full-time employment is uncertain, and links

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that most people want to hold on to their own idea of reality as long as they can. If you believe in a particular religion, or you have particular political beliefs, or dietary beliefs, etc. – you cling to it as a matter of fact rather than opinion. Even in the face of reason or fact, most people will choose belief over reality. It’s a sad phenomenon, for the most part, although it’s comforting in the short run. You want to think that what you believe is true, regardless of the facts opposing those beliefs.

I see this in my work environment all the time. It’s a tired story, but for the millionth time I’ve been asked how I can stand to be a consultant despite “all the uncertainty.” I had to hold my breath and then point out that I’ve outlasted 50% of the employees in the department I’m in. Employees are uncertain. Full-time employment is rapidly becoming a burden to companies – short-term expert consultants are far more valuable and cost-effective than full-timers. I’m not saying that’s a good thing – but it is what it is. I’m just amazed, again and again, that I have to explain to employees that my job as a contract consultant is just as secure, if not more secure, than theirs is.

A few links from around the web – including congratulations on this one, Blogging for U.S. News & World Report; frequent commenter Syd has a cool new gig going at a “real” media publication – go check it out!