The times, they are a-changin’. Bob Dylan sang this in 1964, and it’s still true to this day. Times have been changing for a while now, but never with such speed and resilience as in the last decade or so.
This is especially true about the job market on a global level. Very few trends have shifted our daily lives like the possibility to work over the Internet, in the comfort of our homes, or our favorite cafe.
That’s right, freelancing has completely changed the market for both sides - the companies and the employees. But how big a change is this? Is this something that got popularized during the COVID-19 pandemic or is it here to stay?
With the launch of our Freelance platform, the editors at Brybe.com figured there’s no time like the present to put a light on this topic and let you know how we can get you closer to your dream job.
First, a short history lesson.
How Did Freelancing Become Such a Huge Deal?
The answer to this question goes way back to the actual meaning behind the word freelance.
We use this term regularly and yet, we rarely discuss the actual meaning behind it. And it’s mind-blowing.
The term freelance was originally used in the 19th century. It’s a combination of the German word free which means to love and the word lance, which is French for launch, start, hurl at something. It can be interpreted in many ways, but the most obvious one is doing something you’re passionate about, work on something you love.
No wonder freelance work got popular!
At first, freelancing was done mostly by journalists and photographers hired on a need-to-do basis. But in the late ‘90s, all that changed.
In the ‘90s, the Internet got into our lives and things were never the same.
The Internet Created New Jobs, New Opportunities, and New Job Market
The Internet didn’t just open the door to new, easily accessible information - with its freelance options, it modified the labor market.
The demand for certain jobs that didn’t exist before it grew exponentially. Digital marketing, app development, online customer support agents, virtual assistants - do these ring any bell? These are all jobs born out of the Internet and luckily, many professionals have become experts in these fields, many of which you can find at Brybe.com.
According to the annual freelance study done by Upwork, more than 53 million Americans were doing freelance work in 2014. In 2019, that number went up to 57 million freelancers in the USA alone.
And today, there are more than 59 million Americans who earn a living by doing freelance work. That’s a third of the entire workforce in the USA alone!
Source: Freelance Forward 2020
The only question that arises here is how many of these people joined the freelance world due to the pandemic?
The Influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Freelance World
What happened in the freelance world last year in March when the pandemic hit, was a surprise to everyone.
Nearly 10% of the US freelance workforce paused freelancing. Some due to the regular uncertainty of time, others due to being laid off by their clients, but either way, the situation didn’t look good from the outside. But at the same time, 12% joined the freelance community, as they saw major opportunities in it.
Making money from home during a pandemic? Sign everyone up!
But the freelancers weren’t the only ones that were obliged to change their lifestyle.
Business owners need to adapt to the latest developments fast, otherwise, they are losing customers.
This meant only one thing - build online businesses!
Take a look at these numbers, as shown in the survey done by McKinsey&Company. Digitization of businesses happened at such a rapid speed - nearly half of all businesses in every part of the world went online.
Business owners even reported that due to this change, 80% of all their customer interactions are happening online - a number that was three times smaller before the pandemic. A lot of it is due to investing in quality collaboration with influencers as we elaborated in one of our blog posts - Local Influencers Will Boost Your Sales During COVID-1.
But building long-lasting, online relationships with customers wasn’t the only thing business founders and marketers were changing due to the pandemic.
They also saw that now, they’re are able to do the entire work with their employees working from home.
Source: Future Workforce Report
As the report shows, 47% of hiring managers are open to the idea of outsourcing work, thus creating excellent conditions for freelancers.
It’s not just small businesses too.
Almost 33% of Fortune 500 companies hire freelancers to help them reach their brand’s goals.
All these statistics are telling the same story - freelancing is here to stay.
And if you’re not flexible enough, you can miss out on building your personal brand online, making money from the comfort of your sofa, or becoming your own boss.
Start small - create your freelance profile. Use Brybe.com to do it - the sign-up is free and you can start filling out your profile right away. Plus, with us, you’ll be able to keep all the money that you earn - we don’t charge high fees!
If you’re new at this and have trouble presenting your skills to the clients, wait for our next post - we’ll explain everything to you!