Earlier this week officials of the New York City Economic Development Corporation announced the initiation of a program that pairs out-of-work professionals with start-ups and growing small businesses. The program, known as JumpStartNYC, illustrates an unavoidable trend that has been gaining traction over the past couple of years.
As the economy continues to sour, major corporations and institutions across the nation have been cutting back their workforce. Many of these laid-off employees are taking with them an impressive resume of experience, talent, and other credentials. With quality jobs increasingly harder to come by, a growing number of unemployed professionals have been turning to small businesses in search of work.
There are many benefits to be gained here on both sides. In smaller businesses, senior-level employees often have opportunities to take on more responsibility, receive more recognition for their efforts, gain exposure to new experience areas and can have a greater influence over the company’s performance. They also can enjoy the scheduling flexibility and work-life balance incentives that many smaller businesses have to offer.
Small businesses on the other hand are getting access to a talented, experienced, and motivated (Many of these professionals were probably under appreciated at their previous jobs) workforce.
But there is a downside to this trend. For the professionals, the increase in responsibility comes with more accountability when mistakes are made. There are also fewer support systems to aid with the decision-making process, compensation may be a little lower, and small businesses in general provide a less stable work situation. For the small businesses, it generally means coming up with a competitive incentives package- something that may be difficult if business is slow in response to the recession.
All in all though, I think this partnership will be a very good thing. As more unemployed professionals pair up with small businesses it may have the power to breathe new life into our ailing economy.