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The holidays are coming around so ’tis the season to explain your job to your loved ones! Most people understand the traditional workforce but when it comes to freelance, people still see it as some warped form of unemployment. So here’s a fun fact to drop at your Thanksgiving and holiday dinners — freelancers make up 35% of the American workforce. We are extremely valuable to our clients who could not produce both their quantity or quality without us. So when your tipsy family starts the third degree over the third turkey leg, you can ask them to imagine a world without freelancers as if they were in a Christmas movie.
So imagine just imagine. a world we don’t wanna live in…but pretend for a second.
More Work for All, and Less Space Too!
A world without freelancers would mean an increase in work for salaried employees that are already expected to work overtime for no overtime pay. American office culture is one that is known to be overworked, stretched thin, without much downtime. The freelancer’s work relieves the stress of the already overworked full-time employee by taking on work that they can’t fit or that isn’t supposed to be in their portfolio. If they don’t exist, guess who’s taking on the additional load? You betcha.
As anyone who has been looking for a job since the Great Recession knows, it’s hard out there for a prospective employee. I graduated college in December 2008, right when the recession hit, and take it from me, that was not a joyous time to be entering the job market. Seriously, trying to find a job as a grad during that time was a cocktail for depression. In a world without freelancers, there might be some more jobs offered, but good chances are the workload will just fall onto the current staff’s shoulders.
On the other hand, if the freelance workforce was plopped down in America’s current office space with their “co-workers”, those spaces would get rather crowded. Us freelancers generally do our work in our own space, so companies would have to figure out where to put everyone. No one wants to wait that long to grab their crappy office coffee.
And if there’s anywhere and anytime to drive a narrative for being overcrowded in a small space, the holiday dinner table is time, my freelance friends.
Less Options, Less Risk Taking Without Freelancing
On a more inspirational level, a world without freelancers would be a fearful one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the traditional workforce and nothing wrong with entering that workforce, freelancer or not, if it’s the right choice for you. But it cannot be understated that becoming a freelancer is a fearless move even though it can feel full of fear. Making the leap to freelancing or trying to freelance at all means that there is a flame within you that believes in yourself. A lot of what is pounded into us as kids is to be a cog in the machine, to follow the outline set for us, to not disrupt. Our creativity is stifled as we are taught to follow the money blindly. Freelancers are disruptors to the machine. We are saying we will figure out a way without the common safety net. A world without freelancers is a world without dreamers and who wants to be in a world without those who dream?
Now, how do you like them apples?
…Which is something you can say after you make your argument on why freelance is a noble profession. Also, after the apple pie at your Thanksgiving dessert. It’s a dad joke, sure, but it works!