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How Millennials are Shaping the Future of Work

In 2018, working Millennials comprise of 35% of the American labor force, according to Pew Research. Defined as those who are born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials represent the majority generation in the US workforce.

As the youngest generation in the workforce today, Millennials have the power to shape the future of work, and to transform the conventional expectations of a career. And where is that future heading? To the freelance economy.

According to a MetLife study report in USA Today, “Millennials were the most interested in contractual rather than full-time work, with 74% of those in that age group saying they were curious about freelancing.” That is a significant number. Compare that to Millennials’ elders: only 57% of Gen X and 43% of Baby Boomers felt that same way.

Redefining the Career Path

Generations are becoming more and more tech-savvy, and it’s no doubt that technology has been incredibly impactful on the lives and careers of Millennials. Jobs that exist today did not exist five or ten years ago, and companies have more knowledge and resources to source talent from all over the world.

Being in their twenties and thirties, Millennials are at the critical early-to-mid stages of their careers. They also have a unique understanding of work. For example, company loyalty and the corporate ladder are no longer the requirements — nor the expectation — to have a successful career.

In the aforementioned study, MetLife found that 40% of Millennials had the intention “to leave their full-time employers to work as a freelancer in five years.” Millennials are ready to redefine their careers and deviate from expectation, and they’re ready to start this change now. In fact, according to the Freelancing in America: 2017 study, 47% of Millennials are already freelancing.

Of course, Millennials are not the only ones looking to freelance. Over half of today’s workers expect that their positions and functions will disappear over the next 20 years. The freelance economy is growing at such a momentous rate that the Freelancing in America: 2017 study projects that, by 2027, a majority of the American labor force will be freelancers.

The Future is Freelance

The work-life balance and higher rate of income make freelancing a desirable career path for many. Especially for those who have financial burdens or family commitments, self-employment can allow flexibility that full-time employment cannot offer.

Freelancers experience different challenges, such as missing out on certain employee benefits, the risk of unpredictable income, and — for remote freelancers — lack of human interaction. However, to many these downsides don’t begin to counter the immense benefits of a freelance lifestyle, where a worker has much more control over their life, their work, and their career. While the stability of a steady paycheck may appear more desirable, 63% of freelancers believe that working with a diversified portfolio of clients is more secure than being employed by a single company (Freelancing in America: 2017).

The results are in. The future of work is freelancing. The older end of Gen Z (those born after 1996) are starting to work now, too, and the trend looks consistent. As an employer, are you ready to meet the demands of these generations? As a worker, are you ready to take your career into your own hands?

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Startup Hiring Made Easy: 7 Things to Know Before You Interview

STARTUP HIRING MADE EASY: 7 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU INTERVIEW

The idea of working for a startup can be a very exciting for many people. Having the chance to get in at the ground level and make your mark on the company. The catch is that startups are different from multi-national companies (MNCs). A successful startup will focus on decentralizing power and giving you a chance to explore. You gain a greater level of responsibility and authority which results in a lot more freedom to work. This leads to more responsibility and authority which can give you a lot of freedom to work. You will not be able to find this in most MNCs at an early stage in your career because these roles are given to tenured employees.

WHAT STARTUPS LOOKING FOR?

There are many essential differences in the hiring policy of startups than that of large corporations. We will walk you through seven essentials attributes that startups are looking for.

RISK TAKING ABILITY:

Founding a startup doesn’t go well if you have a risk averse attitude. Founders of startups are very passionate about their dreams and are willing to take risks to build their dreams. Most founders at an early stage will personally interview their employees. They are looking for people that are willing to step outside of their comfort zone and where you achieved success by doing this in your past. They will be looking for actions and not words so don’t just tell them what they want to hear. Show them actions and the results of those actions.

VERSATILITY:

When you join an early stage startup you are doing more than just taking a job. It’s almost like joining a family with limited resources. With everyone working together to support each other to keep the company moving forward. Expect to wear multiple hats and add value wherever you can. Multifaceted individuals with experience will have an edge when applying to work with an early stage startup.

