The way we work is changing. Decades of economic strife and wage stagnation has left many people searching for a better way to work. Gone are the days of getting a job out of college and staying there until you retire. These days 34% of the American workforce are freelancers, and that figure is projected to grow to 43% in just the next three years. So what is making the gig economy so attractive to so many workers and how can you work it to your benefit?
Freelancers Have A Lot Of Freedom
If you work in a traditional office setting with a boss, you can’t always choose which projects to work on and which ones to pass over. Freelancers have the ultimate say on what they want to do, and if you don’t feel like a project is a good fit you can always pass.
Freelancers also have the freedom to work on their own terms. That means you can take your work with you on the road when you want a change of scenery. You can work at home or in a coffee shop. You don’t have to be around sick people in the office, which will mean a healthier lifestyle in the long run. And most importantly of all, you have the ability to completely cut out your commute, saving your sanity in the process.
It’s Not A Cakewalk, Though
The downside of being a freelancer is that the onus is on you – for everything. You are responsible for your payroll taxes. You are responsible for your retirement savings. You are responsible for your health insurance premiums. You are, most importantly, responsible for representing yourself as a professional and building and maintaining relationships with customers. A few key things to do:
- Maintain your portfolio
- Maintain a website and social media presence
- Network and maintain relationships with past clients
- Complete work on time as agreed
Learn more about the gig economy and decide for yourself whether freelancing is for you!
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