Career Advice/ Freelancing

The Rise of the Millennial Freelancer

Guest Contributor: Jamie Roberts 

One-third of the workforce is classed as a millennial and they are bringing a whole new mentality with them. Money is no longer the main motivator in a job search. Flexibility has quickly become the front-runner with seven in 10 agreeing that it plays a major part in their job search thanks to an increased desire for a better work-life balance.

Currently one third of the US workforce (55 million) are freelancing, with the number expected to continue its increase, rising to one in two by 2020. It’s clear that the role provides a host of benefits, none more so than flexibility. The once popular 9-to-5 is quickly falling by the wayside, with a flexible rota allowing workers to fit their roles around their personal commitments.

Freelance journalist Shane Donaghey claims that this was a major factor in him deciding to switch career paths. “I’ve always wanted to do the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain,” he says. “I took a month off from my day-to-day tasks and completed it before time ran away from me.

“Being freelance means I can tell any employers when I’m not available, meaning if anything crops up I won’t miss out due to work commitments. I tend to give any employers access to my Google Calendar so they can see my availability. Being able to have this option means my work-life balance has significantly improved.”

The commute to work is also becoming even more of an inconvenience. The average American spends 26 minutes each day getting to and from the office; 20% longer than was required in 1980, meaning the chance of working remotely that is offered by freelancing is becoming extremely appealing.

According to a recent survey, one third of tech professionals were actively seeking a new job in order to spend more time working away from the regular office environment.

It’s believed that remote workers are more likely to incorporate physical exercise into their daily routine as they have more time in their workday. A healthier worker means a higher level of productivity and less risk of health-related absences.

Becoming a freelancer can also be a great financial decision if you have the right mentality and commitment.

With the option of working with many different employers at the same time, you can take on as many projects as you think possible at any given time. And, of course, if you are your own boss you get to keep the income. Instead of having a set wage, it’s possible to make major financial waves as you can literally name your own price.

However, many are just dipping their feet into the world of freelance. Thought of as a risky career move, some workers are currently freelancing as a side job. While the main reason for this is to earn extra money in their chosen career path, a number have taken it upon themselves to become a freelancer to test the waters in a role they are more passionate about.

Creating a start-up business is high on the wish list of over half of the respondents of a recent study by the University of Phoenix in which people under the age of 30 were interviewed. “Younger people are more inclined to want to be entrepreneurs because of their exposure to leadership training and technology – which is now ruling the world,” says chair of the university’s School of Business, Sam Sanders.

As millennials continue to change the way the working world is thinking, along with continuous technological advances, it’s clear that freelance roles are becoming a major force in almost all industries.

With an array of benefits of being a freelancer, and so many opportunities springing up, it surely is a role that will be attracting the attention of future workers as well as the current workforce.


About the Author:

Jamie Roberts is a well-traveled journalist from the United Kingdom. Having worked in England, Northern Ireland, France and Australia, he enjoys producing articles to do with recruitment, modernisation and work culture. He also has a passion for sports, big dogs and… burritos. Share your thoughts with him on Twitter @j1roberts

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