flexible working relationship where they sell their time to a range of ‘clients’ rather than sell their time to one employer for the monthly pay check.

However fast we see this flight to self employment it is most certainly going to happen. And our economy and the individual worker will be a very different beast to what we see today.

We’re helping mature age workers navigate this future.

How does your business support mature workers?

Post a comment on First 5000 – Have your Say on LinkedIn today or email with your story.