The nature of work has changed. Want proof? Search LinkedIn and see how many people choose to define their job role with what might previously have been seen as non-traditional, even esoteric, terms:
- 4,475,626 results for owner
- 3,677,739 results for consultant
- 1,911,106 results for specialist
- 537,068 results for advisor
- 469,201 results for founder
- 468,044 results for expert
- 405,901 results for freelance
- 398,420 results for contractor
- 365,215 results for writer
- 138,506 results for speaker
- 84,840 results for strategist
- 61,032 results for ambassador
- 50,013 results for thinker
- 45,848 results for visionary
- 42,614 results for guru
- 20,318 results for blogger
- 16,270 results for evangelist
- 4,582 results for entreprenuer
- 3,094 results for gatekeeper
- 1,637 results for futurist
Old favourites – like freelance and contractor – are still popular. At the start of the last decade, such descriptions were seen as being catch-all phrases for individuals operating at the fringes of the formal economy and providing an outsourced service to larger businesses.
Twenty years ago, futurologists predicted something called ‘the internet’ would allow us to all work flexibly. Now, in a new economy driven by collaborative technologies, freelancing has become the mainstream. A global economy of contractors is fast-developing, with individuals selling their expertise on-demand.
Old monikers – such as freelance and contractor – do not necessarily encapsulate the act of work. The result is a collection of meaningful/meaningless terms that are used to describe what people actually do, or would like to do.
I wonder how the table will develop as the economy changes? Feel free to suggest other esoteric descriptions.