Friday, June 6, 2014

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE OF FREELANCERS


      
      Taking on a freelance job is becoming a common option. Apart from having a regular job, some still find time to venture on a part time freelance work. Usually it is to add to their regular income while others find it more effective to be self-employed. These are for those who want to have flexible working schedules. Yet there are others who pursue freelance work related to their knowledge and skills as a form of past time.
      In the past, freelancing was looked upon as a job for those who hardly get employed. However over the years, with the developments in technology and modifications in business and economy, people’s views of freelancing have also changed. Cost efficiency is a major reason why businesses are slowly shifting from regular hires to integrating freelancers into the workforce. The internet has created several online platforms for outsourcing freelancers. Several online companies have also emerged contracting local or foreign freelancers.  They offer a wide variety of freelance job opportunities to choose from. Business individuals and companies do not have to worry about hiring competent freelance workers if they have the right business systems to acquire and collaborate with them. Present-day freelancers are professionals who have had good education and are equipped with skills needed for the job role.
      Freelance work is seen to grow in the future. In 2010, Intuit, a software company conducted a study which reveals that 40 per cent of workers in the US will soon be called freelancers by 2020. “Independent work is here to stay.” says Gene Zaino, CEO of MBO Partners. According to him, “virtualization of work, a trend that when placed alongside the projected growth of the project economy, leads to an even greater sustainable stream of work services independent of full-time roles"(US News and World Report).  
      In the same way, based on research conducted by PCG, a group representing freelancers and professionals, independent professionals are becoming the fastest growing group in the European labor market. The growth of independent professionals has increased from 6.2 million in 2004 to 8.9 million in 2013. Marco Torregrossa, Founder and Managing Director of Euro Freelancers also said, “permanent jobs belong to the past and more and more, people are becoming the masters of their own careers. They want to manage their own time as a way to achieve their well-being and a work-life balance.” (Euro Freelancers).
      It may be true that there is no permanency to freelance jobs. Yet this awareness constantly keep freelancers on the look out for other projects. In an interview with Wall Street Journal, Fabio Rosati, CEO online freelance marketplace Elance sees freelancers as “capable of learning new skills much faster because they're used to adopting new products.” He also added that, “individual workers who keep their skills fresh will thrive. Individuals who are unable to do that will not thrive, and that's the stark reality. If I had to give advice to anybody about their careers, I would say your number one priority should be to remain employable as opposed to remaining employed, because your employer may terminate you, may be acquired and restructured, may go bankrupt; and if you're not employable, you're in big trouble.”


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