You Are (Almost) Hired: The Try Out Economy

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If you are looking for a new job but you are stuck in the mindset of the old world of work, you are likely applying only to full-time jobs with full-time benefits. You may soon discover that we are now in a “try out” economy. Employers both big and small will try out new workers in part-time or temporary positions, some of which may lead to full-time work.

Before you think of these employers as caricatures from a Dickens novel, picture yourself opening up your own business. Assuming you have somewhat limited funding, you will be extremely cautious hiring anyone. Hiring someone full-time is a giant investment of cost, time, and energy. Hiring the wrong people can be the biggest mistake companies make.

The reasons for this employer-employee transformation go well beyond our current economic crisis. This trend developed in response to the needs of the information age. The speed with which companies must create new projects, innovate, and use new technologies requires a workforce with an ever-changing skill set. This has created what has been called the just-in-time workforce. The Great Recession accelerated but did not invent this new world of work.

What does this mean for you? You have to realize that the road to many full-time jobs will now go through a multiple-stage process. You might get hired for a project, or for limited hours or a limited period of time. Not only might this be good for you in the short run, but it also might be the best way to apply for the full-time job you want.