Understanding the Freelance Market

By Roger Andrews


Looking for a job can be unnerving.

The anxiety of looking for jobs, going through interviews, and following up on results – is a full time job on its own. Peter K. Studner shared 17 tips on job seeking detailing what you can do to improve your chances of getting hired. These ranged from improving your resume to not being too negative in an interview.

The freelance market has opened up a very different type of job search. Workers are often contracted online and will only work for a set amount of time or until a project is complete. Understanding the market isn’t hard, but there are few points you need to know.

The freelance economy is booming and is growing at an unprecedented pace. With around 56.7 million Americans currently undertaking independent work, the freelance economy employs a third of the U.S. workforce. As the in-demand economy goes mainstream, freelance postings are getting more diverse, with freelancers offering a wider range of skills opposed to regular employees. As more jobs shift to remote working, more people are opting for the freedom freelancing offers. Key findings from a study done by Edelman Intelligence Freelancers in America 2018 show that around 61% of workers chose this work over regular 9 to 5 jobs. Freedom to live their chosen lifestyle and the flexibility it affords are the main factors why freelancers prefer this type of work.

The same study suggests that more freelancers are earning more than their counterparts holding down regular staff jobs. Freelancers making $75,000 and up are the fastest growing segment and now represent about a third of their workforce.

While many are enjoying the independence that freelance work affords them, having a good routine can often mean the difference between success and failure for in-demand workers. Business2Community recommends creating repetitive daily routines in order to make sure you organize your workload, focus on your work hours and maximize your free time. Repetition can also help as this creates stability for your workflow. Repeating good practices every day can create good habits that make working without an office structure just as productive. Finding a conducive working environment free from unnecessary distractions and tailor fit for you needs is also essential.

It goes without saying that the freelance economy is being led by young people. The fact that some freelance listings require little to no previous job experience makes it easier for them to start out. Small focused projects, also known as gigs, are more flexible and are considered less risky for employers. This means they’re more likely to hire those without previous employment experience. Freecodecamp states that finding a good freelance platform that is tailored to your niche or specific skillset can improve your chances of landing a good job.

This shift in how people work is being noticed by the world’s biggest companies. 30% of Fortune 500 companies are now using freelance platforms, with tech companies leading the charge. 17 of the 20 top job skills in the U.S. job market are tech-related with developers being at the top. Companies are using freelancers to fill these spots because they can find someone with the exact skillset they need. Yoss details how freelance Java developers are in demand with companies who want to hire from the top 1% tech talent. Rather than pay for a current employee to be trained in a skill like Java, a company will be able to find a freelancer who has already received their training and are highly knowledgeable in the subject. This trend puts developers at the top of the most sought after skills in the freelance market.

As more traditional companies are beginning to resemble tech companies nowadays, coupled with the streamlining of the booming freelance economy, the workforce is truly changing. In order to succeed, job seekers need to know how to be an effective freelancer.

Author Bio: Roger Andrews is a long-time digital nomad who left the banking and finance sector to fulfill his dreams of exploring the world. He engages in freelance graphics design and writing contributions, covering primarily travel, tech, and the global economy.

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