In a survey of 300 Millennials, those born after 1981, Online freelance job site Elance found high interest in the freedom of freelancing. The site matches programmers, designers, writers, translators, marketers and others with employers, so of course, those are its clientele. It would be interesting to see a larger survey with a wider population of Millennials.
While jobs have been especially hard to find for inexperienced workers, contracting has been on the rise. It's interesting that at least a portion of the work force finds that an appealing arrangement. Among the results:
- 83 percent said freelancing is an important part of their career strategy, while only 27 percent indicated they would prefer working full time for a single employer.
- 42 percent stated they prefer the ability to choose projects, employers and hours.
- 54 percent said they are looking for jobs that will allow them to work from home at least part of the time with only about 13 percent wanting to work in an office most of the time.
- 56 percent think that a digital resume (a LinkedIn profile, for instance) is the most effective tool for landing a job, compared with 44 percent who prefer a more traditional resume.
- 62 percent named the laptop their most important device for work, compared with 34 percent who named a desktop. Only 2 percent mentioned a tablet.
Elance offered these five tips to help Millennials take charge of their career:
Find a rainbow of opportunity in the cloud
Searching for opportunities in the cloud can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack without a good plan. Make a list that specifies type of work, industry and even employers you're looking for to help you search smarter and save time. You can set up search agents, RSS feeds and even Twitter lists that provide better results without having to spend hours looking for new opportunities.
Create an online profile that gets results
Your online profile should tell a strong story about what an employer will gain by hiring you. After all, it's all about the employer's needs. Include relevant examples and work samples that validate your benefits and present a complete picture to an employer.
Be independent, but not alone
Build in time to regularly connect with a trusted group of professionals in and outside of your industry. Use your network to brainstorm, exchange ideas and get a fresh perspective on challenges you face. Your network can also be a valuable source of referrals and provide backup support for you when needed.
Establish work hours and stick to them. If working at home, it is also important to create a defined work space, whether it is an entire room or a corner.
Become a freelance rock star
Sixty-five percent of Millennials characterize their work style as a freelancer versus an entrepreneur or team member. As a freelancer, with each assignment you are building your portfolio and reputation. Maintain a high degree of integrity with clients by delivering as promised. Communicate with the client about your progress during the project. Give your best to each job and you will be rewarded with great feedback that will win you more clients and jobs.