“Freelancing is the new normal – and we have the numbers to prove it,” – Sara Horowitz, Founder and Executive Director of Freelancers Union and Fabio Rosati, CEO Elance-oDesk.
Today’s connected era liberates our workforce. There are more avenues available to find work, to make contacts and to connect with others; thanks to technology and its ability to network through social media. In a recent article in the Harvard Business, Justin Fox breaks down the freelance economy.
53 million Americans are doing freelance work, a new study conducted by the research firm Edelman Berland found in July for the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk. That’s 34 percent of the U.S. workforce. Who are freelancers? The study defined “freelancers” as individuals who engage in supplemental, temporary, or project work.
So, if you don’t land a traditional job, don’t worry, the report shows that you have many options. It’s the freelance economy that will accelerate job success. That economy represents 21.1 million independent contractors, 14.3 million moonlighters, 9.3 million diversified workers, 5.5 million temporary employment, and 2.8 million freelance business owners.
But it’s not enough to simply hang a shingle; the freelancer must embrace four quantifying influences in order to be successful. Your success and the demand for your services will increase if you hold hard-to-find skills.Advertising
If you pay attention to the following 4 points, your freelancing career is sure to take off soon.
1. Know The Influences that Enhance Freelancing
People who received tech education, college, and post-grad degrees see greater demand than freelancers with only high school or some college experience. The more experience under one’s belt, the greater the demand:
- 20+ years yields 28% demand
- 10-20 years yields 26% demand
- 5-10 years yields 19% demand
- 3 to 4 years yields 14% demand
Freelancers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields see greater demand than other industries:
- Computing, computing peripherals or other IT manufacturer – 41% demand
- Data science and analytics – 37% demand
- Mobile and web programming – 35% demand
- Technology – 23% demand
- Other – 19% demand
2. Know What The 5 Types of Self-Employment Are
You should also be aware of the following 5 types of seplf-employment
The most common are not employed at all but instead do freelance, temporary, or supplemental work on a project-to-project basis.Advertising
They are professionals holding a primary job and do work on the side; at night and weekends. The most common example is a corporate-employed web developer who also does projects for non-profits on weekends.
This segment has multiple sources of income from a mix of traditional employers and freelance work. It could be someone working the front desk at an office 30 hours a week and fills out the rest of her schedule driving for Uber.
Individuals in this group have a single employer, client, job, or contract project where employment is temporary. An example could be a business strategy consultant working for one startup client on a contract basis for a month-long project.
Freelance Business Owners
They are business owners with a small number of “freelanced” employees. For example, a social marketing guru who hires a team of other social marketers to build a small agency, but still identifies as a freelancer.
3. Know The Most Common Entry Points for Self-Employment
With the rise of “work diversity,” the “freelance” workforce has several entry points to choose. The two most common reasons for going freelance are “to earn extra money” (68%) and to “have flexibility in a schedule” (42%).Advertising
While money is a primary driver for freelancers, more than half (53%) began by choice, not necessity.
4. Know How To Overcome The Barriers to Freelancing
The two biggest challenges and barriers to being a part-time freelancer and moonlighter are a lack of stable income (50% agreed that it was a barrier) and a hard time finding work (47%).
I have compiled a short list of the best places to find work online. Using these websites, you’ll find freelance jobs for application developers, software engineers, testers, network administrators, web designers, graphic designers, copywriters, market researchers, SEO experts, data analysts, social media marketers, translators, customer service agents, moderators, administrative assistants, registered nurses, professional health care takers, accountants, lawyers and business consultants.
Freelancing offers workers the needed experience and flexibility, and more people are creating their own career paths. As a freelancer, you’re the commander of your career and life, which is an attractive outlook for talented workers.
Featured photo credit: 53 million Americans are freelancing, new survey finds via freelancersunion.org
Last Updated on November 19, 2019
Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart
I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.
How on earth do you get out of that spiral?
Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.
So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:
1. Improve Your Time Management Skills
Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.
For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.
Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.
“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery
2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts
These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!
This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!
But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast
Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.
For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.
There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.
3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools
It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.
Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.
4. Use Your Phone Wisely
Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.
If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.
5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs
If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.
In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.
One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.
6. Use a “To Don’t” List
We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.
But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.
Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.
7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia
When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.
Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson
And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.
8. Be Concise
Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.
One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,” which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.
Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:
- Making new contacts
- Talking about yourself at a job interview
- Meeting people at conferences or parties
- Phone calls to new clients
9. Ask the Right Questions
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz
How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.
When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.
Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions. When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.
Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want
10. Learn as Much as You Can
You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.
Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi
11. Look After Your Greatest Resource
No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.
If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.
Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.
12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder
As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.
But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!
The Bottom Line
The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.
Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!
More About Working Smart
- How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter
- 7 Effective Time Management Tips To Maximize Your Productivity
- 50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time
- 20 Productive Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter and Happier
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com
|||^||Brand You: The “To-Don’t” List|
|||^||Forbes: The Perfect Elevator Pitch To Land A Job|
|||^||Forbes: Are You Asking The Right Question?|
|||^||Leadership Fitness: Peak Performance and the Ultradian Rhythm|
|||^||The Guardian: This column will change your life: the trouble with smarter, not harder|