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Millennials take over #FreelanceNation

43% of freelance workers are Millennials, and, in a population of almost 54 million freelancers, that’s a lot. Why are Millennials so drawn to the freelance lifestyle?

For starters, the economic collapse of 2008 disillusioned a large number of millennials. Suddenly, those crisp college degrees signified not bright futures, but mountains of debt.

Rather than a host of possible careers from which to choose, most of us were stuck at the bottom, trying to make ends meet with unpaid internships.

It was a harsh reality for a generation that was told that we could be anything we wanted to be.

But, rather than becoming bitter, entitled, and unemployable, we set to work looking for an alternative.

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Armed with the internet and inspiration from the entrepreneurial successes of Silicon Valley superstars like Mark Zuckerberg, we bucked tradition.

Soon the start-up culture was born; the fashion vlogger became a thing; the professional blogger became ubiquitous; and the roving software developer a lifestyle to aspire to.

Ultimately, this is a youth culture that values experience above all things – and the 9-5-in-a-cubicle experience doesn’t play well on instagram.

As Sara Horowitz puts it in her article, Why Millennials Understand the Future of Work Better than Anyone Else, “They [Millennials] understand networks and hubs better than anyone – and networks and hubs make successful freelancers.”

Older generations may gripe that we aren’t going out and getting a “real job,” but rather than falling in line, we Millennials have redefined what a “real job” is – and many of us are happier for it.

Which might be why when we asked independent workers if they would recommend freelancing to friends or family, 4 out of 5 said they would.

That’s a 4 star review from a generation that lives to give its opinion on everything from beauty products to restaurant picks to places to stay. Given that peer review, would you take the leap?

A new soul and media geek, Laura writes about sustainability, community, poetry and pop culture. Find her @Pennyscientist or on Freelancers Union.

Laura Murphy A new soul and media geek, Laura writes about community, poetry and pop culture.

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