The ‘Entre-Ployee’ Era is Here So, What Does This Mean For You?

The ‘Entre-Ployee’ Era is Here So, What Does This Mean For You?
Contributor: Juna Xu

It wasn’t so long ago when we were stuck in a pandemic lockdown. During this period, loads of people lost valuable time that could have been put towards achieving the goals they had set for themselves; creating memories with loved ones and progressing in love, life and everything in between. But among all the anxiety and sadness this time in confinement brought, we were also given the opportunity to sit, think and reassess our lives — and what we might want to change. For many people, things that had been ignored became abundantly clear in lockdown as we had the mental space to ruminate on every facet of our lives. And as it turns out, one of the biggest areas we deeply thought about – and desired to improve – was our careers.

New research conducted by LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, found the majority of Australian professionals are now valuing purpose and passion when it comes to their jobs. This post-pandemic shift in mindset has brought forth an era now known as the ‘entre-ployee’.

What is an ‘entre-ployee’?

Although it may sound new to many people, the term ‘entre-ployee’ has been around since 2003, when a German academic paper used it to describe a transformation in society towards a “self-entrepreneurial workforce”.

It describes someone who works dynamically; contributing to a company between 9 to 5, and also acting as an entrepreneur beyond these hours (AKA having a side hustle). Basically, it’s a combination of being an entrepreneur and an employee.

“We’re seeing ‘entre-ployees’ scattered throughout Australian organisations,” Future of Work Expert Dr Ben Hamer, explained to LinkedIn. “They’re those individuals that still want the security and stability of permanent work but might be developing their own app or business on the side.”

The research found 67 per cent of workers agreed that most professionals will have a side hustle and hold multiple jobs in the future. Hamer notes this concept would’ve previously been discouraged by organisations, but it’s now seen as a desirable skill employees actually seek out.

“Previously, organisations would have discouraged this with the belief that it may distract them or take them away from their core job, as well as blurring the lines as far as intellectual property is concerned,” Dr Hamed noted. “But now, we’re seeing that these individuals tend to be both high performers and critical for driving the innovation culture, so companies are looking at how they can not only retain them but support them with their other interests, too.”

Being an ‘entre-ployee’ forces you to adapt a range of soft skills like flexibility and adaptability, digital literacy, critical thinking, continuous learning and data literacy — credentials the research found to be highly favoured in the employment process nowadays.

This rise in the ‘entre-ployee’ has allowed more Aussies to follow their passions and supplement their main jobs with something that gives them a greater purpose in life, while also bringing in additional income. It’s a win-win situation, really.

The research comes in light of the launch of LinkedIn’s new search function, which allows members to view open roles based on an organisation’s commitment to values such as work-life balance, diversity, equity and inclusion, career growth and even environmental sustainability.

How to be a successful ‘entre-ployee’

You can be someone who owns their own company and you can be an employee of an organisation. But to be an ‘entre-ployee’, you must find a way to make these two worlds work together. Here are some starting tips to keep in mind if you’re striving to become an ‘entre-ployee’, per LinkedIn.

Adapt the mindset of an entrepreneur: Embody the characteristics of an entrepreneur — these can include being proactive, focused, organised, optimistic and courageous.

Be flexible and adaptable: View setbacks as opportunities, not dilemmas. Adapt to changes with a positive attitude and welcome challenges, no matter how big or small.

Seek out opportunities: Focus on looking for opportunities with both your full-time job and alternative activities. You must not treat them separately but rather as a single unit that will benefit each other.

Prioritise time management and self-discipline: Juggle responsibilities and prioritise important tasks. Show your employer that you are indispensable and trustworthy; being able to balance the workload of your full-time job with a side hustle.

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