The Rise of the Freelance Economy
Our parents and grandparents paved their success between the default work hours of a 9-5 job. Hell, Dolly Parton even made a hit song about it. But what about millennials? Are they on board with such a routine life? No, not many at least.
Millennials, technology and freelance meet the future
Millennials want to have a greater say in when and where they get their work done. They want to set their own schedules, decide on assignments and work on their own time. New technologies allow workers to remain connected across different locations, and as a result, more and more have lost interest in the traditional 9 to 5 model and have embraced the freelancing culture. The freelance economy has opened myriad career opportunities that would have never otherwise materialized for this generation. Experienced professionals have also shown interest into freelancing during the past years, which has proven to be a benefit for businesses that lack funds to employ a full-time professional.
It is predicted that by 2020, nearly 40% of the U.S. workforce will be independent workers. And at present, there are already 53 million Americans (34% of the workforce) that fall into this category. Earning money for financial necessity and adding workplace flexibility have been top drivers for those interested in this market. Many freelancers believe that the best days of freelancing are still to come.
So, why are we seeing such growth in the freelance market?
With growth in the world of technology, the demand for help from specialists has remained high. And that’s where a freelancer’s role comes into play. They provide specialized services on a temporary basis. With access to new and innovative platforms to work across numerous geographical locations, from trendy devices to mobile applications, businesses have been able to successfully connect to global expertise, giving way for a smoother communication process.
The freelance economy has also given birth to a transparent and fair competitive environment for projects. Businesses now have the option to divide and distribute projects to experts with specialized skills, rather being stuck with a full-time employee, who may lack the specialized skill and/or the ability to perform at a desired speed and accuracy.
Yes, the freelance economy is constantly rising, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down any soon. It is a wonderful opportunity for those looking to get started or considering a change to make some money and gain experience out of this progression.
Why millennials and freelancing go together
Millennials mark a versatile generation with diverse interests and inspirations. They are leaders in technology, art, design, writing and then some. The Internet has opened many doors for them. Having grown connected across virtual global platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, they understand the power of networks and affiliations better than anyone else.
The idea of creating a portfolio of work is natural to them. They write FB posts often, blog now and then, help out their parents with web design, learn the cool hacks in YouTube and pick up video editing gigs. They are quick learners and are constantly teaching themselves new ways and tricks to make life easier (lifehack, anyone?). Given that they’re life-savvy, they are looking for a more meaningful work life. They’re also looking to get paid for doing what they do.
How novice freelancers can start their freelance journey
And that’s the tricky part for high school kids, college kids, or recent grads. Being a novice, they often get stuck in a no-gig rut or a gig that pays nothing. Why? Because every paying client looks for a professional portfolio, which serves as a resume of sorts.
As a novice, their portfolio is likely to be thin. They’re also likely to not have a huge budget to promote themselves. This is where online freelancing platforms like Boonle can come to the rescue. Platforms like Boonle provide you the opportunity to develop an online portfolio, which showcases your talent and expertise. Online portfolios showcase the experience, skills, qualifications and past work of the young freelancers. It is perhaps the best way to convince future clients of their capabilities and worth. It’s also a chance to make a little money doing so with the long-term goal of building a great enough portfolio to eventually leave these sites behind to go on and make the big bucks.
Gradually as the freelancer takes on more jobs, her portfolio comes out to be her strongest selling tool. Perhaps something the freelancer created brought increased sales for a company via a digital ad, a better-structured website, or blog posts that lead to an increase in site traffic. Build the portfolio and then let it speak for itself.
A note to up and coming freelancers
No matter your age, if you are considering freelancing, building a portfolio is a must. Many high school and college students hesitate or are reluctant to create one at an early stage. Whether you are studying graphic design or communications or digital marketing, you are on the way of building the foundation of tools you’ll need for your future career. Start building your portfolio and watch the progression of your work. You’ll be impressed and so will potential clients.