Future of Work

The End of the Permanent Employee

  • Toby Toudal Nielsen
  • September 3, 2020

The job market is currently seeing many new set-ups and constructs, and it is rapidly changing.

Getting a permanent job with a fixed contract is not necessarily the ideal anymore, as working independently has become a choice for the professionals, the skilled and the people hungry for work on their own terms. With today’s modern technology, it has become easier than ever to set up as an independent worker in many different industries.

While cool start-ups and disruptive businesses, such as Uber and Airbnb, see a lot of people working on a freelance basis, it is interesting to note that the trend for working independently is also happening in the traditionally “heavier” industries, such as consulting, law, and IT, where we see serious professionals choosing to work independently and making a very good living that way.

The consulting industry often needs to sell change, and it lives off being able to spot trends and to implement transformation. And currently it is undergoing a transformation of its own. Many consultants are setting up as independent consultants, offering their knowledge, skills, and industry expertise to businesses looking to do consulting in a new, different, and often more cost-effective way. These companies hire an independent consultant, or set up a team by handpicking exactly the right kind of people they need from consultancy “match-makers”, such as COMATCH.

These portals or marketplaces offer independent consultants a place to showcase their portfolios and experience, while giving companies a chance to find the exact right match in a consultant that will bring just the skill set and talents that the company is looking for to carry out their projects.

At COMATCH we see how the industry is changing. We see senior consultants with years of experience from the top consultancy houses making the move to working independently. Not because they have to. But because they want to. The flexibility of being their own boss and the flexible nature of working independently, choosing the projects they want to work on, trying out new areas and cultivating new skills, and generally having more of a say in their work are all factors for why these experienced consultants start a new career as independents.

At the same time, we also see another trend. Young graduates with a few years of experience from a consultancy house, who often bring with them fresh experience from start-ups, are also setting up as independent consultants. Many of these people will never see a permanent contract in their life again. They want to work independently, and they want to be able to pick and choose the work they do. We know this to be true for the Millennials in the job market, but with a new Generation Y on its way, we will probably see this trend grow even bigger. Generation Y is the first generation to not remember a time before mobile phones or the internet. They are truly digital and technically skilled, and they see options and possibilities in working flexibly and digitally, not limits.

So yes, the job market really is undergoing some big changes at the moment. But are you going to change with it? Could working independently be for you? Does your company know how to make the most out of using independent workers? And is your business ready for this new model of work – whether you are the prospective independent consultant or the business buying in consultancy work?