Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Distributed, Independent Workforce -- Freelances Plus+

With knowledge workers able to link together via the internet, and the accelerating rate of economic development and innovations in business models, there is room for a new kind of workforce.

In the past, employment with one or two organizations might have been commonplace. Instead of a single career with a single company lasting from graduation to retirement, employees are increasingly on the move. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that people born between 1957 and 1964 held, on average, 11 jobs from ages 18 to 44. That’s roughly one new job every 2.4 years. In today’s world, 5 to 7 careers during a lifetime is becoming commonplace.

What's needed for the 24/7 as-needed knowledge worker? This article outlines several: From a participant in this pool of labor, a different education approach is called for. In addition to hard skills, freelancing requires selling and marketing abilities. Finding new clients is the number one challenge for every freelancer. Remaining visible to potential clients worldwide requires skill as an online marketer, website designer and social network guru. Negotiating skills are also a necessity. All of these abilities must be acquired early on in a freelancer’s career. To remain highly motivated, working in a field with passion is the only sustainable solution. Thus, education will have to be closely aligned with personal preferences and talents. Continuous learning will become an important habit. Keeping up with rapidly changing industry trends must be an integral part of media consumption and social networking.
Freelance workers will increasingly face global competition. Thus, comprehensive English-language skills will become indispensable. A different mindset is also required to endure the freelancer’s low level of job security. Instead of hoping to land a permanent position, confidence and the entrepreneurial spirit are vital to future success.

Telecommuting for knowledge workers is growing rapidly. The International Telework Association and Council (ITAC) forecasts a more than a 50 percent increase in the next three years. This growth is occurring across all sectors of business – business and legal services, health care, banking and finance, and others. The “knowledge worker” pool of labor is one of the best positioned to take advantage of this work option.

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