SUSTAINING CHAOS:

Working at a start up is a very high energy and chaotic experience. You must maintain a level of ambiguity and still deliver meaningful, high impact work. Having the ability to sustain ambiguity will play a major role in your success. There will be many times where the decisions that your employer are making don’t make sense to you. Startups are looking for someone who can add value to their ideas versus contesting them.

PROBLEM SOLVING:

While working in this chaos you will encounter many barriers. Interviewers are going to look for someone who is willing to push through these barriers. Not feeling defeated but instead getting excited about taking on new challenges.

INNOVATIVE MIND:

The word innovation and startup are synonyms within the startup world. The mindset of pushing the world, an industry and the status quo to new limits that have never been achieved before. They are looking for people who also adopt these principles. Willing and able to scale with the company by innovating within their departments.

LEARNING ABILITY:

Startups have a considerably steeper learning curve than that of established organizations. New opportunities are presented each day and thus presenting new challenges. Individuals applying for a start up must have a greater willingness to learn, innovate and deliver. There will be many bumps in the road but the return on investment is great, both intellectually and fiscally if with the right company.

VISION ALIGNMENT:

Your success in a startup is indicative of your ability to align with the company vision and the problem being solved. You must identify with the problem and truly believe that solving it for your consumer is the key that will drive you beyond any salary or promotion. You must have a shared belief and it is in both of your best interest to get into an agreement only if the organization’s vision aligns with the individual’s personal beliefs.

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The Freelance Lifestyle is Now More Attainable Than Ever

The freelance lifestyle is on the greatest rise ever in America, according to the latest industry data. Why is this? It is because the freelance workforce is finally beginning to be recognized. They are doing amazing work and they’re living the digital nomad lifestyle they dreamed of.

The Data

Freelancers have already pulled in over $1 trillion so far in 2016. Growing from 53 million in 2014 to 55 million in 2016 and making up a full 35 percent of the U.S. Workforce. Louis Hyman, Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Workplace Studies at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations said “The freelance workforce is the fastest-growing component of the economy. Figuring out where it is going is the most pressing question of our digital age.”

The workforce only grew by one million from 2015 to 2016 but grew from 715 billion to about one trillion dollars in earnings. Freelancers are earning more and more each year. This leaves us to assume that more highly skilled workers are choosing to go into the freelance lifestyle. Focusing on the idea that you want to work to bette your life and not live to better your work.

Now take a deep dive into the data from the “Freelancing in America” report. This is the most comprehensive study of the U.S. independent workforce to date and you will see something great.

  • 63 percent of freelancers say they started more by choice than necessity: Up by 10 percent from 2014 and full-time freelancers are feel overwhelmingly positive about their work. They are also considerably more likely than non-freelancers to feel respected, engaged, empowered, and excited to start each day.
  • When you compare it to traditional employment, 79 percent of freelancers say freelancing is better. Half of them also stated that there’s no amount of money that would get them to take a traditional job and quit freelancing.
  • The majority of freelancers that left a full-time job say they made more freelancing than they did with an employer within one year.
  • Full-time freelancers also say they’re able to work less than 40 hours per week (36 hours/week on average). While making more money and feeling better about themselves.

The Future of Freelance Workforce

Some predictions show that the freelance workforce will make up half of the U.S. workforce by 2020. Even if it were to fall short of that goal, there is no ignoring that the freelance lifestyle is becoming increasingly attractive to people and why I, Nathan Harris, founded Ease. Making this lifestyle of freedom and professional fulfillment accessible from anywhere you are.

Reports also showed that 70 percent of freelancers want more discussion of how to develop and empower the independent workforce. This hidden group makes up over a third of the entire workforce. Making an immense impact on our society, the way we do business and our standards of what defines a quality life. Everyone in the world needs to be watching this movement with the goal of fostering this body of people. Allowing them to collaborate and ultimately innovate through numerous channels to create positive collisions.

The advancements in technology over the years have played a major role in the development of this community. If the freelance workforce was the Colorado River then the technology would be the Hoover Dam. Harnessing the power of this amazing group of people and giving them a place to connect. Then distributing their talents through the necessary channels to meet their consumers needs.

This is the future of not only America’s but the world’s workforce, so we hope that you’re ready for it.