Reasons for the Rising Freelancer Economy
September 5, 2015
September 5, 2015
Who would have thought just a few years ago that the freelance economy would balloon to become one of the fastest growing global workforce sectors? Indeed this certainly gives some food for thought to those who are still wondering whether to jump onto the freelance bandwagon and join the ever-growing freelancing industry. Latest statistics reveal that one in three American workers works part time or full time as a freelancer, and the share is expected to increase to become 50 percent of the national workforce by the end of the decade.
According to a recent survey conducted by independent research firm Edelman Berland and sponsored by Elance-Odesk, over 53 million Americans do freelance work, contributing about $715 billion to the economy. Almost 80% of non-freelancers are interested to work outside their regular job as freelancers to make more money. The biggest motivation and driving force for non-freelancers is the freedom, flexibility, and an additional source of income.
Contrarily, those who are still not confident to take the plunge are concerned about the difficulty in finding work as a freelancer and income instability. True, the fear of not finding the next project can cause you sleepless nights and be a big hurdle for anyone willing to go freelance.
When I opted for a freelancing career, these scary thoughts would reflect in my mind often. But when you have the skills and urge to do it big in your life, you can easily overcome such distressing thoughts and take a step in the right direction.
When I quit my regular job, the freelance industry was still experiencing birth pangs. But never did I let the scary thoughts impact my determination or kill my desire to join the freelancing bandwagon. What helped my growth as a freelancer were the online platforms where I could easily spread the word about my services and connect with clients, both local and global.
What more could I ask for?
Peer Hustle is one such intuitive application where you can set up your online presence without the need for a website and make money working for clients from all over the world.
Sounds interesting indeed!
Freelancing Industry is Here to Stay
Freelancing is seen as a highly rewarding and lucrative career opportunity, with 77% of freelancers believing that the industry’s best days are yet to come. This only goes to show that the freelance industry is here to stay.
One of the most satisfying aspects of being a solopreneur is choosing the kind of work that suits your taste and skills. Additionally, the flexibility to take time off to do something you have always wanted to adds to the impetus and drives your liberated thoughts as a freelancer.
To me, freelancing is certainly the key to your dream career.
I love being my own boss and channelizing my thoughts toward building a dream career, without having to work under an aggressive employer or in a sucking environment where everyone is out there to drag your feet!
The best thing about freelancing is you can be selective if you are good at what you do, without having to bother about working on a project that is least interesting to you!
The opportunity to work on a range of projects and across different industry verticals is both appealing and interesting. So you never have to be stuck in a low-paying job working on a boring project that does not challenge your thoughts, nor offer you any growth prospects.
Contrarily, in the freelance field, you have ample choice to make when it comes to working on a project. If something interests you, it’s your decision to make a choice.
This is one reason that attracts most non-freelancers to take to freelancing as an opportunity.
Almost 38% of respondents in the Freelance Union-Elance survey say that the diversity of projects is a significant pull for them to choose freelancing career.
While 68 percent of respondents in the survey prefer to choose freelancing to earn extra money, 42 percent want to go freelance for flexible work schedules.
New Freelancing Platforms
When I made the switch to the freelancing career, there were a handful of platforms that connected clients and independent contractors. Surviving as a freelancer in those days was a struggle in itself. Fortunately, I was able to sail through and carve out a niche for myself in the industry!
Contrarily, today, there are an increasing number of platforms to work remotely, from mobile apps to devices to online applications, which pair talent with businesses. These platforms are designed to facilitate communication among independent professionals and clients from virtually everywhere.
On-demand freelance marketplaces, such as Peer Hustle, let businesses connect with professionals with work profiles that correspond with their needs, making these applications a flexible option to find talent and qualified independent workers.
Co-working space is for you if you feel isolated working alone and are willing to break the isolation. The advent of co-working spaces only points toward the growing freelance economy, since the concept of such hubs is specifically constructed for freelancers. With more and more people preferring to become solopreneurs, an increasing number of such work hubs are coming up.
For independent contractors that feel isolated, the advent of co-working spaces is sheer bliss, offering freelancers a sense of community and social connect. The collaborative environment offers solopreneurs unprecedented support as well as resources to maximize their potential while working as per their schedule and pace.
If you are more of a social soul, co-working spaces can prove to be a blessing in disguise, helping you live your dream career amid the buzz of an office while operating on your own. What’s more, there is an opportunity to mingle and interact with like-minded people, working side by side and creating an ultimate office ambience, without being under the watchful and prying eyes of a boss.
Working in such environments has umpteen benefits. You can you show your clients that you are an independent professional working in an innovative creative space, where there are no distractions and nobody gets too involved in others’ work.
Not only this, it is a free marketing space where you meet with other independent professionals that might be looking for your services.
The Rise of the Freelance Economy
There are reasons galore why freelancing is on the rise. Corporate downsizing, shifting economic conditions, frustrations at work, and employee dissatisfaction are just a few reasons why professionals find freelance industry as a goldmine of opportunities. Independent contracting has thus become the top choice for professionals looking to live a life of their dreams while working at their pace.
The need for contingent labor is being felt in all industrial sectors. Research indicates that at least 30 percent of organizations are making strategies to attract freelance talent. Freelance industry is driven by creative, innovative work, which not only delivers diversity, but also economic and strategic gains. The shared economy is benefiting one and all!
The advent of new technologies, work independence, self-controlled work schedules, altered work habits, and changing tastes are prompting workers from different sectors to opt out of the traditional work arrangement to independently design their career course.
Additionally, the rising acceptance of freelance work is contributing to a surge in the number of freelancers, which is expected to grow by almost 25 percent in the coming decade. According to the labor research firm Economic Modeling Specialists, there was a significant surge in the number of job categories populated mostly by freelancer from 20 million in 2001 to 32 million in 2014.
The rising freelance economy is encouraging and empowering highly skilled and efficient workers to choose their dream careers that dovetail with their choices.
Besides, it is giving a ray of hope to baby boomers and the millennial generation who have survived the toughest situation posed by the economic downturn to extend their earning horizon. The rise of independent contractor has brought about a transformation in the economy, helping it become more flexible and adaptable.
Affordable for Clients, Lucrative for Workforce
The growing freelance economy is raising hopes for millions of workers to choose career paths that could have never materialized without the advent of freelance industry. With more and more experienced professionals and workers taking to freelancing, it is proving to be a blessing for many organizations that lack funds for hiring a full-time employee.
Today, companies can hire highly skilled workers through an online job portal for a fraction of what they would pay to bring in a full-time worker. Thus freelancing promises to be an affordable alternative that provides high-quality value for businesses.
As the world of technology grows, clients need occasional help of specialists. This is where freelancers can prove to be an invaluable resource for such organizations that need specialized skills on a temporary basis, without the need to hire a permanent employee for a higher price. Independent contractors can easily fit in at an enormously cheaper rate.
The global shift toward getting work done via a freelance model has afforded economic and strategic advantages for businesses and resulted in an incredible ecosystem of skilled workers that create innovative, responsive work.
Yes, freelance economy is constantly rising, and the trend shows no signs of abating any soon. There is no reason the freelance balloon could burst in the recent times.