Updated: Oct 27, 2018
The future of freelancing is brighter than ever before.
A U.S.-based study conducted in 2017 titled Freelancing in America revealed that 57.3 million Americans are freelancing (full time or as a side hustle), making up 36 per cent of the country's workforce. In fact, the study also found that by 2027, the majority of the U.S. workforce will be made up of freelancers.
The number of freelancers on Canadian soil is also on the rise as full-time jobs continue to be far and few between in various professions. Corporations are becoming more lean and the jobs that were once fruitful are tougher to land — essentially pushing millennials to test the freelancing waters.
According to a Globe and Mail report in 2017, a study conducted by staffing company Randstad Canada found that 20 to 30 per cent of Canadians are pegged as "non-traditional workers."
Another study by Intuit Canada conducted in 2017 revealed that HALF of Canada's workforce will be made up of freelancers, independent contracts and on-demand workers by the year 2020.
It's evident that more and more young professionals — or millennials — are working part-time jobs while also venturing into the entrepreneurship world.
There are pros and cons of being self-employed, but let's save the cons for another day. I wanted to primarily focus on the good that can come out of working on your own.
Here are a few advantages of being a freelancer:
Remember the days when you had to load the family in the K-Car and drive cross-country to kick-start your career? The beauty of being a freelancer in the world we live in today, is that you can work remotely. Sure, many clients prefer you live locally, but if your work speaks volumes, does it really matter where you live? Skype, FaceTime and other video chat services make it much easier to interact with potential clients.
Learning On Your Own
When you're stuck at one job for a long time, you run the risk of getting into what I like to call, "the comfort zone." When you're doing the same tasks on a daily basis, chances are you're not evolving. You're not challenging yourself to get better. Freelancing is the complete opposite as there could be many twists and turns. At times, you're even forced to learn on the fly and that can result in overall improvement.
Control Over Jobs You Take On
Establishing yourself as a proven freelancer means that you have full control over the jobs you take on or the clients you want to work with. Accepting every opportunity in the early stages is essential in building your business, but freelancers can turn down jobs if their vision isn't aligned with the client's or if the pay is not up to par.
There are many risks and hurdles that come with freelancing — the most common being an inconsistent workload compared to the usual 9 to 5 schedule we've been accustomed to.
It's overcoming these hurdles that make the true freelancers thrive above the rest of the competition.