Freelancing: Will You Join The Revolution or Be a Slave Until Retirement?

Revolution

The landscape of the workplace is experiencing a paradigm shift. Back in the day, you were told to:

  1. Go to College.
  2. Get a Degree.
  3. Work in a Company 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the rest of your adult life.
  4. Retire at 65, get your retirement check and enjoy life to the fullest.

Doesn’t this sound contradictory to you? Logic dictates that it is: You should be enjoying life in your prime, not wasting away like sheep as a corporate slave for eight hours a day or more until you’re all bent and graying at the temples.

There’s no doubt that retirees are having a blast on cruise ships and trips to Europe. The whole “to the fullest” line was meant to be subjective, and no disrespect to older folks was ever intended. But life and enjoyment are different when you’re young, full of spunk and 20 feet tall. It’s a tragedy that most people will spend the prime of their lives working for money and not making their money work for them.

Digital Nomadism

Ever since we entered the digital age, things have sped up considerably. No one ever thought that working from home or remote would even be a possibility, and it was even frowned upon as being lazy or unambitious. Now, the stigma of remote work has been shot down and thrown out with authority.

Freelancing has changed the workplace landscape and ushered in a new economy hinged on getting work done – fast and cheap. Gone were the days that company stability and benefits were the first things workers looked for in a company when they applied for a job.

Now, workers are looking for companies that allow remote work. It could be single mothers (or fathers) who need to stay home for child care. Students looking to have extra cash. Retirees who want to stay active and even people from the unemployed sector who are just praying for a break to get back on their feet.

Today’s workplace is all about flexibility and freedom. Freelancers work anywhere from 5 hours to 40 hours a week, and it all depends on them. They control what jobs they take and what hours they need to work, freeing them from the rigid schedules of the corporate world.

Outsourced Code

Software companies used to hire an army of coders and testers to make great software free of bugs. Now, sites like Topcoder allow companies to outsource some of their software projects to a guerilla force of more than 300,000 coders registered on the site. This eases the pressure of hiring top notch coders and keeping them happy.

The same software company can then go ahead and outsource their projects to testers so they can find the bugs and crush it before release. Sites like pegasie.com offer complete test automation services for corporations who don’t have the budget to hire and keep full time testers on their payroll.

An App for Everything

Whatever you need, there seems to be an app for it, and behind the app are young entrepreneurs making it happen because they believe in the freelancing model and are taking advantage of its popularity. It’s never been easier to connect with a plumber or a driver near you with apps such as Handy and Uber.

Want flowers delivered or someone to pick up your dirty laundry? No problem! There’s an app for everything. Grocery delivery, house cleaning services, lawyers and even doctors that make house calls are available by clicking an app.

The Risks of the Revolution

The only problem here is oversight, because there is none. There’s a real risk of someone losing a job because the client gave it to another freelancer with cheaper rates. Although it’s a dick move, many people still do it. There’s a wide gap between what a skilled freelancer in India charges versus a skilled freelancer from North America or Europe.

This gap is also dangerous because it lowers the average compensation a freelancer may get if a lot of people offer jobs below market value. Writers suffer the most, with some clients only paying $1 or less for 100 words. If you’re a talented writer from Canada for example, you can face tough competition from international writers with the same skills you have, but come cheap.

Before We Go

It’s imperative that freelancers learn how to market themselves and create lasting relationships with their clients. This will ensure a steady stream of income and not losing out on poachers who offer cheaper rates. Are you ready for the workplace revolution? Who’s side will you be on? Let us know!

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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