Elance Blog

What Are You Celebrating This Weekend?

Scorching weather, the smell of charcoal burning on BBQ grills, and the booming explosions of fireworks can only mean one thing: Summer is officially in full swing, and with that comes the Fourth of July, a day where Americans nationwide will be celebrating our nation’s 233rd birthday and independence as a sovereign nation.

But our nation’s birthday isn’t the only cause for celebration on the fourth – it’s the idea behind independence that has professionals worldwide celebrating.

Providers, here’s some food for thought: In the U.S. job market today, roughly 42 million workers are independent contractors, part-time or temporary staffers, and/or are self employed, and with over 300 million people alive in the states, that means almost one out of every eight Americans holds one of the aforementioned titles. If you’re a freelancer, contractor, consultant, or anything in between, this means you!

The shift to online work as a professional job becomes more apparent with each day that passes. As communication and internet technologies continue to become faster, more stable, and more ubiquitous in society (and as the economy continues to prove that it’s not the most stable of entities), one can only expect the 42 million to grow at a brisk pace. And when you consider the advancements in online work tools, maybe the word “brisk” will be too much of an understatement.

Statistics are easy to brush off as “just a bunch of numbers”, but it’s hard to ignore real-world examples. Scott Young got laid off from a teaching position and started a career as a consultant in graphic design on Elance. Since he’s based out of San Francisco, which has one of the most expensive cost of living rankings nationwide, Scott was naturally worried about going independent. After having success finding clients all over the world, he is now making a full-time living and truly loves being “independent”.

And the door of opportunity is wide open for employers and self-made entrepreneurs. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay laid out the concept of what happens when the internet and capitalism intersect. “Anyone with just basic knowledge of the Internet will be able to start a business,” Lindsay said. Couple that with the fact that one in four workers who have not found jobs are considering launching a business (according to a CareerBuilder.com survey), mix in a fantastic idea and a dash of moxie, and you have yourself a growing concoction that breathes independence. By the way, this particular business-centric concoction would love to see the number of contractors jump from 42 million to 100 million.

So when you’re out and about this weekend partaking in the summer festivities, take a moment out to celebrate independence – not just for the good ol’ U. S. of A, but for yourself, the independent professional.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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