As the workforce continues to evolve, an increasing number of companies have begun to utilize temporary staffing solutions for a variety of hiring needs. In fact, as reported by the Freelancing in America 2015 report, nearly 54 million Americans are now doing freelance work —making freelancers 1/3 of the workforce!
According to Kevin Hickman, a Staffing Manager within The Execu|Search Group’s Creative and Digital division, this trend is reflected in the division’s growth as well. “We’re experiencing a major uptick in the number of temporary and contract job orders from clients for creative, digital, and marketing talent,” he says. “However, despite the major increase in opportunities, there is still a misconception that freelancing cannot be a full-time, stable career path. In reality, it can be highly rewarding, provide competitive compensation, and can say a lot more about you as a professional than you may realize.”
According to Kevin, some of the many benefits of freelancing include:
An opportunity to master many skills
Since many freelancing roles are project-based in nature, you have the ability to master a wide array of skills while diversifying your experience with different platforms and programs—something that is especially important in a field that is so driven by technology. “With technology advancing faster than ever, it’s imperative to keep your skills sharp,” says Kevin. “Freelancing is a great way to keep your technological abilities current, and by keeping your skills up-to-date, you’re subsequently staying in high demand with potential employers.”
The ability to prove that you’re highly adaptable
If you have several freelance jobs under your belt, adding them to your resume and portfolio can demonstrate flexibility and adaptability—two traits many respondents to our 2015 Regional Hiring Outlook employer survey ranked as some of the most desirable soft skills a candidate can possess. This not only illustrates a can-do attitude, but highlights your adaptability—a key component in the creative, digital, and marketing fields.
Freelancers are expected to hit the ground running on day one with little to no orientation period, so a curated portfolio of proven experience can help to illustrate your value as a professional. This helps demonstrate to future employers that you’re a quick learner who is interested in staying at the top of their game and can keep their business moving forward in times of constant change.
Building an impressive network
Working with different companies across various industries gives you the opportunity to create an amazing network of creative, digital, and marketing talent. “Keeping in touch with your former colleagues is a great way to uncover open positions within areas of your specialty or emerging fields,” notes Kevin. “To do this, make an effort to regularly check the networking tools you use (LinkedIn, Facebook, email, etc.) to ensure that you don’t miss any updates. Also, remember to proactively reach out to your connections regardless of whether or not you need something. This way, when you need to leverage these relationships, they’ll be more inclined to help.”
Similarly, a recruiter can be a great addition to your network. Since they are in close contact with companies looking for talent, they can be a valuable resource for professionals looking to move seamlessly from one project to the next. So if you’re looking for assistance organizing your interviews and submitting resumes, a recruiter can be that professional ally helping you every step of the way. This way, you can focus the majority of your energy on completing your project on a strong note, while your recruiter helps you figure out your next move.