Sunday, September 14, 2014

I was Freelance, when Freelance wasn’t Cool

A recent study reveals 34 percent of American workforce is freelance*

The digital age has completely changed the way Americans choose to earn a living. Freedom to work from virtually anywhere is a powerful draw away from the daily grind of traditional jobs. Freelancing affords people, who previously were unable to work outside of the home, a way to earn a paycheck and return to self-sustainability. The rogue movement that is freelance shows no signs of slowing any time soon. Some experts predict that by the end of 2016 the number of wage earners working from home (or where ever they want) will double.

I am a perfect example of an individual who’s taking advantage of the resources available to her. Without the internet, I would be completely penniless and relying on the government to keep a roof over my head. It’s been a long hard road, this freelancing thing.

I started working online way ahead of the independent contractor boom. In 2003 it was a tough road to hoe, let me tell you. Most opportunities weren't opportunities at all…most were gimmicks or MLMs (and still are today). But, as a nation and a world, over time we learned to weed out the scammers and see through the thicket into the clearing where legitimate money making opportunities live. It is now so much easier for new freelancers to get the ball rolling. Pioneers like me paved the way, and companies like oDesk have opened the doors for millions to walk through. oDesk was born in 2003 also, though I didn't actually find it until some years later.

It’s been an amazing journey to arrive where I am now in my digital, remote career. I learn something new every day, and I teach something new every day. Pay it forward, so to speak.

My prediction: but for manufacturing and constructural building careers, which require human interaction and management, most of us will be working remotely. Office buildings and the dreaded cubical will become a thing of the past. The home office is the next corporate world for business around the globe…just you wait and see.
*An independent study commissioned by Freelancers Union & Elance-oDesk.  Click to view the study results.  

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