The Future Is Freelance — A Case for the New American Dream

by | Mar 26, 2020

Originally posted on Medium in 2019, by Stephanie Nadi Olson

The face of business in the U.S. is changing — and it’s being fueled by a dynamic, impassioned and rapidly expanding freelancing workforce. Recent statistics reveal that in 2019, more than 57 million people (35% of the American workforce) have migrated to independent consulting, a 4 million person upswing over just the last five years. Additionally, American freelancer earnings are rapidly approaching the $1 trillion benchmark. These numbers are only expected to rise as more businesses embrace freelance hiring models to power corporate benefits such as cost savings, performance agility, and greater access to a diverse range of expert creative talent.

The stats behind the rise of independent work lit me up — and also got me thinking about how the concept of freelancing has evolved so dramatically over the last several years. When I launched We Are Rosie, there was an underlying stigma around the word “freelancer.” In the past, companies associated freelancers with transient resources that were somehow less ideal or capable than full-time employees. Hiring managers assumed that these independent professionals were in between jobs or unable to hold on to a job long-term.

Not true.

At We Are Rosie, we work with premium marketing consultants every day, connecting our skilled community of over 4,000 consultants with Fortune500 brands and advertising agencies. As we’ve grown, we’ve felt a tangible shift in the marketplace regarding the perception of freelancers. We’ve had the privilege of watching as the global hiring force at large realizes what we’ve known all along: There’s nothing transient or less than about today’s worldwide talent workforce of independent consultants. We’ve heard it time and time again. Our independent workforce is the people you would have on your dream team. They’ve just simply opted into a more modern way to work

There’s nothing transient or less than about today’s worldwide talent workforce of independent consultants. They’ve just simply opted into a more modern way to work.

The ideals of the American Dream are, at its core, deeply rooted in freedom. However, after living through the recession and economic turbulence of the last decade, the concept of professional freedom is often overshadowed and outweighed by the pursuit of security. At We Are Rosie, we believe that freedom and security can, and should, coexist. We know that modern enterprises are truly people-powered, and the organizations that embrace open talent models are promoting a new version of the American Dream: freelance talent as entrepreneurs, innovators, and small business owners.

At We Are Rosie, we believe that freedom and security can, and should, coexist. We know that modern enterprises are truly people-powered, and the organizations that embrace open talent models are promoting a new version of the American Dream: freelance talent as entrepreneurs, innovators, and small business owners.

A dynamic workforce embracing more independent opportunities, coupled with a new generation of talent that wants (and expects) flexibility and autonomy, have officially given life into this new American Dream as it unfolds before us. Let’s support, promote, and honor this thriving team of professionals as the small business owners that they are. Let’s offer them benefits, let’s enable their talents, and let’s include them as a mainstay in enterprise operations and teams as they redefine how work gets done across every industry and vertical.