The gig economy is on the rise. More than 60 million people in the US are freelancing, while the figures keep growing rapidly in European countries as well. But is it a good or a bad thing?
Opinions in this field vary greatly because freelancing has a number of positive and negative effects.
A lot of sociologists, economists, and psychologists claim that the gig economy is not good for employees, citing the following features as its biggest disadvantages:
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– Isolation: Freelancing minimizes real human interactions and makes people feel isolated and alienated.
– No benefits: Freelance workers get paid for their projects, but they don’t receive any other benefits such as health insurance, vacation pay, and similar.
– Variable income: Too many freelancers suffer from variable income, which makes it extremely difficult to plan ahead and rest assured everything will be alright in the months or years to come.
While the cons we mentioned above are certainly unpleasant, the surprising reality is that freelancers are happy and prospering.
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If you want to find out the privileges of the freelance work, keep reading to learn what makes it such a popular career choice.
9 Reasons freelancers are satisfied
Nothing can ever be perfect and freelancing is by no means an exception to the rule. However, positive aspects of the gig economy are more than enough to make freelancers happy and satisfied.
Here are the nine biggest benefits of freelancing:
1. Professional independence
Freelancers are free to choose projects and clients based on personal preferences. If you don’t want to work with someone, you don’t have to. It’s easy to skip projects and avoid boring or annoying clients.
Of course, this may be a little tricky for beginner-level freelancers who are still trying to build a reputation and make a big breakthrough, but skilled and experienced professionals can count on much higher levels of independence.
2. Flexible location
As a freelancer, you can work from wherever you want. You can stay in your house and create a quiet business corner. Another option is to find a coworking space or rent a small office.
Some freelance professionals don’t mind going outside and working in restaurants or coffee shops. You can even work while traveling, which is probably the most exciting benefit of the gig economy.
3. A chance to make good money
Although most freelancers don’t count on long-term employers, the truth remains that this type of work allows them to earn a lot of money.
According to the report, freelance employees earn more than average workers in most countries.
If you develop a strong set of skills and build a network of business connections, there is no reason not to expect a decent salary.
4. Flexible work hours
Flexible work hours are yet another privilege of being a freelancer. Don’t let it confuse you: freelancers work a lot, but they are not obliged to follow the standard 9 to 5 schedule.
A report reveals that about half of freelancers work 30 to 50 hours a week. This is not a negligible workload, but it is much easier to get the job done when you can set the schedule on your own.
5. A balance between work and life
This benefit goes hand in hand with the previous ones. Since freelancers are able to control and select clients, projects, workload, and locations, they also have the possibility to balance between work and life.
It’s one of the best ways to ensure a happy and prosperous life – over 80% of full-time freelancers say their work lets them live the lifestyle they want.
6. Being your own boss
If you are a person who doesn’t really enjoy having a supervisor or you don’t like becoming a part of a wider business hierarchy, then freelancing might as well be the best option for you.
You can be your own boss and create a schedule of activities the way you want it.
7. Experiment with alternative projects
Freelancers who enjoy stable workflows can experiment aside and keep improving their skills. In this case, you can look for alternative clients and projects and try to expand your knowledge base.
Matthew Starks, a human resource manager at EssayShark, says that market conditions are constantly changing and forcing talented professionals to acquire additional skills, “For instance, a freelance writer can learn how to use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator because multimedia content is getting increasingly popular.”
8. Developing soft skills
Speaking of additional skills, we must mention another highly relevant aspect of the gig economy. Namely, freelancers are mostly independent professionals who negotiate terms and conditions with their clients all by themselves.
This is an excellent opportunity to enhance soft skills such as interpersonal communication. It doesn’t only make you a more desirable employee, but also helps you to create better project presentations and successfully negotiate with new partners.
Networking is the last reason why freelancers are satisfied with their jobs. The gig economy encourages talented professionals to expand the network of business connections and set the foundation for future projects.
This often leads to new business opportunities, partnerships, and contracts, so freelancers don’t have to be worried about the long-term stability.
The most influential freelancing platforms
Now that you know the advantages of the gig economy, you might be interested in learning more about the biggest and most influential freelancing platforms.
Given the fact that freelancing is becoming more popular among talented workers, it is not surprising to see dozens of new platforms emerging every year.
However, some networks prove to be more successful than others, so let’s check out the five most promising options out there.
Upwork is the king of the freelancing world. With over 12 million registered freelancers, it is one of the largest platforms you can find online.
Using Upwork, clients and employees can check each other’s profiles, see reviews, conduct interviews, and do many more things. It allows everyone to choose the best option and ensure quality cooperation.
Similar to Upwork, Fiverr also represents a highly reliable freelancing network where you can look for new business partners.
The platform is straightforward and transparent, so you can expect the highest level of service 365 days a year. You might also like to take a look at our thorough list of sites like Fiverr for freelancers.
Another option is Freelancer.com, a well-known network that brings together businesses and employees from all around the globe.
The platform tends to protect employers, so they can examine and choose candidates carefully.
Freelancer.com highlights top-performing professionals in every niche, which means that the best employees can find a new job relatively quickly.
PeoplePerHour doesn’t only connect employers with freelancers but also ensures maximal credibility by assessing applicants while signing up.
Doing so, PeoplePerHour guarantees professional authority and protects the system’s reputation among users.
Just like the name suggests, Toptal focuses on finding and recruiting the most talented professionals in the field of web development, design, and finance.
According to the founders of this platform, Toptal only works with the best candidates, hiring the top 3% of the applicants.
Freelancing has become a huge business trend that attracts millions of people all over the globe, but there are still so many analysts who claim this is not a good thing.
They cite various shortcomings of the gig economy, but the fact remains that freelancers are happy and prospering.
In this article, we explained the reasons why freelancing is so popular among professionals worldwide. We hope it can inspire you to give freelancing a try.
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