Reading “The Disposable Worker” from the January 7, 2010 edition of Businesweek is a real eye opener. The idea of an employee working for one corporation for his or her entire career is a thing of the past. Corporations hire employees on an as needed basis to meet their business requirements. This can take the form of hiring temporary workers through agencies such as Manpower or it can take the form of hiring freelance workers for a particular project. When these business needs are met, the employee is suddenly out of work, thus creating the disposable worker.
The main theme of the article is business experts say the idea of a permanent job is a thing of the past and all employees are now temps. One reason this is happening is businesses have to cut costs to increase corporate profits. These cuts take the form of layoffs, pay cuts, and less benefits for employees.
When the public thinks of temporary employees, often blue collar or secretarial jobs come to mind. This is no longer true. Now positions such as lawyers, scientists, and business executives are hired on a temporary basis for short-term business needs or projects. As a temporary worker, these employees no longer earn the perks of vacation time and health insurance.
What is my reaction to this article? This article makes me sad. Employees who work for decades at a corporation can now find themselves unemployed. This is especially hard on the older worker. I am sad because so many people work hard to earn a college degree thinking the degree will help them land a job when that is no longer the case. Corporations are simply not hiring. Sometimes I wonder why I am going to college.
assess my strengths and weaknesses and know how to market myself in a variety of ways. I must know what my skill set is and learn how to match it with more than one career. Employers need to see my flexibility when I interview.
In conclusion, employees need to learn to think outside the box of their college degree. I could sit down with a career counselor and discuss potential career options based on my likes, dislikes, skills, abilities, and experience. Perhaps a whole new career field will open up that I had never expected. The idea of the disposable worker does not have to be negative.
Coy, P., Conlin, M., & Herbst, M. (2010). The Disposable Worker. Businessweek. Retrieved