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Workplace Trend: Career Flexibility

While corporations are busy merging or downsizing -- slimming down their permanent staffs -- small businesses are multiplying and building their staffs. The by-product? An unprecedented growth of "flexible careers."

© 1997, by Lisa M. Roberts

Consulting, contract working, private practice, home business...whatever name it goes by, it's becoming a common interlude in today's career. As former employees of big firms, many of today's entrepreneurs are using business relationships established in the traditional workplace as the bridge to cross over to small business...and then back again.

While big businesses dissolve and/or slim down their permanent staffs, small businesses are multiplying and building staffs. Hence a symbiotic relationship is starting to form between big business and SOHO business. As the two grow increasingly interdependent, big business nourishes its smaller counterpart by channeling overflow work (and sometimes financial investment) in their direction. In return, small business keeps its larger counterpart afloat by filling in the gaps through transitional times and beyond.

With this new bridge between big and small business firmly underway, career flexibility has surfaced as a progressive and promising by-product. Career flexibility is based on business relationships that stay intact even when the parties involved move around to different companies, as well as on work that is portable (i.e., technology-based). -- i.e., a career that can begin in an outside office, ove to a home office, and then transfer back again.

In the Information Age, it is no longer enough to learn a trade and practice it for a life vocation; today the practice of learning itself is in demand. To stay competitive, companies need performers who can locate, analyze and apply information, then repeat this process with every new project.

This type of work lends itself to computer-based positions -- work that is portable. That means you can start your career in an outside office, move to a home office, and then transfer back again. Corporate management may not be as interested in controlling your time under their physical wing as they are in raking in the fruits of your information-processing labor.

So whether corporations act as employers or clients, and whether you work as an employee or consultant, careers are growing f l e x i b l e . They can stretch over several work options as opportunity is recognized and snap back into place when the time is right.

© 1997 Lisa M. Roberts, all rights reserved. The above article is an excerpt from How to Raise A Family & A Career Under One Roof: A Parent's Guide to Home Business, a title highly recommended by La Leche League, Home Office Computing and the Family Christian Bookclub. Order your own copy today!

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