5 Major Ways Freelancers Will Change the Economy

by Yazi

If you are a traditional employer in the current economy, change is on its way - rapidly. If you are a worker at a "traditional" job - the kind you hold for several years or an entire career - you may already be watching workers around you wondering what the heck is going on.

In other words, traditional jobs are out and the gig economy is in. American workers are liking everything about this transition and the freedom it gives them to pursue the traditional American dream in fresh, new, innovative ways. In this post, we explore five ways this new crop of freelancers will transform the American economy.

1. No such thing as the "same ol', same ol'."

In the context of how the gig economy is growing, the word "freelance" can have many meanings. It can refer to contract workers who spend months or years working for one or several employers on specific types of projects. It can also reference entrepreneurs who start their own venture and shepherd it as it evolves.

And it can include freelancers who work in one or a few areas of specialization and who have many short-term clients over the course of their careers. Whichever way you slice it, the days of watching the clock over the course of a 30-year career are largely gone for good. Variety is king, and every day holds the promise of exciting opportunities still to come.

2. Same perks, new platforms.

Gig economy workers will still need many of the same perks and resources as traditional careerists. Healthcare, sick time, vacation time, parental leave, elder care, retirement planning - these services will still be in demand, but the avenues for providing them are already beginning to change.

Independent resource and information platforms are even now evolving to provide gig economy workers with options to control for risks, acquire necessary services, oversee their own income streams, learn new skills to advance in their careers and plan well for the future.

3. Headhunters, thy time has come.

When your ship comes in, you had better be ready. For talent scouts, head hunters, peer-to-peer work platforms, workforce agencies, recruiters and other third party facilitators, that time is now.

Traditional employers, and especially large corporations, will increasingly rely on these facilitators to find the right talent for the right projects at the right moments.

Small businesses and solo-preneurships, which will increasingly represent the backbone of the American economy, will also look to facilitators to identify their short and longer-term talent needs and find the right fit.

Everyone involved will be called upon to get creative about how these connections are facilitated, cemented and developed, since many of the traditional barriers to entry are expected to dissolve in the face of a riveting portfolio and street (freelance) credentials.

4. American workers earn, and earn, and earn.

In the midst of the whirling primordial soup of this new gig economy, all kinds of barriers are coming down. Gender, orientation, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic - talent is talent, and that is the new gig economy currency of choice.

Consider this - a whopping 34 percent of the American workforce today is made up of freelancers in all their many forms. Even better, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), one in five firms today with revenues in excess of $1 million dollars is women-owned. Even better, a full 31 percent of all private firms are women-owned.

This spells tremendous opportunity for all sorts of "non-traditional" entrepreneurs and employers, who also tend to think outside the box in other key areas other than just money and wages. For instance, to show their troops that they care, many employers are willing to invest and harness the power of health-related technology to monitor how their employees are feeling. They can track whether the employees are tired, stressed, or likely to develop any symptoms or injuries. Then, design a wellness program accordingly with the data collected. Many companies have adept this idea including BP, Bank of America, IBM, Kimberly-Clark, and Time Warner.

Flex time work hours options, bleisure (business + leisure) travel and vacation perks, work/study career advancement opportunities and so much more are examples of a non-traditional benefit that businesses can offer.

For those employees who continue to prefer a more traditional career path, these new perks will keep them on board and loyal for longer - as opposed to the current millennial job-hopping trend - reducing overhead costs related to recruitment, training and employee retention.

5. The world is your oyster.

This is great news if you are the world. If you are the oyster, not so much. Everyone will be vying for the same pearl in ever more innovative, creative and often unpredictable ways.

Each worker, whether traditional employee, entrepreneur, freelancer, contract worker or peer-to-peer worker, will be fully responsible for generating favorable opportunities for career advancement, recognition and success.

Perhaps heralded by the downfall of traditional advertising and the rise of influencer marketing, relationships will become as essential as oxygen in the new gig economy.

In this new world without rules but with infinite opportunities, the good old-fashioned "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" American success story is about to get a fascinating facelift!

About the Author: Yazi is an inspired writer who enjoys writing about personal growth, self-help tips, and women’s lifestyle. In her parallel life, she loves reading and finding her own way to balance her time between writing, baking cakes, and personal training. Follow her on Twitter @yada_dadadada.

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