Whether they’ve been made redundant or decided that they no longer want to be someone else’s employee, 8.9 million people in Europe have chosen a freelancing career over traditional employment.
Millennials and Generation Y-ers in particular have been making the decision to ditch the 9-5 in order to go it alone. With freelancing having the ability to open up career paths and possibilities that may have otherwise been unavailable to graduates and 20-somethings, many have been using the freedom offered by this employment option to build a career that is both fulfilling and lucrative.
Triggers for going freelance
With the freelance industry seeing such a well-documented growth as full-time employment has taken a dramatic turn in the opposite direction, the reasons for graduates and young professionals are becoming freelancers have grown to include:
Redundancy or fear of being laid off:
Young professionals who have been made redundant often seize the opportunity to try something new. Freelancing is usually a popular option as it gives them a chance to call the shots on their own career and make the most of the current high demand.
An increasing number of employers no longer want to make staffing commitments or recruit too many full-timers, so further opportunities are opening up for flexible workers. With more and more contracts becoming available, redundant professionals have a great chance to develop a successful freelancing role at present, where they will have full control over their career and its future.
A need to grow and develop:
With fewer full-time jobs on the market and less career growth opportunities in businesses, young professionals now have less of a chance to progress within a single organisation.
This lack of development opportunities has left many young professionals disillusioned with full-time employment, causing many to turn to seek out alternatives. Freelancing is one of the employment options young professionals turn to as they can choose to focus on a particular niche or develop a particular skill, and exercise complete control over any future training they wish to embark.
Exploration of possible career paths:
Young people and graduates will typically be unaware of exactly what they want to do with their future. Rather than getting tied down to one profession early on, which they may later regret, freelancing gives young professionals the freedom to try out different areas in a particular industry before settling on a niche.
The well-documented rise of the flexible worker has also opened people’s eyes to careers they may have previously dismissed as being unattainable. From blogger and vlogger roles to web and product design positions, freelancing provides skilled professionals with a chance to break into industries where full-time roles are few and far between, while providing more opportunities to those living outside of main cities.
Many young professionals will often choose to transition from flexible worker to business owner, using freelancing as a starting block that allows them to gain experience in self-employment and build upon their industry knowledge.
For entrepreneurial professionals, freelancing also gives them an opportunity to test out the waters, develop contacts in their industry and discover a lucrative niche to build upon. They are then able to use the experience, connections and knowledge gained to go into business with the foundations already laid.
The radical growth in the freelancing industry marks a shift in the employment options available to and favoured by young professionals. With employers becoming even more open to the possibility of recruiting flexible workers as opposed to full-time staff, the career path is not just one that is providing people with the freedom to follow their passions, but is also providing entrepreneurial-minded people with the opportunity to carve out a successful and profitable career on their own.Google+