Dear J.T. & Dale: My daughter graduated college in the pandemic. Because she couldn’t go out on interviews, she started doing contract work. She is now busier than ever doing freelance assignments from home. She’s making good money, but she has zero benefits. I’ve mentioned to her that she can’t stay on our health insurance much longer and that she’s not saving anything for retirement. But she doesn’t seem to care — she thinks that all these contracts are just going to continue for as long as she wants. What can I do to convince her to take a more business-minded approach? — Teresa
J.T.: We live in a gig economy. The number of full-time permanent positions is only going to decrease over time. At the time we’re writing this, thousands of layoffs are occurring. We are seeing companies shift away from full-time employees with benefits in order to deal with the constant change in their business models which forced them to restructure and lay off employees. Additionally, the next generation of workers wants independence. There is a resurgence of freelancers who are taking control of their situation and don’t want to feel held down by a full-time job. I commend your daughter for figuring out how to do this at such a young age. Given how resourceful she’s been so far, I feel confident that as these new financial requirements pop up, she will mature and figure out how to cover the costs.
DALE: Yes, the Yet Another New Economy has individuals being ever more responsible for their own financial security. But that doesn’t mean any one individual is going to act responsibly. So, I’m less sanguine than J.T. Let’s face it, most young people think they’re invulnerable and immortal and that makes them think long-term planning is just short of irrelevant. And most think their parents’ information is hopelessly obsolete. So, you probably can’t educate her yourself; however, you can invite her to a meeting with your accountant. Persuade her by telling her she’s probably missing out on tax deductions. (Millenials and younger are obsessed with FOMO, the fear of missing out.) Then your accountant can explain how she might benefit from creating her own corporation, and how she certainly needs an IRA and probably a Health Savings Account and so on. Maybe she’ll realize that the more independent she is, the more dependent she is on other independents for advice.
Dear J.T. & Dale: I was listening to a career expert who said that one of the best ways to get noticed by recruiters is to start posting content on sites like LinkedIn. The idea is that by posting content related to my industry, I can show that I know what I’m talking about. But I’m afraid that my co-workers will see it and think that I’m either a narcissist, a know-it-all, or maybe figure out that I’m looking for a new job. Do you think that’s the case? — Ines
J.T.: It’s funny you would say that because I teach all of my clients to regularly post content on LinkedIn. While the platform has been around for a long time, in the last two years they’ve pivoted toward becoming a better social media platform. They want more people sharing their thoughts and ideas as a way to engage people in conversation. I think there’s nothing wrong with you starting to do this, and if anyone asks, just tell them that you wanted to be a better networker and you were told the best way to do that was to engage your network on LinkedIn by sharing valuable information. That’s the truth! And, it’s also what will have recruiters find you; so it’s a great technique.
DALE: Do it right, and when your employers or co-workers discover your posts, here’s what they’ll think: She’s a true professional who’s learning and sharing, and who is engaged in her career. Might some of them think you’re ambitious? Yes. And that’s a good thing. Never be shy about wanting to advance both for the sake of the team and for your future. Energy is attracted to momentum.
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten’s latest book is “Experiments Never Fail: A Guide for the Bored, Unappreciated and Underpaid.” Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.