According to the latest look at the U.S. freelance economy, the number of people who choose to be their own boss is consistently on the rise. “Freelancing in America: 2017”, commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union and conducted by independent research firm Edelman Intelligence, found more than 57 million Americans freelanced this year—a group that, based on current growth rates, is predicted to become a majority of workers in this country within the next 10 years.
But that doesn’t mean everyone is destined for the freelance life.
As Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel explains in “No, We Won’t All Be Freelancers In The Future Of Work” on Fast Company, the reality is that the traditional employment model isn’t going away completely:
“…not everybody has the skills or temperament to [freelance] successfully. And that’s not to mention all the people who don’t want to freelance and aren’t likely to change their minds.”
Instead, he says, work teams of the future may be structured more like movie crews, “with a core unit of traditional employees hiring specialists for results-oriented, project-based work.”
Within this new model, Kasriel says successful freelancers of the future will need to meet four criteria:
- A specialized skillset
- The ability to quickly transition to different projects and skillsets
- An entrepreneurial approach to their freelance business
- A solid set of “soft skills,” including communication and listening
Get a more in-depth look at who should consider freelancing by reading the full article. For those who are able to make the shift, Kasriel says, “You’re about to confront surging opportunities—just as long as you can check these four boxes confidently.”