In today’s rapidly changing work environment, it is important to seek ways to diversify your income. The typical corporate job has a very short life span, on average two to four years. You should always have at least one alternative source of income such as consulting, teaching a course one night a week or representing a product or service. Ultimately, it’s advisable to convert to a “portfolio career” using your core skills and experience over multiple streams of income. Consider consulting as your base work, perhaps as a part-time CFO, CMO or CTO serving several clients, and supplemented by teaching or owning a small franchise that spins off $50K or $60K annually which could be overseen by a spouse or employee. I have several clients who have purchased franchises that produce passive income. In my work with executives in transition over the past 25 years I have seen many examples of clients either consulting or choosing some of the following:
- Buy and own a small franchise or business
- Teach a course one or two nights a week
- Paid work as a corporate board member
- Write articles, a blog or even a book
- Play an instrument two nights a week
- Become a sales rep for a line of products or a service for which they have a passion
- Join a network marketing group
- Build or repair items such as in computers, furniture, crafts or autos
- Work as an artist, painter or sculptor
The possibilities are endless! I have several pages of examples I share with my network of executives. I have been spreading the following message for many years: You are the Enterprise.
Often the first “ah-ha” to getting a shot at income other than your traditional job is teaching a course one or two nights a week. This is usually the beginning of the realization that there are ways to earn money outside of your regular work.
THE “GIG” ECONOMY & UNRETIREMENT
It is estimated that about 20 percent of the professional workforce is working in the “gig economy” and outside of traditional work. Another contributing factor here is the rapid erosion of even professional work by machines using artificial intelligence (AI). There just will not be as many full-time, secure jobs in the future.
The executives I have worked with and who are the most challenged going forward are the ones that have had a long and stable career; now out on the street at 62 without much of a network and no idea how to create a new one.
I tell my clients if you are around 60 years of age and are taking care of yourself with proper diet and exercise, you will have the opportunity to work at least part-time in something you love for another 30 years. Work and health go together, and it is important to stay in the game particularly for brain health. The basic principle of brain operation is that it improves – creates more cells – when stimulated; and declines without stimulation.
Once you reach 50+ years in your career it’s time to prepare for the future by getting off the corporate ladder and building out your portfolio. The latest books on fitness and health are all writing about the possibility of living a healthy life through 100 years of age. The sooner you transition to being a “free agent” the better you will be in the long run.