We haven’t allowed laziness to take over our weekend… We didn’t forget about you! The truth is, as we were actually looking into the job’s market latest trend – Freelancing. We were intrigued by one specific article “Freelance Nation” by Steve Bates in HR Magazine. In his publication Steve Bates draws attention to what used to be limited to few occupations, but is now overflowing in a bouquet of sectors. Driven by multiple factors such as globalization and technology, business needs are leaning towards a new type of profile.
A few weeks ago, The Atlantic published an article about the end of work with the following subtitle: “For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete. That moment may finally be arriving. Could that be a good thing?’’ So, what exactly does this mean for the future of the American worker? As a team, we’ve decided to investigate how job seekers might keep up with this massive shift looming in the horizon. The most pressing question, “Is any job truly safe?”
The “Freelance Nation” presents a silver lining for the workers, as it talks about technology, the Great Recession and the shifting of the job market. It basically states that, unlike what it appears, technology has allowed for more opportunities and more choices than ever: “…freelancers now abound in many sectors: There are on-demand attorneys, software specialists, engineers, writers, graphic artists and even HR professionals. Also plentiful are the online platforms employers can use to find and hire these workers instantly.”
Many people are in a constant chase for freedom in their work life – the less micromanaged it is, the more productive they become. Dan Lavoie, director of strategy for the NYC based Freelancers Union says in the article “People are putting together their lives and work in a totally new way.’’ A Freelancer or a Freelance worker by definition is a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to one employer. As people casually blurt out the term quite a lot lately, it is generally misused to refer to someone who doesn’t have a “real” job, which is hardly accurate. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges for people who are trying to get their foot in the door of the working world, is the lack of awareness of the market and its constant changes. Many future graduates are not being prepared/informed properly, which makes it harder for them to understand how to stand out in the crowd, and meet the market’s needs.
Bates also mentioned the fact that the workers aren’t the only one affected by the sharp shift of the market. The growth of on-demand freelancers has also caught HR professionals by surprise which resulted in an ineffective use of this talent pool. Fortunately, there are some online platforms that help employers find and manage freelancers, such Elance-oDesk and ourselves here at Unlocked. A major strength in our platform is the ability to allow each party to keep track by instant status updates, as well as allowing recruiters better control over their personal list of contacts through special availability indicators and proprietary matching algorithms.
When considering the question of freelancing being able to expand and endure in the coming years, we have to remember that workers have moved back and forth between freelancing and traditional jobs for some time and will continue to do so. Lavoie said “There is always going to be a mix of types of workers’’ but the balance is more likely to tip in the direction of contingent workers. It is obvious then that the job market is not disappearing, as it was stated in The Atlantic article. It is just becoming more competitive and less traditional, so there are jobs for those who know how to create them; one has to be able to create the needs, and have the skills to meet those needs.
The world is seeking people who can think innovatively, outside the normal box. The old fashioned day at work, trying to finish designated tasks is becoming less available, as most of these “tasks” can now be done by our biggest competitor, Technology. Frank Koller, an author, economics journalist and former foreign correspondent with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, states this idea very well: “The only way we’ll have any kind of widespread job security in today’s business environment is if we change our thinking as to what makes good management. Instead of praising corporations that downsize, we need to look at their actions as admissions of failure. We don’t need layoffs – we need creativity”. How would you succeed in world that refuses to no longer see you as a machine? How did other people do it?
When considering success on a whole, we cannot forget to mention and quote Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Gardner – some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time. They all seem to have the same main idea when it comes to success, and it likes in one key word – passion.
“People with passion can change the world for the better’’- Steve Jobs
“Find something you love to do so much, you can’t wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again”- Chris Gardner
“Follow your happiness”-Mark Zuckerberg