There have been lots of changes in how work is done—people can now work from home, they can work halfway across the globe, to name just two—but none have affected so many people as much as the rise of the gig economy. The gig economy is freelancing, of course—people breaking out onto their own, whether by choice or not, in order to pursue self-employment. In fact, many people have predicted that freelancers as a whole are going to continue to increase, meaning that more and more people will be working for themselves in the future.
When it comes to advice for current and future freelancers, there are some general thoughts that are important to consider. First of all, having a plan—who you are and what you can do—is important. It’s also important to consider what kind of skills you have and what kind of skills you can build on. Luckily, the Internet has made that easier. If you want to learn to code, for example, or learn a new computer program, there’s probably a website helping you do that.
As a freelancer, you also need to think about how you can network, both the old-fashioned way and the new-fashioned way. You’ll have to establish a presence and figure out where your current and potential new clients are—who they are watching on social media, for example—and get yourself into those spaces. You’ll have to come up with a plan to weather the changing nature of freelancing from year to year, as jobs and income wax and wane, in addition to figuring out if you need benefits and how to obtain them.
So, what does freelancing look like for people, and how does it differ based on circumstances? This graphic provides some insights to consider: