As most of our followers know, we believe that new ways to work – beyond the familiar world of jobs – is the future for many, many Americans. And, the key to working successfully in new ways is resiliency, that often forgotten and most basic of all skills needed for success.
Beyond a quizzical look by a cynically raised eyebrow or two, we can affirm that virtual work is one of the fastest growing ways to work in the 21st century. Look up the data, on sites such as Forrester Research, and you will note that there are an estimated 60+ million Americans working virtually today. This is about double the number of virtual workers in 2010.
Full-time, part-time or some-of-the-time, if work can be done outside of a place (office), it will. And, increasingly, clients and employers are looking well beyond online retail-service reps and airline reservationists for sophisticated virtual help from here, there and everywhere.
Let us share a real-life story of someone who was/is confined to a wheelchair and who found hope as well as new options in the virtual world of work.
Despondent and alone, our subject struggled. Ultimately, he came up with a plan to demonstrate his ability to use basic online tools and to sell his flexibility for full-time, part-time or once-in-awhile work to any prospective employer/client who would give him the opportunity to work from his wheelchair in his kitchen at home.
How did he find prospective “buyers” of his talent? He searched the web. Surprised by the volume of options and the large amount of information offered, he learned about several ways virtual workers were compensated. He studied the information about the ups-and-downs of this type of work and, ultimately, settled on his first “gig” with a call-center for a major retail firm that paid by the hour – not by the call – as many firms do.
His mind was engaged; his time was engaged; his work grew by the month. No, he still does not have employer-paid benefits, yet he has used his time to update his skills. As he tells us – “In the beginning, virtual work beat the endless hours of lonely days and, now, it has freed me to continue to upgrade my skills as well as to work virtually in fields that are of interest to me.”
Think about virtual work from both the workplace as well as the workforce’s points-of-view.
The workplace (organization) pays for what they need; no more – no less.
Organizations realize additional labor savings as well as the benefits of steady efforts by seniors who have stayed current in basic computer and office skills. They benefit by offering virtual work to stay-at-home moms, to students, to others whose life circumstances suggest that, at least for the time being, virtual work makes financial sense to the workplace and life sense to the workers.
Trusted regular, full-time members of the workforce benefit by combining both virtual as well as in-person contributions to their employers.
So, think about it. If many people and organizations have adjusted to this way of working, the question is, might this type of work, work for you?
Got it? Then, perhaps Hawaii is your Gateway to the Pacific Rim of work.
Reach out to your favorite wingman—we are multi-generational coaches. You will benefit from our proven 8-Step process. Let us guide you to what you need to know and do in order to advance your career in a time of hyper-shift. We can help you implement a plan that will work for you.