Employee or owner. Are those really the only options today’s job market has to offer? Most people think so, but just as technology has affected the speed, ease and quality of production, it has also affected the way we work. In fact, more and more people are opting to work for themselves. According to Forbes, freelancers and independent workers are growing quickly, accounting for an estimated 16 million Americans, a number that MBO Partners predicts will rise to about 65 million by 2020 if existing trends continue.
To me, this signifies that the workforce is beginning to wake up and crawl out of its “victim mindset.” Job security comes from a person’s ability to build and evolve an in-demand skillset. Stability in the business world is never guaranteed, and in many cases, being employed at a long-standing company can cause one’s career to be on even shakier grounds, regardless of the industry or size of an organization. So why not consider the advantages of contract or project-based work? Many people have used their experience as freelancers as a gateway to landing a full-time gig only to realize that they preferred the lifestyle of an independent worker. And who could blame them? Freelance jobs allow people to earn an income with more freedom and less stress than the average American business – working from home, flexible hours, company/client diversity, and new projects. What’s not to love?
Job seekers and unhappy employees, I urge you to change your idea of what traditional freelance jobs are and research how far this type of work has come in today’s job market. In fact, 85 percent of companies claim that hiring freelancers gives them a competitive advantage while 74 percent say they will be hiring more independent workers in 2014, according to a staffing industry review. What’s more, freelance organizations, which promote work availability, are growing faster than ever.
Or, better yet, create your own freelance opportunity based on both your unique passions and the market needs of your demographic. I once met a professional gift buyer – needless to say, her clients were all men! She found a niche in the market and went for it. Similarly, I also came into contact with a golf pro who made a career for himself arranging golf trips for wealthy professionals. This gentleman made more money than he ever had working for an organization and played at some of the most elite golf courses in the world. These people do work that conventional businesses can’t support, but work that appeals to their existing markets. Freelance work is a great way to own your career, be your own boss, and become a workforce innovator.
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