Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Blue Ocean for the Freelancer Generation

The blue ocean strategy is a great way to to approach strategic thinking from a business perspective, but can also give an ambitious job seeker a leg up from a strategic standpoint in defining their career potential and outlining their personal career path. In most cases the world that many of the highly educated and highly ambitious compete are red oceans of bloodied competition where everyone is fighting over the same sets of open positions and highly respected companies.

In this day and age of the freelancer generation as they have been referred to, the younger generations are used to working on their own and defining their career path in their own way. This is similar to what is prescribed in the blue ocean strategy outlined by Professor Kim and Mauborgne over 10 years ago. While their original article and publications were for executive at large organizations to rethink their positioning in the marketplace and drive for creating new spaces for highly profitable growth and an established foothold in defining a new marketplace, the same mentality is just as applicable in the career growth of anyone in this day and age of fast moving commerce and technological change.

Taking advantage of such a strategy in charting a career path is useful in applying the same 6 principles of blue ocean strategy. This fits primarily towards people who will be following the freelancer’s path, but this is becoming an extremely common approach to employment and in many cases young workers are able to obtain more experience in a shorter timeframe than working for larger organizations. The same benefits that are realized for organizations in taking this innovative approach can be harnessed by people creating a new market for their services and defining their own professional goals.
  • Create uncontested market space: If you can create a niche and focused service offering you can define your space and in many cases your price. Instead of being a graphic designer, you can specialize in designing icons and logos for technology companies. Instead of competition against general service providers, you can be the expert that every company needs a reasonable price.
  • Make the competition irrelevant: By creating the defined uncontested space of expertise, your competition will be minimally; your pitch will be automatically differentiated by your specific skillset.
  • Create and capture new demand: This differentiated skillset will allow you to create and capture new types of demand as competitors are not offering the service you provide at an experienced and expert level.
  • Break the value/cost trade-off: By providing high value at a reasonable cost, organizations will provide more support and additional business as they are getting more bang for their buck.
  • Align the whole system of a company’s activities in the pursuit of differentiation and low cost: If you replace “company’s” with “person’s” this is right in line with defining a career path that allows growth and if successfully implemented, a freelancer won’t be competing to the bottom on low costs services.

Be innovative in your company and career by following the same principles and practices outlined in the blue ocean strategy.

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