In honor of Labor Day, there are lots of articles about the new way people are working — although it’s not all that “new” to those of us who’ve been freelancing for YEARS, right?
This insight I definitely see evidence of: ‘Many late-career freelancers are the most successful at it because they have years’ worth of contacts and networking to draw on.’
In the Boston Globe (Aug. 31, 2014), freelance writer, Luke O’Neil, writes in “Surviving the gig economy,” that going solo as a worker has risks, but the thrills are even greater. Here’s an excerpt:
Welcome to the so-called gig economy. Freelance writers are probably the most familiar type of independent workers, yet, whether driven by choice or market forces, more and more people in occupations as varied as academia, accounting, and acupuncture, are striking out on their own. It’s a constant hustle that can offer increased work-life flexibility but, as often, includes employers with take-it-or-leave-it attitudes and little income security. Is it really sustainable to have a wide swath of the modern American workforce making ends meet this way?
…Age demographics come into play as well, but on both ends of the newly independent workforce. Older workers who may have lost their jobs but aren’t quite ready for retirement have cobbled together freelance work in fields they have experience in, or new ones they may have always wanted to try their hand at. “Thirty-three percent of independent contractors are baby boomers,” [Gene] Zaino, [CEO of MBO Partners] says. Many late-career freelancers are the most successful at it because they have years’ worth of contacts and networking to draw on.
…there’s no reasonable amount that I could be offered that would get me to go sit at the same desk in an office somewhere day after day, looking at the same faces, and answering to the same people. Despite all of its negative consequences and potential for disaster, you really cannot put a price on the freedom that going it on your own delivers. As anyone who’s ever walked a tightrope before will tell you, the potential for falling is scary. But the thrill of making it across is worth the risk.
And feel free to do the same in the comments section, if you dare!