I’ve noticed in recent months that there has been a huge increase in articles on the subject of how millennials (not sure I particularly enjoy that word) are changing the business scene – the face of commerce.
Increasingly, more and more young people are leaving the office, the commute and the extortionate price of renting in inner cities, behind them. In the last year I have personally ‘gone-freelance’ and happily applauded as handfuls of my friends and former fellow students have turned their hand to running small businesses or going it alone.
One word. Freedom. So called ‘millennials’ are really the first internet generation. We almost struggle to recall a time when the Internet didn’t exist. We went from playing with plastic dolls and teddy bears, straight into dial-up, The Sims and MSN Messenger. We kick started social media followings from MySpace, to Bebo, to Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram and Snapchat. We know how this stuff works and we know how to market ourselves for free. Gone are the days of choosing your new wardrobe from paper catalogues and billboard models. Advertising is free and the customer has the ultimate choice – we know this because we’ve spent our teenage years as the customer with the ultimate choice.
Going freelance allows us to be entirely in control of our money, our workload and our geography. It appeals to millennials because it allows us to work anywhere in the world, but also enables us to take a break as and when we choose. Flexi-time contracts and offices that place strong emphasis on breaks and down-time, are incredibly popular. Freelance work takes you one step further. Having spent years in education under the immense pressure to succeed, going into working life can feel just as stressful. By operating in a freelance paradigm, you’re free to work when you work best.
I wake up early, I start work around 8am – but I’ve usually checked my e-mails before this. I have long lunch breaks, or even go to the gym in the middle of the day. I work into the evening about 4 days a week. I usually work for a few hours on Saturdays and I always do paperwork on Sundays. This might sound like a lot of work – and it is. However, for 2 weeks this summer I was in the Caribbean and one week I was in Europe, plus several weekends away in the country – that’s the beauty of freelance, I can work anywhere.
In a nutshell, from speaking to friends and gleaning from my own personal experience, that’s why millennials are increasingly turning to freelancing for work.
My job is helping small businesses with the digital and design support they need, therefore, I fully support freelancers and small businesses and would actively encourage anyone considering taking the plunge to just for it!
Freelance is the future.