53 Million Americans Are Freelancing, New Survey Finds

from Freelancers Union

Freelancing is the new normal — and we have the numbers to prove it.

More than 53 million Americans are doing freelance work, according to a new, landmark survey conducted by the independent research firm Edelman Berland and commissioned by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk.

That’s 34 percent of the entire workforce.

The old way of working isn’t working, More than 53 million workers are showing a new way — and tens of millions more will likely follow.

The new economy is already here — and it’s driven by freelancers.

More here.

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21 Responses to 53 Million Americans Are Freelancing, New Survey Finds

  1. Andre Bakhos September 27, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

    A freelancer is someone who works for themselves, often specializing in a specific field. They use their small client base as an advantage to develop closer relationships with their clients. These jobs are often available in high demand on the market through large corporations, but freelancers are still growing fast. So how are freelancers competing with large companies that have more resources, more workers, and a larger customer base? Their key, is to take advantage of the many benefits of freelancing which are not available to those working at the large corporations, and doing their best to minimize the cons of working independently.
    An obstacle facing many freelancers in various industries is advertisement. Lacking the resources of a corporation or standard business, freelancers often cannot market their skills to a large consumer base. However, the emergence of websites such as Etsy.com allow freelancers whom specialize in crafts such as jewelry making or artwork, to sell and market their product to a widespread group of customers.
    Many people who wish to choose their own hours, but do not possess any marketable skills, elect to enter into the gig economy, which is a market that is full of jobs for short-term workers. The rise of companies such as Uber and Airbnb can be directly attributed to the gig economy, as they cater to people who wish to make money, but lack skills. With Uber, people can work whenever, and wherever you wish at the rate set by the corporation. Airbnb allows people to rent out their house to tenants for short periods of time, which, like Uber, allows individuals to generate capital without skills. What is fascinating about these companies, is how Uber and Airbnb are beginning to dominate the transportation and residence industry, yet do not own a single car, nor a single hotel. They give freelancers the ability to work using personal residences and cars, something most people are in possession of, opening up an entire new market for the unemployed.
    People would not enter the freelancing world if there were no advantages to working as an independent. One of the main lures of freelancing is the ability to become your own boss, which includes benefits such as deciding your own hours and what you wish to charge for certain services. When a person has the ability to decide those logistics, they feel more grounded and in control of where their career is heading. Choosing your own hours also allows a freelancer to have a better social life, family life, and a time for hobbies and other activities, as a manager or company does not restrict them as to what hours they can and cannot work. In terms of choosing their own pay, they can make an estimate on what they believe their work is worth. For someone with a great reputation, prices will most likely be higher, as they have repeatedly satisfied customers.
    With any work comes disadvantages, and with freelancing, there is a great deal of factors that could prove difficult. Independent workers are often faced with inconsistent work depending on their industry. Corporations use their large size eat up much of the potential business deals that freelancers need to stay in work, and this can cause fluctuations in the rate of work that a freelancer may partake in. Another issue is how freelancers often rely on positive reviews to stay in business, which means that if a customer gives a bad review, it could severely hurt that freelancer’s business.
    Freelancing is growing in popularity, as the advantages often outweigh the disadvantages for a person who is good at their trade. The lure of choosing hours, and in some case pay, is too great an opportunity to pass on. Thanks to the gig economy, people seeking to choose their own hours are now given that opportunity, as Uber and Airbnb are making freelancing highly available to nearly everyone. Doing what you love, choosing your own hours so you have time for family and friends, and picking your own pay, is what most Americans would call a dream job, and that is why do many people are shifting to freelancing.

  2. Rubi Leyva-Rodriguez September 28, 2017 at 11:10 pm #

    The rise in popularity of freelance work is demonstrative of two key facts about the modern economy: (1) the internet has made it the easiest time in history to not have a traditional job and (2) millennials are leading the effort in shifting how we view work in the United States.
    For those who were born before the advent of the internet, the word “job” carries a certain connotation. It describes how one earns a living wage, what socioeconomic one might be in, and what role one plays in society. For many, it might also paint the stereotypical image of being in an office from 9am in the morning to 5pm (breaking an hour for lunch), working at a cubicle, and having to respond directly to a middle manager.
    However, with the internet, it is much easier nowadays to escape the corporate chain of command and make a living by being a self-employed freelancer. Through platforms like Upwork and Elance, one can essentially make one’s hours by picking up available jobs when it is most convenient and, therefore, not have to be tied to a set time and place like a traditional job. The internet, because it is so prevalent, has also made it possible and viable to write, web design, translate, and more from a laptop, or even phone, in the comfort of one’s own home. This frees up the freelancer’s time to pursue other creative ventures.
    As mentioned in the survey by Freelancers Union, 38% of millennials (as defined by those under the age of 35) are freelancers; this increase in free-spiritedness in the marketplace shows a move away from traditional, and time restrictive, jobs. In a time when more and more people are graduating with undergraduate degrees, it can be argued that this shift is not due to a lack of education, but rather, from a stronger want of freedom in the workplace. The sharing economy, i.e. Uber and Airbnb, is especially popular among millennials and make it possible to earn a living without ever having to answer to a direct boss.
    The internet has been immeasurably powerful in bringing jobs from the physical space to online, where one can work both remotely and independently. It would then make sense that millennials, because they grew up surrounded the popularity of the internet, are the ones who champion the idea of a freelance economy.

