The “independent freelance economy” has witnessed a significant boom over the past two years, especially after the Corona pandemic, and the total number of self-employed workers worldwide is estimated at about 1.57 billion people out of a total global workforce of 3.38 billion people.
World Bank data shows that 46.7% of all workers around the world currently are workers in this sector, and most modern work activities take place on specialized freelance platforms such as “Upwork,” “Fiverr,” and “Fiverr.” Toptal, Freelancer, and others.
The global freelance platform market is worth $3.4 billion, and is expected to reach $9.2 billion by 2027, according to what the Exploding Topics platform recently reported.
The average hourly rate for freelancers globally is $21 per hour. On average, freelancers who work in web and mobile development, marketing, legal, accounting, and other skilled services earn $28 per hour, which is higher than 70% of all hourly wages in the United States, according to the previous source.
On the ground, this trend towards independent self-employment is not just a statistic, but rather a reflection of the changing spirit of the young workforce. This model benefits self-employed individuals, as it provides them with freedom and control over their careers, as well as companies looking for specialized talent without… Carrying the traditional constraints of long-term employment commitments, according to Forbes.
Reasons for the rapid rise of freelancers
Nearly 70% of freelancers globally are 35 years old or younger. New generations of young people, especially Generation Z, which consists of young people between the ages of 16 and 26, are increasingly attracted to self-employment.
According to a study conducted by the “Fever” platform, 67% of young people around the world want to work independently.
This prompts us to question the reasons behind this desire.
The company's platform is summarized:Fox Trips & CoThese reasons are as follows:
The new generation of young people has grown up in a connected world, where access to information and opportunities has become easier than ever before. For this generation, self-employment provides greater freedom and independence than traditional jobs, and it also provides them with the ability to work from anywhere, at any time, and with any Someone they want.
This freedom allows them to manage their schedule according to their needs and goals, and work on projects they care about.
In a world of inflation and economic instability, many young people see freelancing as a viable option to increase their income. For them, freelancing allows them to earn more money than full-time work, and this increased income can lead to a more financially stable life. This is important for young people looking to build their future.
- Acquire new skills
New generations see freelance work as a way to learn new skills that they may not develop in a full-time job. Freelancing allows them to work on different projects that help them gain new experiences, and they can also work with different clients, industries, and work environments.
For employers, this means that freelancers can bring a wealth of skills to their companies and businesses.
- Achieve work-life balance
The Fiverr study found that 71% of Gen Zers want flexible work hours, and 35% want a positive work environment.
These results indicate that members of this generation value work-life balance, and value the freedom and independence that self-employment provides, which enables them to achieve a better work-life balance, which is essential for their well-being.
- leading businesses
The study found that one in every 4 Generation Z youth intends to start their own business, and this ambition to become an entrepreneur represents a major shift from the traditional career paths that previous generations followed, as many young people are now exploring their passions, interests, and hobbies to create a career. It aligns with their values and goals, and as freelancers, they have the opportunity to develop their own business and work on projects they love.
Disadvantages of freelance work
The UpWork platform, which is the largest platform for independent work in the world, mentioned the most prominent negatives that freelancers face in their lives, which are:
- Loss of regular employee benefits
Employees in many countries receive benefits and privileges that are part of their employment contracts, including health insurance, paid holidays, contributions to retirement and social security, and free training opportunities.
When you are independent, you lose all these benefits. You are responsible for the costs of your health insurance, retirement contributions, the cost of training and development, and of course paid work leave.
- Loss of fixed income
There is no fixed income or regular salary for independent workers, and sometimes many of them find themselves without work for long days, and many of them work as a freelancer or according to the requirements of the project, which leads to fluctuation in income, and requires them to learn how to organize their expenses and their own monthly budget. .
- You are the only one responsible
It may be exciting for young people not to have a direct manager who is fully responsible for them, but there are also burdens to this matter; You are responsible for everything as an independent person, and your success or failure is determined by the extent to which you carry out your responsibilities without anyone but yourself.
You will also be responsible for paying your bills, creating a work schedule, and setting your own hours. Freelancers must learn to set boundaries and manage their time with no one telling them when to work and how to organize their day. This can be very difficult for new freelancers.
- Self-defense and marketing
As a freelancer, you will have to learn how to market yourself to find new projects and clients and grow your business.
This constant self-defense may take some time to get used to, but it is one of the most important reasons for your success or failure as a freelancer, and in many moments it may seem like a constant search for a job while being exposed to rejection on many occasions, which is certainly exhausting; Especially for new young people.
- Feeling isolated
Working from home and working with clients from all over the world is undoubtedly one of the best benefits of freelancing. However, the downside is that working from home can make you feel isolated sometimes as well.
If you become accustomed to staying at home for long periods, you may lose your connection to the community around you. Therefore, independent workers must be careful not to fall into the clutches of isolation and isolation, and engage in many social activities instead of living in a silo.