Guest blog: Peter Starbuck mulls over the future of employment

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If we want to start a business that is “totally risk free”, we would be better off staying at home.

Why? Because it doesn’t exist. This is not to deny that some businesses are very low risk. For example, taking deposits of money and lending the proceeds to the safest deposit-takers, such as governments or top listed borrowers that have the top credit rating of AAA.

However, this almost Utopian company is very unlikely to be possible for a young aspiring entrepreneur, as millions of pounds of deposits are required to provide sufficient profit surplus to pay even a living wage.

Having accepted this reality, more people than ever who want to be innovators and entrepreneurs are joining the ranks of the self-employed.

We are now in the age of the Entrepreneur as people start what are called SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises).

This is a new phenomenon, as millions of ventures are being launched by people believing – and proving – they can forge a better life for themselves by taking control of their own destinies.

This desire to be one’s own boss is not confined to any one small collection of society: even high-flying graduates from the top business schools are shunning a life with top world corporations to start their own companies.

This is particularly apparent in the world of IT, where a simple idea can create a millionaire in a short period of time.

At the other end of the education scale we are finding that under-performing and disinterested schoolchildren are coming to life when given an entrepreneurial opportunity and are going out to start their own service sector business, such as cleaning, gardening, DIY, collections and deliveries.

These are the new breed of domestic servants – a sector that was the biggest employer in the UK before World War One.

This urge to be independent is driven by social change, as we accept these days that a job for life is now the exception, rather than the rule it was 30 years or so back.

As more and more become self-employed – a better term might be “own employed” – they have taken control of their lives.

They are preparing not only for today, but also for the time when they want to change jobs – after 30 years in a first career, we now have time for at least a second. When the time comes, and we ask the question “Can I have a job, Sir?”, it will be the guy or girl we see in the mirror every morning who will answer “Step this way”!

About Peter Starbuck

Starting his career as a quantity surveyor while completing National Service in the Royal Engineers, Peter is now a Visiting Research Fellow to The Open University Business School and a Researcher and Contributor on Management to the British Library.

He holds fellowships with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Chartered Management Institute. 

Other notable positions include: 

Peter StarbuckFounding Visiting Professor, University Centre Shrewsbury

Visiting Professor, University of Chester

Visiting Research Fellow, The Open University Business School

Researcher and Contributor to the British Library,

Alma Mater: The Open University Business School

Subject Matter Expert, Chartered Management Institute

Find out more by visiting his site

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