According to Dictionary.com, a freelancer is a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer . As of 2016 in the US, freelancers make up a third of the US workforce  and that percentage is expected to grow by 40% in 2020. Freelancing is the new normal and freelancers are contributing a huge chunk to economy and nation-building.
Previously, we thought of freelancers just as they are described by dictionary.com – but there are now 5 types of freelancers. These classifications pose a challenge to the definition of a “regular” freelancer. Some of which may fall outside of the normal categories and would not have been categorized as freelancers if we were to use the old definition.
If you are thinking of freelancing or hiring a freelancer to do some work for you, here’s a breakdown of how they are classified.
These are the people who fit our traditional assumption of how freelancing works. These are people who sell work or services per contract/piece/hour/day/job etc. and work on a per-project basis. These can be artists on commission, writers for blog articles, and virtual assistants.
These are the people who have regular traditional jobs who have a second job as a freelancer in addition to their regular employment. A pre-school teacher who does transcription work after hours may fit this category.
These are people who have multiple sources of income from combined traditional employment and freelance work. A person who works as a part-time receptionist and fills the rest of the time out driving an Uber and doing freelance editing may fit this category.
These are the people hired by a single client for a single job, contract or project. A designer working for a client to design one of his/her properties and sees it through until project completion is one example.
Freelance Business Owners:
These are business owners who have a small team of (1-5) employees hired to work on a project. A website consultant who has a small team of website developers and designers hired to build a website for a startup can fall under this category.
As you can see, many other workers can count themselves as freelancers, and not just in the traditional sense. Some workers that could have been previously thought of as part-time workers may now fall under the diversifies workers if they are working multiple jobs that make up the equivalent of a fulltime job. If you are a business owner, you could use this information to carefully examine your organization’s structure. Business owners involved in startups are now looking at freelancers as one of the major sources to tap for their skills and manpower resources.
What is your organization like? Do you have a healthy mix of full-time employees and freelancers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Stay humble and hustle hard.
Written by: Jaie O. – The Help