The Changing Identities of Today’s Workforce: #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Matt Charneyone of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

Last week’s #TChat asked the question, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” and the conversation underscored compelling data that suggests that a mass exodus of talent seems imminent, a trend that threatens to impact employers irrespective of company size or overall headcount.

Employees and job seekers with small business experience and their counterparts from large company backgrounds face a similar career conundrum: what kind of employer is right for me? For an increasingly large percentage of the workforce, that answer comes down to transforming their personal brand into, well, a personal brand.

But what, exactly, does this new class of independent workers call themselves? Terms like consultant, contractor and contingent worker are frequently used interchangeably on resumes and job descriptions alike, but what, exactly, is the difference?

For many of us, what we do forms, in large part, who we are; but what do non-traditional, non-employees, well, call themselves? Are they marketing a small business or a start-up? Are they an entrepreneur or a gun for hire? It even seems looking for a job has increasingly turned into a business development proposition.

Whether building a brand or a bottom line, identity matters. But it’s often lost in today’s increasingly complex world of work. Tonight’s #TChat: “Am I A Temp, A Consultant, An Entrepreneur or a Small Business?” will take a look at the changing identities of today’s workforce – and its repercussions for employers and job seekers alike.

Join the conversation at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT with hosts @meghanmbiro @TalentCulture @kevinwgrossman and @monster_works and let us know what you think about the seismically shifting employment mix – and where you fit in.

For the first time this week, we’re asking a question in advance. So if you can’t wait until 8, let us know, “How Do You Classify Yourself In Today’s Workforce?” You don’t have to vote in advance; will let you submit your answer and we’ll reveal the results live on #TChat!

The Changing Identities of Today’s Workforce: 4.12.11 #TChat Questions and Recommended Reading

Here are tonight’s #TChat questions, along with some recommended reading, to help prepare, and inform, your participation in tonight’s conversation about personal identity and career management in today’s workforce.

Q1 (Poll): How do you classify yourself in today’s workforce? Full-time, part-time, temp – what?

Take The Survey

Q2: Has the latest downturn created more independents and “entrepreneurs”? Why?

Read: The Great Recession’s Effect on Entrepreneurship by Scott Shane (Federal Reserve)

Q3: What challenges are there transitioning from employed to independent or vice versa?

Read: More Jobs Shifting from Full Time to Contract by Larry Buhl

Q4: What’s the difference between a contractor, a temp or a consultant, if any?

Read: 5 Tips for Engaging Contingent Workers by Kevin Sheridan

Q5: What’s behind the rise in companies use in contingent workers and contractors? Good thing? Bad?

Read: From One to Many by Alice Snell

Q6: Do companies have different hiring standards for contingent workers? Should they?

Read: Why Are Hiring Managers Scared of Entrepreneurs? by David Mesicek

Q7: How has technology changed the employment mix? Increased startups?

EMBED: 2011 IT Job Market Report

Q8: So, are job titles now obsolete? How should we rethink careers and the why of work?

Read: If You Think Job Titles Don’t Matter… by Dawn Hrdlica

Visit for more great information on #TChat and resources on culture fatigue and how to overcome it!

Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation live every Tuesday night as co-hosts with Kevin Grossman and Meghan M. Biro from 8-9 PM E.T. via @monster_works and @MonsterWW. Hope to see you tonight at 8 PM ET for #TChat!