Armed with mobility via a laptop and Wi-Fi connection, a freelancer can work virtually and remotely anywhere. A freelancer can also strategically take on more work at some points of the year in order to allow for a hiatus (or a few) at other times, to travel or pursue other passions and projects. Contemplating factors from lifestyle to career growth, you may be wondering—is freelancing for me?
The draw of freelancing might be something you’re considering for career growth. This article will help you better understand the changing world of freelance as you consider the creative economy’s rising opportunities.
Last year, the Freelancers Union reported that there are 53 million people who are independent workers, roughly one-third of the U.S. workforce. This statistic also includes the 14.3 million people known as “moonlighters” who maintain full-time jobs while carrying out independent work on the side. Back in 2011, MBO Partners, a company that connects independent workers with employers, predicted that freelancers would become the majority of workers by 2020. That prediction is looking more and more like it will come true.
Freelance is a win-win for employees and employers. For employers, their attitude shift and realization of benefits have occurred only recently. In the past, many employers viewed freelancers with a hint of skepticism. If freelancers are truly so capable and talented, then why aren’t they already hired for regular, full-time jobs? With employers’ changing attitude and understanding of the value of freelancers, work opportunities for these independent contractors will continue to rise.
Companies are now realizing the benefits of hiring freelancers. Employers appreciate the convenience of cutting down on search and qualification time and are increasingly hiring independent contractors with specialized skills for certain projects, without the pressure or commitment of a long-term contract. Companies are also increasingly receptive of the innovative ideas that independent workers can bring to the table. Indeed, temporary jobs are at their highest percentage in the job sector, making up 2 percent of all U.S. positions, or 2.8 million jobs, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Freelancing is now better enabled. Keeping pace with the rising demand of freelancers, there is also a growing body of businesses supporting and mediating between independent workers and hiring companies, including Upwork and Freelancer.com. Shared rented office space has also been on the rise and allows for contractors to make connections. In addition, health insurance plans, a cornerstone benefit of many full-time jobs, are now made more independently accessible via the Affordable Care Act.
Freelancing already makes up a substantive base of the creative economy. With career growth bolstered by even more encouraging employer attitudes and helpful facilitating services, freelancing is now easier to break into than ever.
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