Freelancing is becoming the norm in the new economy where people are connected to on demand services at the touch of a button.
A recent study in America showed that from 2014 to 2015, there was an increase of 700,00 new freelancers entering into the new economy. 60% started freelancing by choice and see it as a viable career option.
1 in 2 freelancers would not stop freelancing and switch to a full time job with an employer no matter how much they were paid. This represents a change in mindset that working a full time job is the only way to carve a career.
In 2016, 60% of freelancers surveyed earned more doing freelancing and 3 in 4 earned more within the first year.
The brightest days for freelancing are yet to come, according to 83% of respondents.
On the local scene, NTUC has set up freelanceXchange to provide support services that help make freelancer life’s easier and more sustainable. They hope to create a better future of freelancing for everyone.
One of major benefits of working freelance is the freedom of time and work location. Many young people travel abroad in an attempt to combine work with travelling. My friend is a graphic designer and he basically lives in Thailand, where he rents a villa from yourkohsamuvillas.com with his fellow freelance workers. I can’t say I don’t envy him.
According to their Facebook page:
“There are about 200,000 freelancers and self-employed workers in Singapore and this number will continue to grow. Passion, flexibility and industry norms are reasons why an individual choose freelancing, as a professional, part-time or project basis. To support and empower freelancers with relative to the mythical maids in nurturing viable careers, and represent their collective interests as one united voice.”
From PM Lee of Singapore:
“And in light of the changing workforce, Mr Lee called on the labour movement to not only rally the workers, but to widen its reach to cover not only PMETs but also new economy jobs.
“If we keep the labour movement to the old formulation, which is the bargainable blue-collar workers mainly, I think we are just going to represent fewer and fewer people, and that’s bad for the labour movement; that’s bad for Singapore.
“We need you to be representative, to be strong, to have a vibrant base, to be able to do good things,” Mr Lee said.
“And that means you have to widen, you have to expand, from the union movement, to the labour movement, to cover the professionals, to cover the new economy jobs, even Uber drivers, even those who are doing freelancing. We have to find ways to bring them in.”