As I have mentioned, we are now in the freelance economy. Freelancers have a world of both opportunities and challenges, including the opportunity to build a career crafted to one’s strengths and availability.
For example, grant writers can integrate evaluation measurement, programming, or graphic design into their services. IT consultants can offer to build and design a website.
More Freelancers = A Buyer’s Market
The catch is that more and more freelancers are diversifying their services, and what was once considered a financial advantage for both parties, is now a buyer’s market for businesses and organizations.
Still, many freelancers enjoy the challenge of expanding their services and skill-sets to adapt to market trends. Others, like me, also want to both diversify their offerings as well as explore creative endeavors that will not immediately bear fruit.
In terms of diversification, for me that means expanding my offerings beyond grant writing and fundraising consulting to nonprofit clients. I now provide marketing assistance and web design for the same organizations in collaboration with another freelancer.
New Horizons: “Candy’s Block” Cartoons
For me, expanding my outlet for creative expression involves cartooning! With published cartoons and cartoon illustration classes under my belt, my new endeavor will not immediately bear fruit but may open doors in the future. Social media is a way to connect with those interested in our passions and open new doors, whether that be cartoons, painting, or even the paper planning community. Check out my group information on the sidebar, and find me on Instagram!
I challenge both freelancers and businesses to think creatively about expanding opportunities to provide cross-disciplinary consulting and work that will complement that of an organization’s employees.
In a good economy, an employee’s career trajectory might include six to seven corporations in a lifetime. Today, that number spikes – as people respond and preempt layoffs and lack of career advancement by changing careers again and again. This change can take a toll on a company that continually must hire and develop new talent.
Augmenting a workforce with freelancers is one way to mitigate these changes.
Job-Hopping and Lay-offs Drain the 9-to-5 Workforce
According to Forbes contributor and executive development strategist Jeanne Meister, a 2012 survey found that 91% of those born between 1977 and 1997 plan to stay at their workplace less than three years. This means that the entry-level workforce of today will work at 15 to 20 workplaces over the course of their careers.
Since the start of the global recession in late 2008, when the U.S. economy shed more than 250,000 jobs per week, job security is a luxury that few can claim, if any. Those who have not lost their jobs through cuts have been forced to work harder with less staff, and often, with pay-cuts or furlough days.
Employees and new entrants to the workforce are on edge, continually sharpening their resumes and looking for greener pastures where their talent will lead to a rewarding, stable work environment. I have seen a number of workplaces become more stressful, and staff turn fearful and resentful, amid the ongoing threat of layoffs and cut-backs.
This instability in the workforce is one reason why reliable freelancers are part of a healthy business model that includes both on-site traditional employees and off-site workers.
Freelancers will not replace the need for good employees, but they are an affordable way to augment this strategy.
The Freelance Effect: Avoiding the Roller-coaster
What is the freelance effect? My take: the freelance effect leverages individual expertise to build better internal relationships, increase stability, yield high quality results, and lead to increased satisfaction on behalf of employees and contractors.
By leveraging the targeted expertise of a long-term freelancer, an employer does not need to waste time and resources repeatedly train new hires in a particular task. Many freelancers today have years of past full-time work experience and know how to meet demands.
Freelancers and managers can work together to develop an agreeable schedule to get the job done. Serving multiple clients from a healthy distance, freelancers are also less likely to be affected emotionally by the roller-coaster of a company’s financial woes amid the economic recovery (woes may seem dire to an on-site employee).
This translates into more efficient results and better satisfaction on the job for both the employer and the freelancer.
Employers can tap into the market and have their pick of experienced professionals by advertising their freelance positions through traditional employment websites or posting positions on sites such as Elance.com (which has increased its commitment to certifying freelancers through testing and ensuring that bids are placed at professional levels).
On-site employees still need processes to manage freelance operations and maintain freelance relationships. Good policies toward freelancers should minimize confusion about expectations.
Freelancers can save a company both time and money. Freelance does not mean “free”, so employers should still offer a competitive per-hour rate. Freelancers are often paid more per hour or per-project than their full-time counterparts. Still, in the majority of cases freelancers will still provide a cost savings when compared to the salary and benefits paid to full-time workers.
Companies can then be more flexible about where to allocate on-site resources.
Realistically, the freelance effect will continue to increase across all industries. How will this impact yours?
Calling all Nonprofits, Arts Organizations, Corporations, Analyst Groups, Websites, Publications, and Authors:
Build a working relationship with a dedicated freelance writer!
Many good writers will provide professional, timely, and high-quality content.
Still, sometimes you need a personalized touch to ensure the highest quality product.
I am here for those times when you need. . .
A compelling, organized grant targeted directly to a funder’s priorities while demonstrating how your mission and programs are best positioned to make a significant impact on your target population and audiences.
IT and business analysis that cuts through jargon to explain the significance of a product, company, or service in the marketplace.
A well-researched, insightful article and would even like to make a dull topic come alive.
Timely, creative blog posts that speak directly to audiences and are optimized for search engines.
A keen, caring editor who will catch your grammar errors while providing insightful feedback into your overall project.
You can reach out to this affordable, passionate, and detail-oriented freelancer in your time of need! Contact me today for a quote and to discuss your project.
I will provide insight and feedback into your project at no cost and discuss how I can deliver the writing you need!
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