On my blog, I have provided extensive coverage about “Generation Screwed,” and the challenges they face in order to stave off being one of the generation’s that is going to be worse off than their parents.
I had on my last post regarding this generation in September, provided some solutions, including reforming the education system and higher participation rates of labour unions, if necessary.
Recently, I had found some interesting analysis on the world of on-line freelance work.
A recent article from Website Magazine discussed the recent results from an Elance survey that interviewed 3,000 people about their freelance situation with some interesting statistics, showing a potential new future employment trend.
The survey found most online freelancers are either come from Generation Y (millennials) 48% or Generation X , 38%.
Elance also noted that 42% of survey participants have bachelor degrees, and 24% masters.
Meanwhile, 67% of freelance professionals said they expect more money to roll in from their work within the next year, exceeding the 57% of respondents who had seen their income grow in 2012.
The strongest demand from the Elance survey in the past year came from web design (574% increase), voice acting (295% increase) and content writing (256% growth). That’s astonishing numbers, and showing that on-line freelance work could be the real deal in finding work in a globalized economy.
Here are some other interesting facts that came from this survey, that people should pay attention to:
Elance noted that most freelancers are on the go, with 2-6 projects ongoing all the time, with 70% happier and 79% more productive than if they were working for someone.
All most half work as full-time freelancers, at 48%, while 25% do this as a part-time gig, as they slug at a full-time job.
Survey respondents in 2013 expect to see the biggest growth in the freelance market in various areas including: web and mobile programming, content writing, online marketing, graphic design, and the multi media market.
Men also dominate as the majority in freelancing, taking of 58% of the jobs, compared to 42% of females.
Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance, puts it nicely in perspective in the shift we are seeing in how work is done, thanks to freelancing:
“In just a few short years, freelancing has gone from a last resort option to a lucrative and fulfilling career,” said Fabio Rosati, president and CEO of Elance. “As a ‘Business of One’, your potential is no longer constrained by where you live or the corporate hierarchy – the survey results clearly show that the online work opportunities are enormous.”
Does, this mean that freelancing will be the cure to all of the problems of this generation? I doubt it. If you look at a recent report by the Community Foundations of Canada. The report points to Canadians are some of the best educated in the world and more educated than ever, crippling debt, baby boomers not retiring fast enough and the lack of job opportunities are smashing the dreams of “Generation Screwed.” We need to pay more attention to this as we are going to be paying for our parents health care and houses, which we can’t afford. How we get their, will take innovative ideas, and retooling a lot of the old institutions, and allowing boomers to retire faster than a Dodge Ram.
However, maybe, if the on-line freelance trend continues to advance, Generation Y and some of Generation X may have to change some of their thinking around. I know as a freelance writer, currently some of the work is very minimal. But while I work full-time, I am building contacts to advance my career, in what I want to do: either renewable energy/climate policy. Plus, if I continue to work at it more clients will come, thus hopefully creating a legitimate small business down the road.
Freelance work won’t solve all the problems. But for Generation Y, an “Entrepreneurial Society,” could alleviate some of the employment ills.