Why Are More Millennials Turning To Freelancing?

By Patricia “Trish” Navidad

After graduating college, Samantha landed her first real-world, 9-5 job—an accomplishment any university/college graduate would be proud of. However, something didn’t exactly feel right.

“Once I did manage to snag a 9-5 gig at a local marketing agency, I quickly realized it wasn’t all I made it out to be,” says Samantha, a freelance marketing writer and blogger from Orlando, Florida. She blogs about the post-grad lifestyle and breaking free from the 9-5 and also hosts the podcast, OffBeat Grad where she helps grads find their path after graduation.

“While I’m thankful for what I learned there, I felt my skills weren’t fully being used. It was a lot of busy, outdated work, and I wanted to be more creative.”

Eight months later, Samantha left the company and decided to freelance full-time when her freelance job paid her better than her “real” job.

In Upwork and the Freelancers Union, Freelancing in America 2019 study, Gen Z and Millennials were found to freelance more than older generations. 53% and 40%, respectively.

The main reason for Millennials wanting to freelance besides earning more money?

Better work/life balance.

In fact, according to The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, there are three main reasons why Millennials are going into freelancing:

1) Better work/life balance

2) Earn more money

3) Work hours that work for them.

These three reasons were also cited as to why some Millennials wouldn’t go into freelancing because of the uncertainty surrounding them.

“Younger millennials and Gen Z grads just don’t have very many appealing entry-level opportunities. I was paid barely above minimum wage at my first real-world job, and this seems to be the norm amongst my friends. Having the chance to work in a field I love at a higher pay is a no-brainer,” says Samantha.

Many of the changes today’s workplaces are undergoing can be tied back to Millennials’ views on work.

According to a PwC 2013 study on Millennials in the workplace, 38% of Millennials said they don’t see themselves working in one company for nine years or more.

For companies to retain Millennial employees, the study recommended updating the work environment. Millennials crave a workplace that not only promotes work/life balance but one that is team-oriented and takes them on assignments around the world, the study revealed. Unsurprisingly, the study discovered it’s not only Millennials who want better work/life balance in their workplaces, so do older generations.

Millennials want more from their work.

They want to have a balance between their personal and professional life in a world where it’s not easy to separate the two. Millennials, like any other generation, want to live their lives the best they can. Some Millennials find that freelancing helps them achieve this goal, and some don’t. In the end, what freelancing helps Millennials do is achieve the other things they want to do in their lives, and who wouldn’t want to do that?

What about you? Have you recently graduated or are you about to graduate? Do you prefer to go straight into a 9-to-5 or do you prefer to freelance?

Let us know in the comments, by contacting us here, or by connecting with us on social media!

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