The pandemic has sent the world’s economy through the wringer. Businesses, struck by lowered income, have started looking at long-term layoffs as an option to remain solvent. The BBC put the US unemployment rate at 14.7% in the middle of May, and that number has been fluctuating ever since. However, one area that hasn’t been hit by pandemic worries is the freelance community. Tons of sites operate as portals for any enterprising individual who wants to offer their writing prowess or land a graphic design contract. However, it’s not as easy as throwing your hat into the ring to get and complete a job on one of these platforms. In this article, we’ll look at the most viable method to secure freelance work while the pandemic rages around us.
Fifty-Plus Freelancers Dominate the Market
Freshbooks released surprising data recently that suggests freelancers over the age of fifty make up almost half of the available freelance workers on the market. As the expected lifespan for folks increases, they’re looking at remaining employed for longer. This consideration is also couched in a more sinister understanding that most people around this age don’t have retirement savings to fall back on. Those that do have had to accept that the pandemic may have ruined their investment portfolios.
Instead of simply accepting this as a loss, many of these individuals become enterprising freelancers in their own right. After spending years working for others, they’re empowering themselves to find their own jobs and operate under their own steam. The idea of trading services for money (especially remotely) isn’t as strange as it was ten years ago. Having multiple clients and billing them independently also helps them avoid redundancy. As long as they retain their skills, they can prove quite resilient in a fluctuating economy.
Millennials Aim For Recession-Proofing
With all the papers covering how much of a woebegone group millennials are, you may be surprised to learn that they’re also enjoying the freedom and flexibility of a freelance environment. These people grew into adulthood amid an economic recession that put many of them on the breadline. Faced with the prospect of moving back in with parents or striking out on their own, many millennials leaned on the skills they picked up to help them make ends meet. Much to their surprise, their skills were in demand, and they were able to build full-time jobs out of their freelancing. Even those that were employed saw the benefit of having some extra cash. Bankrate mentions that about half of millennials already have a side hustle.
What makes these young entrepreneurs even more enterprising is their ability to quickly pick up on new skills and pivot. The media might make you believe that these young upstarts are among the laziest generations ever, but the data says otherwise. Even in standard employment, millennials are willing to work more than 40-hour weeks for their employer if asked. Manpower Group mentions that a quarter of them work more than fifty hours a week. Unfortunately for employers, these individuals now know that they could be earning so much more working on their own time, and have taken up freelancing full time since it gives them the buying power fifty-hour work weeks tend to offer.
Generation Z Prefers Being Its Own Boss
Both millennials and boomers look at being one’s own boss as the capstone of a successful life. Generation Z, however, sees it as a starting point. Generations Z, or “zoomers,” are digital natives, and many of them can’t remember a world without computers or the internet where they can easily sell Franklin and Ben furniture from their dorm rooms. This understanding gives them a massive advantage over previous generations who have had to adapt to a digital-real-life balance that can be overwhelming sometimes. On the downside, this digital-first attitude tends to underrate soft-skills, and zoomers will have their work cut out being freelancers if they don’t refine those first.
Despite their poor interaction skills, these enterprising young people realize the value of hard work. While some coverage of a few of these focuses on the worst aspects, their approach to work mirrors that of young boomers – work hard and get paid for it. If anything, these young professionals will set the stage for a change in what we see as “regular” working.
Locating Freelancing Opportunities
Because so many businesses have shifted into keeping only necessary staff, it’s now easier than ever to turn freelancing into a full-time career. Companies are looking for skilled professionals and willing to pay them above-average rates for quality work. However, not all businesses are created the same. Some enterprises prefer to pay the lowest price they can get a job for. Unfortunately, as with all things, you get what you pay for. Becoming a freelancer means upholding the strict standards of quality in your work. Once you keep that up, you’ll be guaranteed work from clients for a long time to come.