Freelancing is now referred to as the ‘Gig Economy’. Which – says top research companies like Pew and Gallup – and the likes of the N.Y.Times, Forbes, LinkedIn and Experian – is here to stay.
LinkedIn’s Vaibhav Goel says – “Not every member of the workforce is looking for the typical 9 to 5 job.” In fact, today more and more workers would rather work independently than in a cubicle research says. Furthermore, the usual 9-5 day, medical and other company benefits, are no longer as desirable to many as they once were. A freelancer, consultant or independent contractor’s preference, today, is to work wherever, whenever and for whomever they choose.
In short, what used to be a ‘legit’ job (9-5 with benefits) is no longer palatable for many of today’s workers.
Freelancing is nothing new.
For over a decade, American workers have been opting to work as freelancers. Independent individuals who prefer working for a variety of different companies, performing unique tasks, projects and jobs which better fit their skills and expertise.
Now, thanks to the rising necessity of companies needing immediate talent hiring, the ‘Gig Economy’ has been established. In fact, it’s here to stay say those recent reports from Pew and Forrester Research and Deloitte-Touche among many.
Why – exactly – has this serious change come to pass?
Having lived through the financially stressful mid-2000’s downturn of the U.S. economy, and the constant strain of the potential loss of jobs and homes – the dislocation of families – this working group is no longer interested, or satisfied, in squeezing themselves as square pegs into round holes simply to have a job.
Nor are they willing to settle for working for companies they no longer trust or respect.
Instead, they’ve turned the tables. Requiring companies to do the connecting. To seek them out via popular freelance
Here’s 2 other important reasons the Freelance (Gig) Economy is growing fast:
>>1) Top brands, companies, corporations are downsizing to stay competitive. Thus allowing themselves to evolve into smaller entities able to rapidly change direction, instantly develop and launch new products, for example.
In fact, downsizing is allowing once-larger companies to become more entrepreneurial, innovative and creative. “But keeping that dynamic culture at a company gets much harder with every new employee hired and with every year that passes,” says Matt Salzberg, CEO and co-founder of dinner delivery service Blue Apron. Not only that, the fewer employees a company has the more nimble they are says Salzberg.
>>2) Entrepreneurial and small businesses are starting up daily and flooding the marketplace with new products and services. Creating the need to hire fast.
Startups are different. Regardless whether they’re a ‘hip’ San Francisco app developer or the latest biz to deliver gourmet meals to your door, owners of these companies – not to mention those who work for them – are action-oriented individuals.
Whether they are self-funded or funded by venture capitalists, they want – and need – to launch out the starting gate at supersonic speed. They not only want action; they crave it. They know fast action is what will propel them ahead of the pack; to reach their goals way ahead of their competition. And to grow, make their business or product a household name; and become profitable, quick.
Aside from all that, the average startup has no interest in spending time putting themselves through the long, drawn-out process of interviewing dozens – perhaps hundreds – to fill available positions. Beyond that, a startup has absolutely zero desire to ‘onboard’ employees hired nor carry out the myriad of other required and necessary new-employee actions.
And who can blame them? In today’s competitive marketplace, and fast-paced world, the old phrase ‘You snooze you lose’ fits startups perfectly. All of which is putting them in the position of needing regular infusions of talent, to get the job done; to stay nimble and competitive.
While you may have considered full time freelancing or consulting, in the past:
but nothing came together, with the new ‘Freelance (Gig) Economy’ in full swing, there has never been a better time to take – or consider taking – that step, or leap, forward. Even if you take freelance jobs to fill in the financial gap while laid off, on a forced shutdown or simply because the money would come in handy for a variety of important reasons.
When you become part of this new, savvy, independent workforce, you allow businesses to access your skills and experience at the exact right time needed. Perhaps even hire you long term.
Businesses from start-ups and entrepreneurial to top companies and brands are regularly searching for freelancers, independents, consultants and experienced, retired, individuals for a wide variety of work. For instance:
* Short and long term projects
* Hard-to-fill jobs
* New product development
* To complete unfinished work
* Tech work
* And much more.
In short, those with almost any type of expertise can find work in the freelance marketplace.
Companies are listing jobs and often filling them within 24 hours of posting top freelance marketplaces tell us. Thus providing highly active job sites with hundreds of thousands, some with millions, of jobs available.
For the freelancer, this can mean getting hired can dramatically drop from months to hours.
Also – the opportunities, to be hired on a continuing basis, and quickly, are vast. You’re not stuck in a long, arduous application and interview process. When a company posts a job they want to hire now!
It’s a fact. Most workers will be far better paid – as consultants, freelancers and independents, today – than many people hired as permanent employees with top corporations.
If you’ve waited years to dump your job and boss perhaps this is the time consider making the change. Or – perhaps you’ve retired and looking for a few gigs to help you pay for your next vacation. Or you simply want a few gigs, on the side, to help pay for childcare or your children’s education. Or add to your travel or rainy-day fund.
This new economy is flexible –
* Allowing you freedom to work at home or wherever you feel comfortable.
* It also allows you to bid on, and accept, as much work as you believe you can handle; as often as you like.
* You decide what hours you’ll work and where – although a hiring company will usually provide a project or job deadline.
Startups and downsizing corporations – and hundreds of thousands of others – are all in the position of needing regular infusions of talent to get the job done, stay competitive, to outsell and outlast their competition.
And now, thanks to the rising necessity for immediate talent, the Freelance ‘Gig’ Economy’ has been formally established. And depending upon your skills you can apply for, and get hired for, Freelance Gigs when the financial need arises. Or when and if you leave your day job.
Jean L. Serio CEIC, CDI, CPC, CeMA