Modern workforce

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Column by Connor Jaschen, Editor-in-chief

In the future, we will all be, in a sense, Uber drivers.

Companies provide a way to get goods or services to consumers, and that’s it. That sometimes gets lost in the world of corporate America, where every company has a human resources department, accountants and lawyers – only then do they worry about the good or service they offer.

Embracing the spirit of entrepreneurship – that people are the talent that drives organizations and the goods the consumer wants – is what has and will continue to drive the advancement of the economy.

Much of the structure of the modern American economy is derived from old systems, where people of talent needed some sort of structure to reach out and make money. I call this a ‘trust platform,’ or a brand that can establish trust with a consumer. A trust platform gives consumers the safety of knowing they won’t be robbed or ripped off when they meet up to buy something.

Uber was one of the first companies to bridge that gap directly. Ten years ago, no one would ever think of getting into a stranger’s personal vehicle for a ride. But technology has reinforced accountability with a rating system that has the ability to hold both drivers and riders responsible.

What’s stopping this kind of system to be used in other areas? Not a thing.

Toptal and Upwork are just a few of the platforms springing up across the working landscape and connecting talented professionals directly with clients. Office spaces are being leased out to individuals in cities across the country, specifically for freelancers. The work landscape is shifting the power from those in corporations to those with the talent and energy to work on their own terms, without the struggle of traditional upfront costs of entrepreneurship.

The American college system, though, is training us all for the corporate system. The question of how to get employed is becoming less relevant than the question of “how do I employ myself?” Universities will have to take the next step and be bold in order to empower the future worker for the future workplace.