Freelance work is the wave of the future. If you’re looking for jobs, you are intimately familiar with the tight market, but have you thought about the reasons why there may be fewer openings in your industry? It may not be because there is less work, especially if your skills are in demand. Instead, perhaps your industry is following the growing trend of hiring freelancers and contract workers to get the work done instead of advertising for full-time help. What does the workplace of the future look like?
According to MBO Partners’ State of Independence in America report, the number of independent workers is expected to rise to 23 million by 2017. New online platforms, such as oDesk and Elance, help companies and businesses connect with individuals seeking opportunities. Savvy job seekers are building online portfolios and learning how to succeed as freelancers.
There doesn’t seem to be a question that freelancing and crowdsourcing will be key factors for anyone who wants a paycheck, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no full-time jobs. Rob Rawson, CEO of Staff.com, an outsourcing platform that focuses on full-time work, says, “We believe future hiring trends will focus more on full-time work, with companies hiring highly skilled staff members globally. Full-time work is not about to go out of style. Managers are looking for reliable income streams and companies are interested in people they can count on, so this type of full-time work is not about to be replaced by freelancing any time soon.”
What’s the difference between crowdsourcing and freelancing? Rawson explains: “In crowdsourcing, many different people work on a task that can be broken down into multiple small components.
Freelancing, on the other hand, focuses on hiring one person to handle a particular job or project. Rawson notes, “This could be for design work, such as creating a logo. These are usually fairly small projects, for example the average project is $200 on Elance.”
It’s crucial for job seekers to recognize this global economy and how it factors into opportunities and how to find them.
What does the future of online work look like? Rawson believes the following are key factors for people to consider:
Increasing globalization. “It’s clear workers can use any number of online platforms to hire from any country around the world,” Rawson says. “These sites make it a whole lot easier for companies to offshore, and when the costs are sometimes two to five times cheaper than an on-shore equivalent person, it’s a tempting option for companies.”
Freelance work for certain types of jobs. Rawson says he believes short-term and small projects are well suited to freelance work.
Full-time work is not likely to go away. While it’s clear that companies can break down projects into miniscule details or chunk them into pieces to outsource, some projects lend themselves to full-time workers.
Global competition is going to be fierce for knowledge workers. Lawson explains: “The types of jobs that are moving offshore on platforms like Staff.com are related to work that can be done over the Internet. Examples include software development, customer support or bookkeeping. Clearly, certain jobs are not suitable for online outsourcing.”
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Read the whole post on U.S. News & World Report.