  3. Erik Peterson September 29, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    Freelancing is quickly becoming a way of life in the American economy. According to this article, 34% of the workforce is now made up of freelancers, which is both startling and amazing at the same time. Freelancers are people who work for themselves, and become specialized in one field or another. There are a few reasons why someone might freelance. For instance, freelancing allows an individual to become their own boss. This sort of relationship with oneself can be very motivating. Another reason is the desire to do what you love. Someone who works for themselves is not going to be doing something that they dislike doing.
    Freelancing is becoming a way of life in the American economy, however, there are many problems that freelancers face. One such problem is the demands of customers. I have seen this problem with my own eyes. My great aunt and uncle, who live in North Carolina, own and operate a business that makes candles. The two of them hand make each individual candle, and then they both go to various craft shows and farmers markets to sell them. However, it was very plain to see that the amount of money that they could bring in on any given day was very different, just from visiting there one time. When my family visited them this summer, my aunt was selling at a craft show, and my uncle was selling at a farmer’s market. The amount that they sold at the craft fair was much more than the amount that they got from the farmer’s market. Why? Because of the demands of the people at each respective event. Freelancers have to deal with “slow times” as well as fast times of business.
    Another problem that freelancers might face is finding a balance between finding new customers and dealing with current customers. A lot of freelancers operate all alone, therefore it can be tough to find new customers if they are working hard for another, already existing customers. I think that this also might contribute the “slow times” as a freelancer, since it might be tough to find a new customer right after finishing a project up.
    Although freelancers face so many problems, there are plenty of advantages to the job. Freelancers are in such high demand because they are specialized in certain fields, such as editing and proofreading, graphic design, and even voice acting. I think that the main advantage to this job is that you get to choose whatever you want to do. Furthermore, their profession is actually very flexible. They have the ability to work on whatever they want, whenever they want, for however many hours they feel like. It must be great to have a job where you can be self-motivated to do great. Personally, I think that the advantages of freelancing far outweigh the disadvantages, and obviously, so does 34 percent of the workforce as well. I think that as the years progress, we will see more and more people gravitating towards becoming freelancers.

  4. Shiyun Ye September 29, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    In this advanced technological century, internet has become one of the most important components in people’s life. This trend boosts a new occupation, which is called the “freelancer.” Although this position has existed before, it is going more and more popular based on the commonness of internet. Moreover, the nature of the freelancer has changed from physical workers to digital world. As mentioned in the article, 53 million Americans are freelancing. They claim that this will be the new way of working in the current century, which indicates that the old way of working may not be fitting anymore. This statement can be very convincing since there are so many positive advantages that can support it. First, workers possess the ability of freely arrange their times. It provides them a great flexibility of balancing their private life and work life. Second, freelancers can pursue more meaningfully independent living lives with sufficient financial support by themselves. Therefore, even though the new economy becomes more and more compatible, the freelancers will still have more qualify times to deal with their works. Moreover, this freelancer workforce is adding $715 billion annually to the economy through their freelance work. Therefore, this phenomenon helps the economy as well as fit in the contemporary needs.

    There are 5 types of freelancers discussed in the article. The first one is called the Independent contractors. They are the outnumbered one in the freelancer group because they do the work in a project basis and usually in professional areas. The second one is called Moonlights. They usually have a traditional Professionals who also moonlight doing freelance work. For example, a corporate employed web developer who also does projects for non-profits in the evening. The third one is called the Diversified workers. These are the people with multiple sources of income from a mix of traditional employers and freelance work. For example, someone who works the front desk at a dentist’s office 20 hours a week and fills out the rest of his income driving for Uber and doing freelance writing. The forth one is called Temporary workers. They do their works with a single employer, client, job, or contract project where their employment status is temporary. For example, a business strategy consultant working for one startup client on a contract basis for a months-long project. The last one is called Freelance business owners. Business owners with between one and five employees who consider themselves both a freelancer and a business owner. For example, a social marketing guru who hires a team of other social marketers to build a small agency, but still identifies as a freelancer. From my understanding, these different types of freelancers indicates how diversified the job can be and implies the potential of this position’s future.

    Therefore, I believe it is another industrial revolution. For example, with the rapidly growing usage of Internet and social networking. The free lancers on Facebook increases as well as the online writers. The demand for freelancers is increasing in an unbelievable speed as there are so many websites requiring writers. Moreover, even the traditional Medias is transforming into new media and selling their products in digital form. However, this potential work also creates troubles: some freelancers are not sensitive about their deadlines and some of them are even not qualified as professionals such as journalists. These problems should be taken into considered no matter how prosperous the freelancers are or in the future. For instance, I have freelancer experience. I was a translator in a Chinese website called PioneerTranslator.com. I find out it is easier to slack off in the work because there is no tangible work obligations. Thus, the time management is important if the freelancer career lookers want to really pursue the job.

