28 Aug RedCloud Consulting: The Evolution of the Professional
If you asked 10 of your friends how long they have been at their current job, a small percentage would have been with one company, in a similar role or position, for more than three years, let alone a decade. As our society is going through an underlying shift in how professionals approach their careers, most people stay at a position for an average of three to five years. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics tracked a group of younger baby boomers in a longitudinal study to find that workers over the last several decades averaged more than 11 jobs in their careers. As Gen X and Millennials soon become the largest portion of our workforce, that data-point will continue to rise in number of jobs in a lifetime. It’s about time we embrace flexibility.
Another related trend in the workforce is the rise of freelancing or flexible hours. This concept appeals to today’s professionals for many reasons including work/life balance, family obligations, education, or simply a lifestyle choice. In a recent survey, data shows that 50% of millennial workers are already freelancing, and freelancers are predicted to be the majority of the U.S. workforce within a decade. This shift feels significant considering how previous generations operated and how today’s higher education is set-up to train us for specific skills and careers.
At RedCloud we recognize and appreciate the shift in America’s workforce and believe our employment model blends the best of flexible and dynamic work along with benefits freelancers enjoy. In the three short years since our 2015 relaunch, our approach has proven to be effective and appealing for our consultants and clients alike. We bring seasoned professionals on-board to not only leverage their existing background and skill-sets, but also to provide them with a wide-ranging set of opportunities in a supportive and flexible environment to continue building an incremental skill-set in today’s world.
On the client side, this approach to building teams and deploying experts on-demand creates a highly efficient modular service in which RedCloud can jump in to provide a laser-focused solution to an issue critical for success. Additionally, should a client’s needs change midstream, we can rapidly deploy more human resources with specific skill-sets, or have a person in place who is highly adaptable and a problem solver, backed by a wealth of resources from the firm and RedCloud colleagues.
From an employee perspective, the speed of change in our modern economy requires constantly polishing skills to stay current and relevant. There is no better training ground to keep skills fresh than training on the job, a concept that a consulting model, like RedCloud’s, provides. We offer our team members a diverse set of clients and opportunities, to diversify the skills required to move from project to project. At RedCloud, we support this need for constant change through a highly supportive and collaborative environment.
Our support starts with our dedicated Account Managers who act as an overarching resource for all our consultants and who handle quality assurance from both the client and consultant perspective. Account managers check in and keep open-communication running with their team members so that they never feel isolated at the client-site. They also help manage client expectations and project scope while sourcing additional resources, such as specific data tools, software programs, or the personnel needed for success. Account managers also keep an eye out for new business opportunities – freeing our consultants to continue delivering solutions, and not hunting for their next job, like many pure freelancers must.
We’ve built in more formal programs for ongoing professional development for our team members, including modern coursework to learn new skills, “tips and tricks” coffee sessions between peers, and our Lunch & Learn forums where work teams proudly share experiences and successes that can be implemented across all client projects.
The softer side of our model takes center-stage when it comes to how today’s modern professional approaches life, family, travel, and work. The pure nature of discrete consultative projects with a beginning and end (as opposed to FTE-centered work) provides a transparent approach to help manage parental leave, sabbaticals, or any other needs that come up in life. Our team can plug in and provide value on client projects as it is appropriate for them. Our team has the option to unplug and stay home and enjoy the summer with a child before they head to college, travel Southeast Asia with their partner, or take care of an aging family member, all without the fear of burning any bridges. RedCloud is grounded in our firm-wide dedication to integrity and transparency, and this model is proving to resonate with today’s evolving professional, while simultaneously producing impactful, business-shaping results for our clients.
Is this professional evolution over? We don’t think so with the speed of technology and change in today’s economy. We feel confident in our approach to continue to adapt to the needs of Gex X, Millennials, and even Gen Z when they are ready to join the workforce!