Self-Employment for Gen Y

31 Mar

self-employment-for-geny

So I’ve been thinking a lot about self-employment lately. Because naturally, as a creative writer, that’s what us crazy people tend to do. Actually, it seems that a lot of young professionals are pursuing self-employment these days…since…well…there aren’t many jobs out there. Rather than crying in our rooms about how terrible and unfair the world is, many millennials are taking it upon themselves to create their own jobs. Freelancing at its finest. And you know what? Tons of them are successful! So in today’s guest post, Patricia lets us know why self-employment is kind of awesome, and walks us through a few options that you may want to consider. Enjoy!

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#entitled #narcissistic #self-obsessed #unemployed. Millennials, young people born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, are often seen as slackers. Millennials (also known as Generation Y) communicate with hashtags and take selfies. They want to turn dreams and passions into flashy jobs that can afford them the latest Apple gadgets and trips around the world. Gen Y is, perhaps unfairly, condemned for its “me attitude,” lack of preparedness and commitment to the workforce and unrealistic expectations of life gains.

Gen Y isn’t the demise of our society, though. Twenty-somethings are also applauded for open-mindedness, forward thinking and self-expression. Along with liberal views, new perspectives and cultural confidence, the kids of Gen Y are future leaders who just need outlets for their creative talents and opportunities for professional establishment. A millennial can shut down his or her generation’s harsh judgments while earning a living.

The Beauty of Self-Employment

LinkedIn Talent Blog contributor Lydia Abbott empathizes with Gen Y, since she herself is a millennial. Obviously pro-millennial, Abbott shares the characteristics and desires of a Gen Y individual, collected from the LinkedIn Talent Connect’s Q&A: “Millennials: How to Attract, Hire, & Retain Today’s Workforce.” Work-life balance and flexibility attract millennials. They’ve adopted the “work hard, play hard” mantra and have a hard time sacrificing a fulfilling personal life for an advancing career

A freelance career offers independence and flexibility, a professionally kinder word to describe freedom from a tight schedule and stifling office location. Sara Sutton, CEO of professional job service FlexJobs, told Forbes.com that the shift to freelancing is exciting. Young people can fit work into their lives, rather than try to find time for life outside of work. Freelancing also offers collaboration, diversification and career ownership, as well as self-appointed opportunities to make a difference and foster an entrepreneurial spirit.

Freelancers and independent workers account for 16 million people in the workforce, and that number is predicted to increase to 65 to 70 million workers within the decade, estimates freelance recruiting firm MBO Partners. It’s predicted more than half of all employees will work independently as freelancers or consultants by 2020. For a motivated millennial with an appetite for a balanced and flexible career, the following freelancing opportunities can match that Gen Y lifestyle.

Here are some options…

Writer

Gen Y enjoys its self-expression, from hipster looks to blogging. Writing provides Gen Y creatives with opportunities to establish an online persona, independent voice and meaningful conversations. Huffington Post contributor David Hochman recommends freelancers “think like an investor” and diversify. Hochman’s writing projects range from a blogging gig, corporate writing assignments, print magazine profiles, and a personal essay.

Gaming Developer

Video gaming masterminds can now earn a profit turning a hobby into a profession. Freelancing network oDesk connects game design specialists and designers with clients. Gaming gurus can post a profile that markets game design skills, including game development and testing, iOS development, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, 3D modeling, and 2D/3D animation. Gaming platform iWin also develops, publishes and distributes games with its Developer First Program. iWin games can be downloaded to PCs and even published on Facebook.

Event Planner

Professional event planners can outsource their services for community fundraisers and philanthropic events. Millennials who have a hand in work with a greater purpose feel energized. Millennials want to help drive change and make an impact, which ultimately provides intrinsic self-reward and recognition. Freelance event consulting for a nonprofit organization can provide a sense of advocacy and goodwill.

Social Media

Millennials suffer from smartphone addiction and habitual need for connection. A self-employed social media coordinator or community manager experiences work autonomy and social engagement. A social media professional will be responsible for managing and updating social media platforms, according to Forbes.com. They’ll create online marketing campaigns, implement social strategies and publish content.

Any others that we’re missing??

Patricia Wood is a freelance writer in Phoenix, Arizona. She enjoys blogging about millennials, social media and non-profits. She’s working on her master’s degree from Arizona State University.

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4 Responses to “Self-Employment for Gen Y”

  1. inkspeare March 31, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    As a Babyboomer, I see the predicament that Gen Y experiences now. They have been educated in an older system that is slowly in transition (with opposition), while experiencing the emerging new system and contributing to it. The are sandwiched between an old system that does not work anymore, and an emerging one, that is not fully functional yet, as it is developing, hence being in a way, left to “fend for themselves” and survive the transition. The good news is that Gen Y embraces technology and is flexible, which is why there is a growth of entrepreneurs, but also of frustration with the older system that is still in place and does not serve well this generation. In a way, much of the work is now up to this generation who is transitioning, and the beacon for future generations.

  2. Agent Q April 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    Some things I can think of are freelance tutor, composer, musician, etc.

    Of course, it’s easier said than done, but it’s always good to experiment and see how far you can go, which also depends on how well you market yourself. I admire and respect those who can manage a life like this. That is not to say that I’m dismissing this possibility altogether. It just means that I’m still skeptical of my ability. :/ I suppose as the overall work dynamic evolves over the coming years, it’s always good to be prepared to adapt and be ready to be on top of things. That’s the key thing: staying on top. So much challenges! But the perks do make self-employment all worthwhile.

  3. CrystalM April 9, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    With today’s society there are so many different things you can do to earn money while still controlling your own life. I have chosen to be self-employed to enjoy the freedom that can come from doing something you’re passionate about. However, I have some advice to those looking to become self-employed. It will take work. Choose your career carefully. You don’t want to end up trading a 9-5 job for a 24/7 one. You need to maintain balance in every aspect of your life in order to truly succeed as your own boss.

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