  5. zonghao li September 29, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

    According to Freelancer’s Union, 53 million Americans are doing freelance work. If the numbers don’t mean much, here’s a little context: that’s 34 percent of America’s workforce. Coupled with America’s tightening labor market and near full-unemployment status, this implies that modern factors such as globalization and the internet play big roles in future trends. As we can find more and more jobs around the world through the internet, more and more people can find work without the need of joining a company. While it may be more obvious to point to lower costs as a benefit of globalization and newer technology, this statistic points out that these modern factors have already seeped into an integral part of our lives already, work.
    As a money generating activity, work has always been important. However, finding work may not always be easy. Unemployment has and will always be an important problem that capitalistic society needs to face because without work, one would have no money, and without money, one cannot attain a good standard of living. Thus, the statistic that 34 percent of America’s workforce shows a good trend in that as technology improves and there are better ways to connect with each other, unemployment not pose as such a big societal problem in the future. Furthermore, as technology improves and more avenues of work open up (such as the current race for the most viable electric car), there will be increased demand to find skilled workers to develop these technology, leading to a decrease in unemployment.
    Another notable reason for the increase in America’s freelance work is that coding is more important than ever. With technology companies such as PayPal, there is no need for traditional Property, Plant, and Equipment. Rather, the costs are all in Research and Development. And with coding, the work can be done wirelessly, making it a perfect reason for the increase in freelance work. A job that is both relatively easy to find on the internet and can be easily done in the warm confines of one’s home (as opposed to working in a company), coding may be one of the biggest reasons for the increase in American freelance work.
    Finally, the statistic that 53 million Americans are doing freelance work can mean an even more important phenomenon: the normalization of technology. With the increasing viability of science fiction technology, some people may worry about an Orwellian society like in 1984. With new technology like Apple’s face ID or recent Equifax leaks, privacy is becoming an important issue, but something that we often don’t realize is that these policies will sink in one day. In other words, although we may protest about the extent of such surveillance/privacy-invading technology, they will manifest in one way or another, whether we like it or not. Currently, our social life is already largely intertwined with social media technology with Facebook and Tinder. And the Freelancer’s Union provides an even more compelling reason to believe that the future is upon us already. With 53 million Americans doing freelance work because the internet provides more platforms to find work and an increased development of better technology (such as electric cars), we will need to accept technology no matter what form it may take.

  6. Brian Ayoub September 29, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    All people have different aspirations and preferences. Some like to work 9-5 for a boss and have a set salary. Some however, like to work their own hours and be their own boss. These people are called freelancers, who prefer to be their own boss. Many people who have the self-belief to make it big time on their own and do not like being bossed around by someone prefer to be freelancers. I always knew that a lot of people liked being freelancers, but I never knew exactly how many. A new survey conducted by the independent research firm Edelman Berland showed that more than 53 million Americans participated in freelance work. This to me is a shocking number because that is 34 percent of the entire workforce. I always have wanted a tradition 9-5 job that pays me annually a set salary. I’ve always thought that this would be the safest option for me to set myself up for the future because there is not much risk that involves applying for a job, getting it, and working those set hours. I do not like taking big risks that involve my future and I feel that the majority of people are like me in that sense. That is why the 53 million freelancers number blew my mind. 34 percent really work for themselves and risk making little to no money when they can easily spend their time at least making minimum wage? Apparently so, and the number is only growing. According to the article, tens of millions of Americans will be joining the freelance path. One concern I have with freelancing is that the income is not guaranteed and expenses to grow the business can go down the drain if the business fails. I can see trying out freelancing five-ten years after I establish my self with capital and savings, however trying to freelance while being broke does not sound appeasing to me. I always like to have a backup plan in life and freelancing provides a plan that is not certain. Another concern I have with freelancing is that there will be no one to motivate you to work except yourself, which is something that scares me. I like having someone on me at all times because that is what gets the best work out of me. Without someone constantly nagging me like a teacher or boss, I become complacent and am unmotivated to try my hardest. This is just my experience however, some people love not hearing people nag them, and get their best work done from their own personal motivations, like proving people wrong for example. People who prefer freelancing also have a passion for what they are doing, which is not always the case for people who work the 9-5. A saying that I like is, “If you do what you love, it never feels like a job.” That is why if you find something you are passionate about and love doing, then you should go for it, because usually you will be successful. So whether that is doing something that is in the traditional 9-5 lane with someone bossing you around or something that involves freelancing and becoming your own boss, I would say follow your dreams because usually that will be the most enjoyable and successful.

  7. Jimmy Bedoya September 29, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    In recent studies, economic statistics have shown that worker productivity has decreased within the last decade and will continue to decrease in years to come. Work productivity was predicted to increase and improve, but instead, it fell by 0.5 percent, continuing an on-going decreasing slide in worker efficiency. The output in a number of goods and services during work hours determines the productivity. Thus, if the output of these goods drops, then economists are able to determine that productivity is in fact decreasing. This decrease could have both a positive and negative impact on the economy and social construct of society. Economists suggest that there could potentially be a drop in long-term income for workers and living standards, yet also an encouragement for the Federal Reserve to keep their interest rates low. However, the question still stands; why are workers reducing their efficiency? Robert Gordon, an economist at Northwestern University, believes it has to do with the fact that our economy has been operating under the same business strategies for the past 10 years. Gordon along with other economists believe it is time for recent innovations and ideas to be tied to every workplace in order to get people to want to work again. This belief suggests that the average worker has outgrown the pre-existent technology to which they are exposed. Gordon states, “We had a great revolution in the 1980s and ’90s as businesses transitioned from paper, typewriters, file cabinets to personal computers with spreadsheets, word-processing software”. These amongst many other improvements made the average worker want to work because of the excitement of wanting to utilize the new tech. Thus, one can conclude that in order for there to be an increase in work productivity there needs to be a redesign of the working environment.

