Monday, September 8, 2014

53 million Americans are working as freelancers!

Join the club, a new report from the Freelancer’sUnion states that approximately 53 million Americans are working as freelancers.  That’s 1/3 of the American workforce and 10 million more than were doing freelance work when the last study was done 10 years ago.  For the purposes of the study a freelancer could be either full-time or part-time and with or without another job or other source of income.

Most freelancers reported that they started freelancing to make additional income.  For some they began freelancing because they lost their jobs in the recent recession and couldn’t find another job.  Some people freelance for more freedom and flexibility.  Millennials (those under 35 years old) were more likely to be freelancing than older individuals.

The internet has made it easier for people to find freelance work.  There are online marketplaces offering jobs ranging from large scale, like Elance and oDesk, to tiny task-based jobs like fiverr, mturk and Clickworker.  Although these jobs are low paying at first many freelancers found clients who contracted their services repeatedly and thus found consistent work and the ability to demand more for their services.  Others just found that small contract jobs were easier to find than a traditional job which  required sending out dozens of resumes and going through the interview process.

Whatever the reason, the statistics show that the way we work is changing. Change brings with it new opportunities and new challenges.  Those who want to be successful must learn how to navigate this new landscape.

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