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Freeters, Solopreneurs: the new untouchables ?


Ruettimann believes an economic downturn is overdue, which will flood the job market with legions of contract workers, freelancers, and so-called "solopreneurs" applying for corporate jobs with full-time benefits. Whether or not that proves true, Ruettimann says that in the recruitment world, "nobody really believes in the gig economy."

The prevailing attitude, she says, is that "if you're self-employed, it's because you can't get full-time work." So job seekers looking for traditional roles after years supporting themselves--particularly older ones--she says, "are facing serious ageism and bias in the workforce." Ruettimann's advice is twofold: "If you've been in this gig economy, get your references in order and make sure you're working for really awesome clients who can vouch for you, then think about turning those clients from customers into employers--like now."

Second, "downplay how much you took on in terms of risk or innovation or ability"--that experience won't matter nearly as much as a job description may lead you to believe; in fact, risk-takers are seen as unpredictable liabilities. Instead, Ruettimann suggests, "highlight the fact you can work in a team, that you can take orders, that you're looking to learn, you're looking to collaborate."

No matter what they claim, she says, recruiters are "looking for someone who will come in and assimilate with the team, not necessarily challenge it."


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