    In the meantime, however, it is important for Americans to find an alternative if they firmly believe they are not enjoying their jobs. One alternative that many Americans are taking advantage of is “freelancing”. Freelance is working for different companies and corporations, at the same time, without having any permanent commitment to any one of these companies. It is reported, that more than 55 million Americans, 35 percent of our workforce, are freelancing. When a study was conducted as to why freelance, many Americans sided with the luxury of freedom that comes with freelance. Being able to choose one’s own hours as well as working for multiple companies, is some of the many benefits that are derived from freelancing. Some Americans even stated that they acquired more money doing freelance work than they ever did working for a company permanently. It is evident that the worker benefits largely from freelancing. From a business standpoint, some businesses and company presidents prefer a freelancer due to the efficiency and low pay that comes with it. Phil Cox, CEO of many e-commerce food companies, stated, “The freelancers we work with make more money and have more available time on their hands because companies, like mine, are mostly interested in the completion of the project, and we are willing to pay more to have the project done right the first time,”. Phil Cox along with many others believe that freelancing is a cheap way of getting a job done correctly. With a decreasing work productivity, freelancing seems to be one of the few economic strategies that could potentially solve an increasing epidemic. From providing businesses and corporations with more efficiency for jobs at a lower cost to re-kindling the flame of excitement in workers, there is no doubt that freelancing is the future of the United States economy.

  8. Michael Dias September 29, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

    As someone who has been involved in years of freelance work, I have a pretty good idea as to why so many Americans are running towards it. When working freelance jobs such as waiting tables and doing deliveries, I would make money that is straight cash, without any taxes or unnecessary “charges” that would take away from my pay, and usually not benefit me in any way. Recently, I began working jobs that were direct deposit, and registered legally. In these jobs, nearly 20-25% of my paychecks were confiscated through ‘taxes and fees’. This was not only infuriating, but unecessary in my honest opinion. There were charges for social security and unemployment, which are actually justified. The rest, such as disability and NJ State Withholding, and Federal Withholding, which alone take 15% away, are not as necessary. There are taxes for everything you can imagine, so why does the government ned to take away a quarter of my hard earned money in order to enrich themselves further? That’s what I thought, and I can confirm that many other coworkers thought the same. This is why America is running towards freelance work. You keep almost to all of every penny you work for, and this is why 53 million Americans love it. The downfall however, is the time you spend working freelance is not considered by social security, lowering your pension reception once you retire. This can be bad, as I have met some who have lost 10-15 years of social security due to working jobs that wre not recognized by the state or country. There are upsides and downsides to everything, it all depends on who you ask. Make more now, but lose more later on. Does that sound like a good trade to you?

  9. Cristina O September 29, 2017 at 10:48 pm #

    The fact that so many people in the workforce have turned to freelance labor is both interesting and a bit alarming. The study doesn’t just cover those who are strictly freelance workers. It also covers people who are supplementing their income with second or maybe third jobs.

    Including the freelance entrepreneurs, only 45% of those within the study identified as strictly independent. 43% identified as supplementing their income either moonlighting or by gaining income from multiple sources. What that says to me is that the majority of these people feel that they cannot maintain a comfortable standard of living by working just one job anymore. The study even stated that freelancers “expected” to work more and earn more in the future. While that may sound good, it could also be interpreted as, “the number of jobs I already have aren’t cutting it; I’ll have to find more next year.”

    Now there are multiple reasons for this shift: downsizing after the recent recession, the longevity of baby boomers in the workforce, and the lack of job availability for recent college grads would be some. More economically, we could also say that families are having harder times making ends meet because college tuition is almost impossible to manage without borrowing money; healthcare premiums are higher than ever, and home prices remain out of reach for many until they are into their late 30s and early 40s when our grandparents probably bought their first home in their 20s.

    Big business is definitely not always the answer. However, I think it takes a very specific kind of person to be successful as a freelancer. It sounds like it could be the best thing ever, but I know too many people who freelance that are barely making ends meet, living at home or living with multiple roommates, and have no time to eat and sleep.

  10. Eric A September 30, 2017 at 12:38 am #

    I found this article to be quite interesting. The author, Sara Horowitz, mentions a statistic from Edelman Berland which says that there are 53 million people in America who are freelancing. When I first saw this number I was surprised at how high it is. However, after giving it more thought, it actually makes sense. The economy took a major downturn in the late 2000’s and caused unemployment to swell. I personally know someone who turned to freelance work during this time to provide for his family after he was laid off from his job as a carpenter. In addition to this, a CNBC article makes mention of a “perfect storm” which has led to a more freelance-based workforce. It mentions factors like Obamacare costs, baby boomers pursuing work in retirement, and technology as driving forces in this trend. (Pofeldt)
    As stated earlier, freelancing has taken on a whole new persona with the advent of the internet. As stated in the previous article, it’s easier to freelance than ever before. People with strong-suits in technology have been able to capitalize, just as people like carpenters and welders have been able to for decades. In addition to traditional trades, freelancers are now building websites, fixing computers, designing logos, and they’re doing it well. My cousin is a perfect example of this. He had a good working knowledge of computers in the early 2000’s and was able to use his skills to make a nice income building websites for people before he graduated high school. He now works for a mid-sized tech company but will still freelance on the side when he can. Freelancers are all around and it is my belief that the “industry” will continue to grow.
    Sources:
    Pofeldt, Elaine, and Special to CNBC.com. “Get Ready to Become a Freelancer.” CNBC, CNBC, 27 Apr. 2016, http://www.cnbc.com/2014/01/29/obama-is-the-job-of-the-future-a-freelance-one.html.

