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Freelancers Are Planning For The Future Of Work Faster Than Anyone Else

17 October 2017

From Fast Company:

The freelance workforce is growing more than three times faster than the U.S. workforce overall, according to the annual “Freelancing in America” (FIA) survey by Upwork and the Freelancers Union, released today. The number of U.S. freelancers now stands at 57.3 million, representing an 8.1% jump over the last three years, when the FIA survey estimated the total American freelance workforce at 53 million. By comparison, the U.S. workforce as a whole grew 2.6%, from 156 million to 160 million, over the same period.

At this rate, freelancers will be the majority by 2018. But perhaps more striking is the finding that freelancers seem to be preparing for this future more swiftly than their counterparts at traditional employers.

. . . .

[N]early half (49%) of full-time freelancers told researchers that their work is already feeling the impact of AI and robotics. Only 18% of the traditional workforce said the same.

Perhaps that’s why 65% of independent workers claimed to be staying on top of career prep as jobs and skills evolve and machine learning gets more sophisticated; more than half said they’ve set aside time to brush up just within the past six months. That’s in contrast to 45% of non-freelance workers who are taking similar steps.

. . . .

“Professionals who choose to freelance make this choice knowing that, as their own boss, they are in control of their destiny,” Kasriel explained in a statement. “Freelancers, therefore, think more proactively about market trends and refresh their skills more often than traditional employees, helping to advance our economy.”

Link to the rest at Fast Company

PG says indie authors are freelancers as well and the successful ones “think more proactively about market trends and refresh their skills” in the same way tech freelancers do.

Without demeaning traditional authors, in PG’s experience, many rely on their publishers to advise them on market trends and pay less attention to understanding new technologies and how their readers may be changing. Since traditional publishers are highly resistant to change (see “screen fatigue”), PG suggests such reliance may be unwise.

Self-Publishing, The Business of Writing