The Future of Freelancing: Why Millennials are Abandoning the 9-to-5



One of the most envied perks of freelancing is that many freelancers set their own hours. That is exactly why 9-to-5 is a thing of the past.


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With the obvious rise in technology use over the past several years, tech has flooded into more and more areas of our lives. From shopping to education to dating, future employment opportunities are now taking a slice of the pie. According to the databases of Elance and Upwork, the best freelancing jobs for the future range from voice acting to legal consulting to even book cover design and Korean translation.

Over 53 million Americans freelance, accounting for a third of the U.S. workforce alone. By 2020, this number is expected to increase to 50% of the labor force. Millennials want flexibility and freedom, which freelancing offers to both the entrepreneur and the freelancer. On the other hand, the 9-to-5 caters to an old-fashioned status quo of conditional mobility and a lack of adventure. Today, millennials are more focused on living, not just working.

The top 10 jobs of the future undoubtedly involve freelancing. Even the best 9-to-5 jobs are rigidly structured and do not offer the most promising careers for the future. In fact, CareerFoundry shares, “In the last five years alone, the average earnings for freelancers have increased by 50%.” Freelancing is the real deal. Only the best career choices for the future involve technology—communicating with others on a daily basis through the miracle of the Internet.

Many people wonder how to find freelance work, but there are dozens of resources online, such as Freelancer and Upwork, that dish out the top jobs for the future. You do not have to waste your time scratching your head on how to get a freelance job. All of the future jobs in demand are available at your fingertips right this instant. For example, communities like Valoso offer opportunities for professional video editors to flaunt their expertise.

Although freelancing may not appear to offer the same security and atmosphere as the 9-to-5, most people won’t miss the conformity. Job opportunities in the future are bursting with future freelance jobs that you can access in the comfort of your own home. Read on to discover exactly why traditional 9-to-5 jobs are not the careers of the future.

What’s in it for the entrepreneur?

You may think freelancing is only beneficial for the freelancer but that is not true. Businesses understand the numerous benefits of hiring freelancers. According to a global CEO survey by PwC, 81% of CEOs believe technological advances will transform their businesses over the next several years.

For starters, freelance work saves money. Businesses don’t have to pay the overhead costs of a brick-and-mortar establishment if all their employees work from home. The 9-to-5 job puts businesses at a greater financial risk because they are responsible for the immediate and insured physical needs of their employees.

Next, freelancing saves businesses time. No longer do entrepreneurs have to drudge through the grueling process of interviewing new candidates with only a pile of résumés as a filter. Instead, websites like Freelancer and Upwork place potential applicants’ portfolios, social media profiles, previous work, skillset, and recommendations right at the hirer’s fingertips.

One of the greatest benefits freelancing offers is the on demand labor. Businesses don’t have to hire a generalist but can now access a specialist right away for any specific project. This way, companies are more effective instead of wasting time trying to find something for their employees to do just to fill up that 9-to-5 slot.

Not only does the 9-to-5 lack flexibility for employees, but it also strains businesses. Freelancing offers just as much flexibility for the business as it does for the freelancer. Instead of having hours, businesses have deadlines. Work gets done.

What’s in it for the freelancer?

Although 33% of freelancers are millennials, most are actually middle-aged. This is because more and more adults are realizing the advantages of freelancing, such as in double-income homes or homes with disabilities. Businesses have realized that freelancers provide high-quality work that deserves ample reimbursement. In fact, the highest paying freelance job on the market right now, intellectual property law, makes a whopping average hourly pay of $121.73.

One of the most envied perks of freelancing is that many freelancers set their own hours. That is exactly why 9-to-5 is a thing of the past. Employees no longer have to suffocate under a rigid structure but instead have the freedom to choose when and even where they work.

Probably the most rewarding factor for freelancers is that they get paid for doing something they enjoy and excel in. With the 9-to-5, workers may indeed demonstrate and savor their craft, but they can never maximize their individual skills. Freelancing allows for this balance of power when it comes to compensation for competence.

Although freelancers miss out on financial coverages from businesses, they find the payoff worth it. Plus, organizations like Freelancers Union are starting to offer benefits like health, dental, disability, life, and liability insurance, making freelancing more accessible to all.

What the future of freelancing looks like

Don’t worry, the 9-to-5 is not completely vaporizing. Still only a fraction of the jobs on the market take place in the “gig economy.” But, the future will be filled with tons of career opportunities that offer flexible hours and abundant talent with the click of a button. In fact, the freelance workforce is already adding $715 billion annually to the economy.

Most likely, a lot of businesses will take advantage of the hybrid model, but some may convert to a 100% freelancing structure. If you want to be a part of the future, step away from the traditional 9-to-5 job and look into freelancing seriously. Opportunity is knocking, are you going to answer?

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