  11. Greg D'Ottavi October 4, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

    With the constant advancement of technology and innovation, the American economy sees a direct impact. New jobs are being created every day and professions continue to evolve. After reading this article by Sara Horowitz and Fabio Rosati, it is clear that one of the newest and highest grossing professions is freelancing. Freelance work embodies various different jobs, but essentially, it means taking jobs for multiple employers based on a specific area of specialty. Freelancing has become bigger in the United States because of the high technological level so many companies operate on. According to the article, 53 million Americans are now freelancing which equals out to about 34 percent of the entire workforce. This statistic is astonishing to me because I do not know anyone personally who works in freelance and therefore pay little attention to it as a profession. Clearly, my attention should be turned as it seems freelance is one of the first steps in a new technological economy.
    Though freelancing is on the rise, there are many problems freelancers encounter on a daily basis, which makes their day-to-day work somewhat risky. According to an article by Mobile Worker, there are various risks to becoming a freelancer two of the most important being, unstable income and no permanent employee benefits. The possibility of not having a stable income is a risk that I would never want to take as an employee. In an unpredictable economy, you never know when your area of job expertise will see a decrease in demand. If suddenly no companies are hiring freelancers in a particular field, one could go months without a stable income and that is not optimal. In addition to unstable income, the likeliness of not having employee benefits is extremely high as a freelancer. When working in freelance, you do not get paid vacations or sick days and are not guaranteed various insurances. Benefits are one of the biggest deciding factors when choosing an employer. If I had a decent job offer from two different companies, I would be likely to pick whichever one had greater benefits. The fact of the matter is; health insurance is essential. In a country where healthcare is not given to all its citizens, one should not be working without health insurance. Anything can happen at any time and for a freelancer attempting to make a living, nothing will empty out a bank account faster than hospital bills that have no insurance to back them. Another point to consider is that freelancers are responsible for multiple different areas while working in one specific field. If a company hires a freelancer to work in their marketing department, though their focus will be in marketing, they will also handle all of their own finances, clients, advertising, etc. When a traditional employee is hired to work for a company, their tasks remain specific to their area of focus. They will not have to worry about other clients or financing for their own job.
    Freelancing is seeing a large increase across the country and ideally is the perfect job for everyone in the workforce, but there are plenty of risks. Freelancing requires a great amount of skill and unrelenting determination. Companies will never hesitate to hire someone better so competition remains high and there are too many risks in my opinion. Although I would love to make money by working for myself and constantly working with different clients each day, I do not believe freelancing is an optimal career choice.

    Works Cited

    “5 Risks of Freelancing.” Mobile Worker, 13 Oct. 2015, mworker.com/5-risks-of-freelancing/

  12. Adam Rakowski October 5, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

    I think I speak for the majority of people when I say that whenever we picture a freelancer we see a poorly kept employee who has just gotten out of college and is wearing clad pajamas while sitting at home in front of his old laptop with a fresh cup of coffee. Stereotypes aside, a person’s personality may very well be represented this way if they decide to take the freelancing route.The article displays astounding information on just how popular freelancing has become over the years. It seems that the majority of freelancers don’t decide to do it immediately after getting out of college; its more of a decision that you would make after being unsatisfied with the 3 jobs your already got a taste of. That’s why before doing that, its critical that the pros and cons of freelancing be analyzed. I think the greatest benefit of being a freelancer lies in the freedom you have. You are free to work wherever you want, where you want, and have no boss to report to or work for. Working with a flexible time schedule allows you to decide whether you want to work during the early hours or the later hours since you might work more efficiently earlier or later during your day. Scheduling for all of your other priorities such as important doctor’s appointments and other meetings are now much more accessible than they would be if you have a strict time schedule. The benefit of working wherever you want allows the freelancer to pretty much eliminate the nuisance of commuting. Not only does commuting become a non-issue, the rising connectivity of our times lets the freelancer work wherever they feel comfortable. You can travel all you want and still meet the decided deadlines. The pros of being your own boss are superb as well. Its you who is solely in charge of your projects and the steps you take to build your career. Granted that not all of the projects you work on may be interesting or the most pleasant to complete but that’s the inevitable choice you make as a freelancer. You have the full control over the work that you do and for whom you complete the work for.
    With every mass of pros there are almost an equal amount of cons that lurk in the depths of the fine print. Freelancers have to make the effort to make more than their previous salaries. They need to ask themselves: “If I’m going the freelancer route and I’m making a lot less money than I did in my desk job just because I want more freedom, is it really worth it?” Alongside that additional requirement, freelancers absolutely must make the effort to promote and advertise themselves. They no longer work for a company that has people to do that for them and therefore must rely on marketing techniques to spread the word and get themselves known. Freelancers also need to be aware of the fact that their income and general cash flow will not be as consistent as it would if they worked for a business or corporation. They need to keep track of just how much money they’re making and it is up to them to land the work that will pay their bills.

