Bridge Insights

The Rise of the Freelance Workforce

Feb 1, 2023

The workforce is changing and it’s changing quickly. Something that is taking the job market by storm is the rise of freelance workers. Over 46% of Gen Z’s are freelancing and that number will only continue to rise as the years go on. Where freelancing is especially popular is within the marketing and creative industries. 

The other part about freelancing workers is that 64% of them will tell you that they are happy and really content with the work they’re doing, along with their work/life balance is at the highest it’s ever been in their lives. Now that so many companies, and large companies at that, are using freelancing staff, the work model is really starting to change. And you cannot blame the individuals who are benefiting from this type of work model – they get a variety of work, many make more than a traditional permanent staff member, and they get to choose their projects and schedules how they wish. 

So, what are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about making the switch to 100% freelance work? Keep reading to find out.  

It may take a while to build clients, and you’ll want to pipeline for the future

First and foremost, you’re going to want to put yourself on websites like Upwork and Giggrabbers for projects, clients, and networking. Build a profile that showcases your niche skills, showcases past projects, and start reaching out to various companies. Also, prioritize reaching out to your network and letting them know what services you offer. 

Now, some freelance work can be a daily or weekly occurrence, practically serving as part-time employees for some companies. But in other cases, you may only have a 3-month or 6-month contract, in which case you’re going to want to pipeline for the months after your contract ends. Now, this might sound stressful, but if you build your services and clients, you’ll always have work (money) coming in.  

It may take some time, but if you go into this confident and willing to put the initial time in, you will end up getting a lot of it in the end. 

Line up insurance and benefits

Because you’ll be self-employed, you’re going to want to prioritize lining up various insurances for yourself. Many companies offer packages for full-time employees to insure themselves on a medical and dental front. Now that you’re freelancing, you’ll want to see what options are available for you. Many insurance companies offer individual plans for those not offered insurance through an employer, and better yet, many offer package rates for the more insurance you want or need. Once you figure out what these costs are, you will want to factor these prices into your hourly rate that you charge for your services.  

Another area you’re going to want to focus on as a freelancer is putting money away for the future. Most full-time employees are offered 401k plans, but now you will want to see what that looks like for yourself as a future security blanket. Many banks offer individual 401k and Roth IRA plans, and apps like Acorns, make investing in yourself very simple and easy to do. Now, these things may seem like common or boring aspects of life, but they all add up and as an independent contractor it’s better to be safe than sorry if an accident or incident were to occur! You’re trying to make life better for yourself as a freelance worker, so be sure to take the time to set yourself up for success in every way possible. 

Are you ready for a complete change of life?

Living life as a freelance worker is a complete change from your standard 9 am-5 pm work model that traditional employees do. You’ll want to ask yourself if this is the best setup for you. Freelancing does come with a flexible schedule, and a broad range of work you can choose to do, but it also comes with organizing, planning, and putting yourself out there. We suggest reaching out to people who live their lives on a 100% freelance basis and seeing what challenges and successes they have faced. It’s always great to learn through others and make connections with those doing it before leaping yourself.