Mind The Gap – Does The Future Belong To The Courageous Independent Workforce

Ryan Trecartin - video still - vdeo series reflecting the impact of tv shows on US society.
Ryan Trecartin – video still – video series reflecting the impact of tv shows on US society. Has nothing to do with the topic, but I love the looks!

No, it is not the London subway speaking. But this memorable phrase when exiting the tube is echoing in my head when I see all those freelancing creative people, start-up entrepreneurs, writers, programmers…. and so on buzzing in Berlin. Young people or young at heart.

Freelancing or being independent is the new way of life and many take the jump and try it….once or twice. Clearly, the positive trends towards taking risks, repetitive trials and failure are dripping into the European continent as well. A big ‘yes’ for change, creativity and courageousness…

But at the same time this ‘Mind the gap’ pops in my head. Since, will it also be easier to get back in the corporate rat race once you have created a career gap? It used to be a gap reserved for women – mommies only – but now it seems it reached a certain gender equality. Many people create a ‘career gap’ by going independent or start a business. And unfortunately Europe is – unlike the very favorable tax conditions for start-ups in the US – a very harsh environment for young entrepreneurs. The government and tax regulations will not give you a break…at all. But for example US research shows that more young people grow up to be an entrepreneur and try this first after graduation.

So many people will go for it and live the free entrepreneurial life. At least for a while. But for many financial and personal reasons many will also want to return to a steady and fixed position. How will that work out in a decade from now? Will recruiters and companies still be so careful in hiring an independent soul?

Although they have been listening an applauding the keynotes of these courageous independent souls during the latest TEDX conference, they often give preference to what they know and can assess: a fine, planned career path. But soon, many young career people will have an entrepreneurial ‘gap’ in their resume. And if companies are not adjusting to the new workforce and its ambition, it will be very likely they will miss out on incredible talent. Having different kind of people, background and characters in your team will only rise creativity and drive motivation.

It seems that many companies often are afraid they will not be able to ‘cage the rebelliousness’ once back in the corporate environment. Well, do not try to box in talent and don’t be afraid talented people might leave you again. Something good, inspirational and innovative always will rub off on others.

Mind the gap – that applies for hiring companies too.

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