  13. Lucas Nieves-Violet October 11, 2017 at 9:23 pm #

    The article states that nearly 53 million Americans have now become freelancers which amounts to approximately 34% of the entire workforce. I believe that it is very important to understand that this number has grown drastically. A freelancer Is a person that works for themselves and that have no stable attachment to a company. They additionally have their own hours, or job titles depending on the current contract they have with a group or company. Freelancers are allowed to work when they want, but most importantly they are allowed to accept whichever contracts satisfy them. They can work on their terms but more importantly companies come to freelancers seeking help, therefore in some cases business come to them as clients.
    There are many ways people see freelancers some may think that they are not very successful people as some may be college dropouts claiming to keep themselves busy, but the truth is that the impact, influence, income, and success of a freelancer varies. For example, entrepreneurs can be seen in many ways as freelancers, or they all started as freelancers at least. The reason why many companies seek freelancers is that freelancers propose a particularly useful skill. While companies can hire another company to work for them over a contract or a short period of time some companies, seek the individual attention of one person as they are specifically skilled in a particular area.
    Above all, today’s economy has demonstrated that freelancers can be needed in all fields moreover anyone can become a freelancer in any field if they wish too in today’s time. Technology advances have made it possible for everyone to advertise and sell themselves or their skills very quickly. Lately, drones have become very popular amongst filmmakers, young adults, and freelancers. I have a perfect example to demonstrate this idea. My senior of high school, a buddy of mine, started his own company, his own business with drones. He would go to real estate agencies and tell them that he could take pictures of houses for sale and that they could then put it in there lookbooks for their clients, and he did just so. He went to the locations of homes that were for sale flew the drone around and took pictures. After the fact he would bring them back to the real estate agency, and they would pay him for it. Another similar example is this summer when I was working as a lifeguard at a country club when the club hired a drone company to take pictures of the estate to send photos to the members of the pool. I was intrigued in how long the man they hired had been in the business, and so I talked to him for a little. He stated that he was a freelancer and that the company belonged to him as an investment he had purchased a couple of drones as they can often cost a pretty penny depending on the model and decided to start a small business. While I did not think it could be very successful at first he explained that it was, having that most of the request and job contracts he received came from weddings, parties, events, Country clubs “business was booming.” He stated.
    While those examples concerned or revolved around drones, it is essential to understand that really anyone can create their own business and work for themselves. Technology is new and forever expanding and growing allowing people to become skilled in various array of the technological field thus for creating new opportunities for business, and freelancing. Another notable example that can be cited is “coders, or web site developers.” Many new and upcoming companies are familiar with such freelancers. Most freelancers clients can be described as forthcoming restaurant needing a website to advertise not only themselves but also their menu, other notables mentions are bars, or startup company looking to get get a name for themselves. I believe that ultimately the number of freelances is bound to grow as our technological advances grow. Millions of different services will create themselves in the near future and what better way than to trust a person that has acquired skills on one particular aspect of work?

  14. Tianqi Xu October 13, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

    There is a growing number of new occupations in today’s society, and even ten years ago people will not think that changes in the world are changing. Letting people not think that the number of new jobs is far beyond the estimated range. The main content of this article is that the number of freelancers reached 53 million.
    According to the Wikipedia, the definition of a “freelancer or freelance worker is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. Freelance workers are sometimes represented by a company or a temporary agency that resells freelance labor to clients; others work independently or use professional associations or websites to get work.” This means that people are no longer work for only one company or they do not even belongs to any company. The word “freelancer” include the word free. Therefore, it indicates that this kind of work is freer than the traditional work. It is easier to explain that why people are prefer this job.
    I think freelance is a good job, because it allows people to have a wider selection. So that everyone has more time and space to do things, and can also do two different jobs at the same time. Many people should have a distress is not like their own work. There is no way to quit my job and find another job. But there is a free occupation of the words, we can do a work at the same time try to do their own like another job. This is a very beneficial way for people.
    The new profession does not represent a bad development, it may be a healthy development. Look at things from both sides of the look. So be brave to accept new things, the vision put a long way, so as to really do not extreme.

  15. Juliana Martinez November 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

    Freelancing has opened the door for the millions of people who work best under their own management. For many years the standard job that was expected of people is known as a “cubical jobs”. Society said that the road to success was to get a degree, buy a house, and get a nine to five office job. But, as technology has evolved, society has also been able to evolve in the way work gets done. The luxury of technology has allowed society to start focusing its attention on innovating how people work, coming to the realization that not everyone works the same and that success cannot be measured same. Besides being a better way to earn money for some people, freelancing is also a great way for companies to get work done. In general hiring freelancers is more affordable because the company pays a one-time fee and does not have to worry about paying for additional fees such as health insurance. Freelancers also bring innovation and expert knowledge to companies that lack diversity or specific skills. Lastly, hiring freelancers can also be a way to have work done at a more immediate rate because the freelancer has only one direct job for the company rather employee who has various job tasks to fulfill.

    Although freelancing is a great new way to earn a living, it is not for everyone. There are many things that people do not take into consideration when they think about what freelancers do. Freelancing is essentially a one person business. This means that the individual must be able to be able to finance and market themselves along with all the actual work they have to do. Some other important things freelancers have to be able to do are manage their time correctly, be self-motivating, and build a reputation before actually having the chance to make good money. People starting out, will either take on too many projects or will lack experience causing them to not find enough work. Lastly, because freelancing indicates that to work on your own, people don’t consider the amount of communication skills needed in order to get and maintain clients. Not only must the individuals be able to communicate well with clients in order to get the job done, they must also be able to take criticism and defend their work in a professional manner.

    Although many Americans are becoming freelancers, many should understand that it is not for everyone. Although it seems like the cool new thing to do, in many cases, it is not the most ideal way of doing work and can end up being more damaging than beneficial to an individual’s career.

    https://www.twago.com/blog/advantages-hiring-freelancers/
    http://smallbusiness.chron.com/different-parts-business-plan-2601.html
    https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2010/04/20-reasons-you-shouldnt-be-a-freelancer/

  16. Shemar Givens November 8, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

    According to research a person that does freelance work is someone who is self-employed and isn’t committed to a particular employer long-term. I take interest in exploring this article with the statistics that are provided on the population of freelancers that are present in the world. Being a college student, that main goal is to have a desired outcome upon leaving school but most of the time when I ask a fellow classmate what they want to do, they’re not entirely sure. Sometimes I feel the same way, but I know that I want to be an impact in the sports industry in some type of way. Not speaking for all freelancers nor saying that they chose to do this because they’re stuck on which route to go towards, but everyone has their personal reasons. In the article is states 34% of the workforce is now made up of freelancers, which is pretty fascinating. Individuals may freelance simply because they don’t want to work for someone else. Becoming your own boss is a form of self-confidence knowing one can fend for themselves without relying on others. Not saying one can’t seek guidance from another source because they’re a freelancer but one is more then likely to do a lot on their own.

