If you’re like us, you probably have a few friends who freelance.
You probably notice they can move their schedules around as they please and they’re seemingly always available to meet up — even on super short notice.
It’s easy to think, “How do they have so much free time and still pay the bills?”
As a freelancer, these privileges are second nature. A freelancer can’t imagine being in an office for eight hours a day according to someone else’s schedule. They want the freedom to come and go as they please, working when it’s best for them.
Right now, freelancing is the fastest-growing job sector in the United States.
According to the Freelancing in America survey, sponsored by the Freelancers Union and Upwork, more than 50% of the U.S. population will be freelancing by 2027.
You read that right – more than half of all Americans will be freelancers if the current trends continue over the next decade.
It’s easy to see why freelancing is growing increasingly popular. Whether it’s a side gig or a sole source of income, freelancing affords freedoms most people sacrifice for their jobs.
There are new challenges to overcome as freelancers, but the pure independence of working for yourself is well worth it.
After all, who doesn’t want total control over their clientele and daily schedule (without an income cap)?
In this article, we’ll talk about why freelancing is the job of the 21st century and why experts expect the freelancing sector to continue growing.
How Popular is Freelancing?
According to Upwork and the Freelancers Union, 36% of the U.S. labor force are freelance independent contractors working from home.
This amounts to roughly 57.3 million people, contributing $1.4 trillion to the economy annually.
And according to a survey by NASDAQ, 43% of U.S. workers will be freelancers by 2020.
Platforms like Upwork and Freelancer.com give people the ability to start freelancing, right from home. As the industry grows, so do the tool available for freelancers, creating a powerful market that makes up more of the labor force each day.
Why is Freelancing Popular?
Freelancing is popular for many reasons. Whether it’s the freedoms it affords or the unlimited income potential, everyone has a reason for starting their freelance career.
Some individuals say they are more productive when they work from home. In fact, a study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business says that working from home improves productivity by 13%, leading to a $2,000 increase in annual profits after allowing remote employment.
Freelancing eliminates the ever-frustrating morning (and evening) commute. According to NASDAQ, Americans spend roughly 1.8 trillion minutes commuting to work each year. Remote workers can cut this time to zero, rarely leaving their home for work.
Starting a freelance career can do wonders for a person’s stress levels, too.
In fact, a study by PGI showed that 82% of remote workers felt less stress daily, with 80% reporting higher personal morale.
Simply put, freelancing is a low(er)-stress, high(er)-paying, convenient alternative to traditional office-based work settings.
By freelancing, workers can schedule their days as they please, take on clients they want to work with, and manage their freelance business however they want to.
If a person wants total freedom and control to work according to their own rules, freelancing is the ultimate career choice.
Is Freelancing Going to Last?
We mentioned above that one study predicts freelancers will make up more than half of the American workforce by 2027, and other resources back up these claims with information about the future of freelancing.
According to Slash Workers, 41% of freelancers plan to freelance for the rest of their lives. Another 45% said they feel more secure about their independent lifestyle.
What does this say about the future of freelancing?
It means the industry isn’t going anywhere soon. When people start freelancing and find success, they don’t want to stop. It gives them opportunities to nurture their favorite skills and do work they actually want to do.
Combined with the freedom to step away when they please, there are a lot of reasons freelancing is here to stay.
Is Freelancing Right for Me?
To be a successful, happy freelancer, you need marketable skills first.
Once you know how to do something you can sell for a profit, you can start freelancing.
Don’t worry – you don’t need a degree or expert knowledge in graphic design and programming. You can start freelancing with simple skills like typing, thanks to transcription services and copywriting jobs.
To be a successful freelancer, you need to have self-discipline. If you can’t work on your own without someone telling you what to do, you may struggle.
If you can look at work you need to do, create a schedule to do it, and stick to it, you can succeed with a freelance career.
You’ll need a strong internet connection and a reliable computer to work-from-home, too If you don’t, try your local library – most offer free internet access, which is enough to help you get started.
Is freelancing the job of the 21st Century?
The stats say it for sure is!
Freelancing is immensely popular in today’s workforce and according to the market, it’s here to stay. Employees and employers are seeing the value in work-from-home positions, be it improved morale and productivity or minimal commute times.
If you have self-discipline and you want a job that affords maximum freedoms, freelancing could be right for you.
Do you think freelancing is the job of the 21st Century? How popular do you think it’s going to become? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!