You and I tend to bifurcate many aspects of our lives. Probably because it helps us wrap our hands around the complex issues we often face; probably because it helps to make our choices seem a bit simpler. This “separation” is really evident when it comes to your money and your career decisions.

Yesterday, I presented a webinar for the National Urban League aptly titled – “Your Money, Your Career: Leverage Your Personal Power for a Healthy Relationship with Money.” Of course, I shared with the participants my signature exercise, The Financial Wheel. I also shared what I describe as “8 No-Matter What Habits.” This combination was by-design; it gave participants the tools necessary for being both the CFO (of their finances) and CEO (of their careers).

I’ve used this space before to talk about the importance of donning your CFO hat. Over the next few weeks, the conversation I want us to delve into is why you also need to don your entrepreneurial hat.

It is time to become the CEO of your career (like, really!) – even if it is your intent to work as an employee your entire career.

The numbers – 4.4 years and 42 million – are the reasons why.

Catching up with the shift

According to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker today stays at his/her job for 4.4 years.

In the investment world, when you’re evaluating a company stock or mutual fund manager or general economic activity, 5-years is a commonly used metric. It provides a gauge for how a stock or mutual fund performed during the ups/downs of a business/economic cycle.

So, 4.4 years is really significant! It is signaling that…

…the average worker is not even staying with their employer a full business cycle!

Making this an important number that should matter to you, as it’ll likely affect you directly – if it hasn’t already.

(Let’s do an informal, totally unscientific poll: How long have you been with your employer? How about the one before now? Leave a comment below to let me know.)

Here’s another important number for you: 1/3

One in three Americans (roughly 42 million) are estimated to be freelancers. By 2020, freelancers are expected to make up 50% of the full-time work-force. This statistic is courtesy of WorkMarket.

I shared these stats yesterday and will again next month when I present a similarly themed webinar for Prudential’s Women in Pension group. And, I’m sharing them with you today because these numbers serve as a wake-up call if ever there was one!

On their own, these stats are staggering. Together, they prove this isn’t a fad! They really speak to a shift that has been afoot for awhile, but that I don’t believe, when I reflect on conversations I have with my clients, colleagues, and friends, people have caught up to.

Sometimes, it seems as if instead of these numbers being indicative of a trend toward our future-state, folks are viewing them as, “this is what it’ll be like until we return to pre-2008 times.

Sorry folks…that ain’t happening.

What these numbers – 4.4 years and 42 million – mean and why they should matter to you is that it is critical that you be more proactive, strategic, and intentional regarding your money and your career decisions. For you, managing this dynamic intersection requires more deft today than perhaps at any other time in our employment and economic history.

And, it means you probably need to become more comfortable donning an entrepreneurs hat – even if you work as an employee , whether that’s in academia or for a non-profit organization or for-profit corporation.

But lest you think you’re the only one needing to shape-shift, think again: employers need to adapt as well. The rules and expectations of employer/employee engagement have changed. And they, too, are learning how to navigate the future – now.


p.s. there’s still time to become a Charter Member of the Financial Intimacy Lounge (which means a 50% discount off the monthly fee). Join us today to become a part of a dynamic community of individuals refining their money skills and increasing their financial and life success.

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