Defining The 21st Century Online Freelance Paradigm

Freelancing has become the catchword for individuals seeking more suitable work opportunities and additional income. Though freelancing in itself is not a new concept, in today’s ad hoc environment, 21st century workers must be resourceful and creative accentuated by a no-holds-barred approach to unstructured labor.

 

The present-day economy increasingly entrusts it’s sustainability on flexible complaisant freelance labor. And the trend is here to stay! With a sound, modernistic approach, freelancers can significantly enhance their likelihood of a successful freelancing career laden with financial accolades.

 

Cutting-Edge Technology Codifies Freelance Labor

New technologies have placed the work-at-home individual on par with conventional office workers in every aspect except physical appearance, which is not an obstacle today due to message and video chat tools like Skype and WhatsApp.

 

The 21st century has ushered in groundbreaking technology that allows companies to connect with remote staff unheard of in previous years. It’s not only companies that have overwhelming access to pioneering technologies, freelance and contract workers do as well. Everything from software like ActiveCampaign for dynamic email marketing campaigns to tried-and-tested freelance invoice template, provides the telecommuter with the opportunity to manage their freelance business like a company CEO.

 

Other major contributions to the rise in teleworking are better crowd-sourcing apps and services that globally link businesses with freelancers. Mercantile online establishments like Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour, allow telecommuters and companies to hook-up effortlessly. Additionally, social media networks have tremendously boosted freelance opportunities. It’s not unheard of for independent workers to find paying projects within a matter of a few days and many less than that!

 

Moreover, productivity apps permit freelance workers to track their own progress. Technology has changed and will continue to modify the way we work.

 

Freelancing Is the Hip-Hop of 21st Century Employment

That’s right! Freelancing is the hip-hop of 21st century employment and here’s why. Hip-hop was a grassroots type phenomena springing up from the inner city streets of the United States. People were hungry to express and unmask their lives. The genre took on a legitimate artistic expression through song and dance. Freelancers have a similar voice.

 

The world of employment is going through a renaissance. Many individuals have been forced to take an alternative route in order to earn an income and keep a roof over their heads. Freelancers are the homemaker, the unemployed person, the physically challenged person, the multi-skilled individual who underscore the laborer’s battle cry for sustenance, expression, and right to make a living. Though independent employment is not as grassroots as hip-hop, it’s taken on an identical persona. It’s manifestation is a representation of the needs of the people.

The International Freelancer’s Template and Finances

According to a 2018 Payoneer freelance income survey of 21,000 freelancers from 170 countries, the global average rate for freelancers is $19 per hour. Jobs performed by telecommuters along with their going rates include:

  1. QA Testing — $18/hour
  2. IT Support-$18/hr
  3. Database Programming — $21/hour
  4. Mobile Programming — $22/hour
  5. Web Programming-$22/hr
  6. Developer-$23/hr
  7. Developer — $23/hour
  8. Game Programming — $24/hour

 

Average rates for technical/designers are approximately $17 to $24.

 

The study concluded that most freelancers earned above the standard hourly wage in most of the countries surveyed. In the United states alone, over one-third of workers are self-employed. In India there are 15 million freelancers. Even in the Philippines the telecommuting network is thriving (they have about 1.4 million freelancers and an expanding entrepreneurial community) including additional financial institutions that make it more convenient for freelancers to get hold of their cash. For example, Rappler.Com Globe Telecom via its Gcash service, collaborated with PayPal earlier this year to accommodate entrepreneurs and freelancers in the country. The deal gives Filipino PayPal users better means of getting hold of and transferring funds by linking to a Gcash account.

 

Overall, teleworkers usually charge depending on their know-how, experience, and locale. For instance, the online blog Full-Suite states that “Filipinos charge the lowest hourly rate at $11.72 compared to freelancers in Great Britain who charge $46,54 per hour. In the US the average is approximately $37.87.”

 

According to various studies, the most popular gigs for traveling freelancers are:

  • Copywriters
  • Writers/editors/journalists
  • Software/web developers
  • Graphic designers
  • Sound or video editors
  • Photographers
  • 3D modeling and CAD designers
  • Interpreters/translators

 

During past times, it was vital for a worker to live near their employment, but the arrival of the web changed all that. Imagine writing an article for a company in Australia while chilling out in a flat in Seychelles or doing database programming for a client in Singapore while relaxing in the southern tip of Italy! The opportunities are endless!

Freelancing requires a fair amount of dexterity. In essence, “your right hand should always know what your left hand is doing.” One hand manages structure and constancy while the other takes a video call, creates a to-do list, and finishes up one project while pitching new ideas to clients. It takes practice but “practice makes perfect” and freelancing is no exception to the rule. Here are several ways to take freelancing to the next level.

 

Know Your Worth

This is probably the sticking point for most freelancers. Charging what they feel they’re worth! The bone-of-contention arises, when one accepts less than what they feel they are worth causing stress and dissatisfaction resulting in mediocre work. Making comparisons with other freelancers by going to one of the many freelancing network forums like Lancebase or ModernFreelance is beneficial. Being meticulous with contracts, discussing rates prior to agreeing to an assignment, and solidifying all details is pivotal.

 

Brush Off Rejection

Tenaciousness is a prerequisite for any freelancer, regardless of their trade. For example, a freelance writer working with a company editor will experience requests for rewrites and/or rejections. An editor can make a writer feel like their writing skills are no better than a toddler’s! Don’t take criticisms personally. Learn from them and move on. Don’t get discouraged. Rejection is all part of the learning process and inspiring with the right attitude.

 

Be Goal Oriented

Set goals regularly. Whether monthly, weekly, or daily and modify them when needed.  Research shows that writing down goals helps to clarify and make them more achievable. Goals should be realistic and not vague. If the objective is to make six-figures annually, remember this will require minute steps. Meeting specified productivity goals in a step-by-step manner places the individual closer and closer to long term aspirations.

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Also published on Medium.