    It’s been proven that freelancers are able to flourish in society becoming dominant figures. There are freelancers that are making 6 figures. Leaving your day job and launching a freelance business of your own and building success is an honor and anyone can do it. It’s opened up doors for many people. Today, there was speaker that talked about his business as a player development coach for basketball stars, and before becoming successful he explored different jobs. Apart of a collegiate program with Georgetown University he was offered a lot of money for his previous accolades and ended up quitting after a couple months because he felt that wasn’t his taste. He didn’t want to work for anyone else but himself, so he took his own route seeking guidance and tools that’ll get his personal business running. Now his resume he has trained the #1 draft pick for the 2016 NBA Draft and it continues from there. This just goes to show that you can make any negative into a positive as long as you put your mind to it.

  17. Kunj Darji February 2, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

    More and more Americans are quitting their jobs—or picking up side jobs—to work as freelancers. In fact, a third of American workers have done freelance work in the past year, according to a 2015 independent survey sponsored by the Freelancers Union and Upwork. That’s 54 million people. The plus side of being a “solopreneur” is clear: You get to decide your own work schedule, workload, and where to work from. And technology has made it even easier for freelancers to find gigs. But the downside is huge, too: Freelancers have irregular paychecks, making it harder to qualify for home and auto loans. And of course, freelancers don’t get company-sponsored health insurance or paid time off. So are freelancers actually happier than full-time employees? Indications are that freedom, choice, and flexibility seem to equal happiness. Here’s the fine print on this grow­ing seg­ment of the work­force, ac­cord­ing the sur­vey:
    Nearly 54 million people have done freelance work in the past year, compared with 53 million in 2014. 60 percent of freelancers said they started freelancing by choice. Two-thirds of people surveyed say freelancing gives them more flexibility to determine work hours and location. More than half of freelancers—60 percent—who left traditional jobs say they are now making more money. Of that group, 78 percent say they were making more money within a year. About 69 percent of freelancers say technology has made it easier for them to find work, with 42 percent of them finding work online. The No. 1 reason people took up freelancing was to make more money, followed by flexibility and financial necessity. Freelancers are expected to make up 40 percent of the workforce by 2020.

  18. Dean Spenzos February 2, 2018 at 7:57 pm #

    If there is anything this article is telling us, it is that the future is now. It is absolutely no surprise that there are so many freelance workers in the work force right now. First of all, millennials do not particularly like being told what to do or having a boss. This could be a driving force for many of the people who want to create their own businesses and work on their own time. And with the success of so many large companies like Apple and Facebook that were started out of garages and dorm rooms people are starting to realize that you don’t need to have a lot of money to be a success.
    We can use an increasingly popular ABC show, Shark Tank, to look at a few examples of freelancers. It feels like every time I watch the show I see at least a few people who contract themselves out to other businesses for either photography, food trucks, or birthday parties. While not all of them receive deals it is a good indicator that people are becoming more open to the idea of having a less stable job and working on their own time, creating their own brand. In addition to being a contractor every college student knows how important finding a ride at night is. Uber and Lyft have created the perfect platforms for people to make money in their free time. These would be an example of the “moonlighters” that have a primary job and work for someone on the side, like Uber. Not everyone in freelance needs that to be their primary source of income, a lot of them just want a supplement to their current job.
    After seeing the success of freelancers like the 77% who said they make the same or more than when they first started freelancing it is easy to see why there has been an upward trend in the percent of the workforce that is freelance. I think it is actually a good thing to build independence in yourself and trust that you make earn a steady income without a stable job. If we keep seeing this kind activity continue into the future it will spark more innovation and will only benefit the country.

  19. Andrew Kuttin February 8, 2018 at 3:10 am #

    The transition of technology from doing what we tell it do to deciding what by itself what it will do as pointed out in this article is something that has always concerned me. In Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, an intelligent species develops a super computer that can formulate the meaning of life for them. That computer then decides that only a computer that it designs itself will have the capability to answer that question. Philosophical significance of this paradox aside, I fear the progression of technology to the point that it can understand and create other forms of technology better than we can, and I believe that the first step to this apocalyptic future is hyper-intelligent tech being accepted in the mainstream. Amazon’s Alexa is at the beginning of this frontier. Alexa is not a subject of artificial intelligence, but she/it still represents a breaking down of the barrier between humans and technology.
    As the subject of this article points out, children that are introduced to Alexa at a young developmental age have trouble distinguishing the difference between interactions with the glorified listening device and other people. The M.I.T study cited in the article points out that the children attempted to form bonds with the smart devices they were given to interact with. They asked personal questions like “how old are you” that would normally be used in interaction with other children. They also tried to teach the devices certain tasks like the example given of making a paper airplane. Because Alexa and similar devices could answer basic questions the children had and formulate compatible responses to their requests, they passed an unofficial Turing test in the minds of the children.
    This all feeds into the issue of trusting technology too much that the author of this article brings up. Within days of her introduction to Alexa, the author’s young daughter was more than ready to rely on the device for advice on her outfit and a request for blueberries. When she told Alexa to “shut up” she felt guilt as if she had offended a person. If children become conditioned to creating personal bonds with their technology, they will be too quick to accept technology that pushes the boundaries of intelligence even further. Their positive connotation of seemingly intelligent technology will make them sympathetic to truly hyper-intelligent technological advancements. They will become the generation that completely dissolves the line separating us from our technology because they will never know a life without a digital assistant.
    In order to combat this, parents should do as the author of this article did and put their Alexa’s in the closet. Restrict access to these kinds of technology so that children do not develop a dependency on them. Innovation is not something that needs to be feared inherently, but it should be definitely be questioned. Today’s children are tomorrow’s innovators and the world we create for them to grow in should not hamper the one they inevitably will create. To ensure this truth, it is up to us to safely integrate technology into their lives.

