True HR Strategy success is found when the right people are matched with a specific organization at the right time; and while in previous decades the right employee-company-fit would entail a 9-5 worker, a working as a freelancer revolution is upon us and things have begun to change.
The silent cultural revolution of working as a freelancer
According to FreelancersUnion.org (2013) there are 53 million Americans- aka 34% of the U.S workforce today-working as a freelancer. It seems that people are undergoing a silent cultural revolution towards a more dynamic and changing workforce that experiences a more project-to-project work life. Moreover, globalization is the status quo of the 21st century, and the fact is that with the vast amount of expertise that is available worldwide it only makes sense to have a person-to-project work arrangement to yield the most optimal results.
Now, the reason why independent work represents such a big cultural shift to the workforce is because it implies our societal values have begun to change, professional and personal values that had remained pretty much static since the industrial revolution have changed too. The classic 9 to 5 has been the norm, founded on the concept that hard, consecutive work will yield into money, which in turn will provide economic sustenance for a family, which itself will equal to the good ol’ American Dream of the beautiful wife, fancy cars, a martini or scotch in hand, expensive dinners on special occasions, and picnic with the kids at the park.
Personal development demanded by an independent generation of those working as a freelancer
Yet, while this was exactly the perfect work arrangement-society-fit at the time, it just does not serve us anymore. An independent professional lifestyle is needed for a recently developed independent generation. Although money is likely to remain as the primary work incentive, personal development has, in the past decade or so, become a currency of similar value. People (now males and females alike) don’t want to be bored and see their lives slip away only to see results that they will be able to only enjoy in the weekends, a “copy- paste” of a week just doesn’t work for us anymore; people are taking longer and longer to have children; people, for better or for worse, put their personal and independent success before that of others. And personally, it makes sense to me, personal fulfillment (as much as you can independently get that is) does not only give you the ability to grow as a human being but also, grants you the ability to be more prepared to help and/or take care of others. You see, successful leaders (and successful parents for that matter), tend to be those who have developed wisdom through personal growth, and that tends to take time and independence.
What I am trying to say is that because our values have been shifting towards a more independent self-development lifestyle, it only makes sense that our professional lives reflect just that.
Written by Samantha at workhoppers.com: where companies connect directly with local talent seeking freelance, contract, seasonal, gig and part time work.
FreelancersUnion.org. (2013). Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce. Retrieved from https://fu-web-storage-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/ content/filer_public/c2/06/c2065a8a-7f00-46db-915a-2122965df7d9/fu_freelancinginamericareport_v3-rgb.pdf
At one point in my life, I had to choose between being angry and sad every morning before heading to work or be free and happy. I chose FREEDOM!