Freelance jobs are on the rise, and for the right reasons. New technology is making it easier for people to turn to freelancing as opposed to their regular jobs. Studies suggest that self-employment is currently growing at an average rate of 3.5% in many countries around the world.
Even more astonishing is the fact that traditional freelance jobs, like writing and graphic design, are not the only jobs for freelancers nowadays.
Here are 13 facts about freelance jobs that are likely to surprise you.
1. Most freelance jobs are from small companies
Freelancing has opened up small companies to a huge pool of talent. Small businesses usually don’t have enough capital for full-time hiring, so contractual employment makes a lot of business sense. As a result, a vast majority of freelance jobs are coming from small companies and organizations from around the world. By tapping into the immense talent that is readily available online, these businesses are now able to compete with their more established counterparts.
2. High earning potential
More than 80% of freelancers earn the same amount, or more, of what they would in their regular jobs. If you can be self-disciplined, deliver projects within set timelines and know how to source for clients, freelancing can be a lucrative career path. The earning may not be constant, but you also have the ability to increase your earnings based on your own choices.
Note: There are times when income can dip, especially when there are no jobs in your specific niche (something freelancers know quite well). You should be mentally prepared for such situations.
3. There are a lot of freelance jobs to choose from
Nowadays, there are many jobs that offer freelance work. You can choose from industries like writing, graphic design, web development, accounting, sales and marketing, translation, healthcare and much more. Even industries which initially hired in-house personnel are turning to remote freelancers to help them handle their projects.
What does this mean to freelancers? It’s easy to do any job if you have the expertise required.
4. Freelance community has created jobs
There are many jobs today that never existed ten years ago, and many of them benefit freelancers. For example, look at virtual teachers. Teaching traditionally occurred within a brick and stone setup, but technology has enabled freelancers to be able to tutor people easily online. This shows how the popularity of freelancing has increased over the past decade.
5. Many freelancers still have jobs
Many people nowadays work as full-time employees and as freelancers on the side. They enjoy the benefits that come with earning bonuses from freelance work, while still having a regular income at the end of the month.
Other people juggle a mix of part time jobs and freelancing to diversify their earning potential. So if you are still wondering whether freelancing will work for you, there are many ways that you can “test the waters” without having to quit your full-time job.
6. 50% of freelancers are content with their jobs
More than 50% of freelancers would not switch their jobs for any amount of money because freelancing has its perks. As a freelancer, you are your own employer. You decide when you’ll work, how much time you’ll put in and which projects you’ll handle.
Freelancers usually look at a lot of things other than money. They prefer their lifestyle and wouldn’t trade it for anything else, given they still make money from it.
7. Many freelancers raised their rates this year
On average, over 46% of freelancers increased their rates this year. They are expected to keep doing so with each coming year. Where companies have set wages that get reviewed after a period, freelancers have the ability to increase their rates at any given point, dependent on their level of expertise and clientele they have taken.
Furthermore, freelancers can also decide to take more work whenever they want to earn more.
8. 63% of freelancers started freelancing by choice
More than half of the freelancer community are freelancing by choice rather than by necessity. This is not to say that they don’t do freelance work as a result of financial or personal needs. They do. But when faced with the choice between working a regular job and freelancing, most of them preferred the latter.
9. Freelancers work 36 hours per week
Freelancers can work full-time hours, but generally do not. On average, Freelancers spend 10 hours less than their employed counterparts engaging in work tasks - now that sounds attractive!
The problem is that time spent in working out contracts can be sporadic. In as much as you get to have a lot of free time to spend on yourself or with family, you’ll also have to be content with working late hours to beat deadlines. However, the choice of work hours is yours and can be flexible to suit family or leisure needs.
10. Millenials make up the largest share of the freelancer workforce
Millennials are the largest contributors to the freelance community, partly because they are more conversant with emerging technologies and know how to use them to gain freelance work. Most freelance jobs are increasingly tech related, hence the need to have people conversant with these emerging trends.
11. Technology has made it easier to find freelance work
Over 69% of freelancers thank technology for making it easier for them to get jobs online. Job sites like Freelancer have enabled freelancers to find meaningful work based on their skills and experiences. Technology has made it easier for people offering work to be able to break it down to a range of tasks to get the best talent on board.
There are also lead generators (a freelance profession on its own). As a freelancer, you can also make use of other freelancers to get leads for potential clients that may require your services. Instead of having to physically reach clients to source for work, you can simply locate them online.
12. Freelancing forms a large part of the whole workforce
In the UK and US, nearly half of the population are freelancers. In India, the freelance workforce has a whopping 15 million people, making it the second largest in the world. These statistics indicate that freelancing is growing and it is so much more developed than it was ten years ago. Given this information, one could predict the next ten years will see an upsurge in the number of freelancers worldwide.
13. Freelancing is about skills and speed
With increased numbers of freelancers in almost every profession, only one thing can tell everyone apart, and that is your speed and expertise. Most jobs for freelancers require the work to be completed within specified deadlines. You have to be exceptionally skilful in that particular field and be committed to work.
Freelancing is a great profession, given that you can manage your time to suit your needs. You do need to make sure you choose tasks you can complete well, as well as being able to manage your time effectively.
Got more facts about freelancing? Share in the comments section below.