  20. Luis F Gonzalez Jr February 14, 2018 at 3:12 pm #

    Freelancing is simply an individual who is self-employed. This is probably the core of American culture where the epitome of individualism is on the come up. The idea of being independent and self-reliant, your choices are yours not decided for you is what causes many Americans to change their career avenue. I think some of the foundations that nourished this freelancing idea is the existentialist perspective of your choices make who you are and not deciding for your own is as dying for having no purpose in life. Which is why most grown-ups, later on in their life, have an epiphany called a mid-life crisis. Many workers are unhappy with their jobs and responsibilities thus desiring to change their lives and bettering it. Freelancing is the solution and many Americans do not want to go along the traditional path of acquiring a degree and having a boss. Many wish to be their own boss and have flexibility within their job. It seems a possible solution and is being proved daily by the continuous growing population of brilliant and creative minds called freelancers.

    Being on your own can be very scary but it gives you a multitude of opportunities. You are no longer chained down and told what to do. There are various pros and cons to this job and depending on what you are or will do, the outcomes may vary. Freelancing is basically running a small, independent business with the mind that your firm has a competitive advantage and will succeed. I personally can relate to one example, the bodega. This is the classic family owned corner grocery store mainly located in Hispanic communities. These mini-stores are in abundance ranging from 2-3 per block. How do they make business? They mainly target the neighborhood around them and sell staple items needed to cook at home. They are usually walking distance from their customers and usually operate 365 days with early and late hours. It makes it more convenient for someone because it is across the street. Do they make enough money to live a wealthy and fancy life? Not at all but they do make enough to provide their families a roof, food, and clothes. Like I said before, freelancing has its pros and cons. The bodega might give you the option to open and close repeatedly throughout the day when necessary and avoid the anxiety that comes with having a boss but it limits your revenue and time. There is not much more potential economic growth unless the neighborhood adds a building complex and most of your day is dedicated to running the business. You do gain independence but certain aspects of it are lost.

    Another example of freelancing is a start-up company. A firm that provides goods or services to a wider range of consumers but still have similar issues. I relate this to a YouTuber, Christian Guzman, who is an amateur bodybuilder, YouTube vlogger, and fitness entrepreneur. He started his own business by owning a gym. He briefly showed us his financials with rough estimates and demonstrated that even though his revenue was about half a million dollars, his costs were in the ball park as well. He wasn’t making the sweet cash he thought it would be but he did mentioned that it gave him more time to do other activities. It was easier to finance loans because of his net revenue and could do more because he was financially above a normal person. It made him have the life he wanted with the benefits of financing a luxurious car and traveling but repeatedly said it was hard work and he had to dedicate lots of hours into his business administration.

    Freelancing is an excellent path but takes a lot of work. You need to be truly dedicated and have a strong mentality. You need to realize what your goals are and accommodate it to your business. You cannot imagine being a billionaire while running a bodega and you need to realize that starting a company is lots of work even when the business structure is settled and running, there is always something needing to be fixed and you have to deal with it. Freelancing is about running a company on a limited amount of resources.

  21. Alan Josefsek February 16, 2018 at 8:40 pm #

    The freelance economy is fast approaching. We see this as the article mentions that thirty four percent of the labor force are already participating. As technology advances, more and more jobs will be filled by robots and artificial intelligence with machine learning capabilities. What does machine learning mean? Well, just ask Elon Musk and Sam Altman; founders of a non-profit called Openai. Openai was created with the intention of creating a safe future with ai present. We all know that ai is the next wave of disruption technology, but its impacts on everybody’s personal lives are unknown at this time. We can only speculate how ai will affect the economy and society itself. Openai is working to set guidelines on ai use and provide research to the public on new advances in the sector as well as the dangers they process. For example, I recently saw a case study on Google’s Deepmind artificial intelligence technology. Incredibly, it was able to teach itself to walk! The ai was never taught or shown how to walk but it was able to teach itself using trial and error. The programmers that coded the ai incentivized it to get from point a to point b. The ai was given only sensors in order to familiarize itself with the surrounding environment. After many attempts, the ai was able to figure out that walking upright was the most efficient of the methods so it stuck with it and perfected it. So, why does this apply to the economy? Well, consider an ai capable of machine learning in the financial services sector. The ai would be able to do everything that a normal human could do; much cheaper and faster. This means we are soon to see a shift in the way corporations do business. Soon, businesses with replace the majority of the workforce with robots with artificial intelligence capabilities. One major concept to take away from these developments is the fact that this shift in economy does not just affect blue-collar employees. This affects white collar as well. Many people that are currently in college will be surprised with the influx of this technology when it replaces them at their job and they will be unable to find another. Because they are trained for a specific role that has now become obsolete, these people will be unable to find employment. With freelancing, at least you have a chance.

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