The Corporate Law Group

The Coming Freelance World

FreelanceThere’s a scene in the first Spider-Man movie (2002) where Peter Parker asks the crusty but benevolent Newspaper Publisher J. Jonah Jameson (the great J.K. Simmons) for a job and JJJ answers, “No jobs! Freelance! Best thing in the world for a kid your age.” We think that phrase, “No jobs!! Freelance!!” is the future. The crusty old Buzz was surprised fifteen years ago when career advice was to switch jobs every three years. And to try to do a jump-shift where you learned a completely new skill in a different company that would have taken you ten years to grow to in your old company. Well now, everything changes every six months so a three year tenure at one company is as odd as lifetime employment was ten years ago. And, let’s face it, lifetime employment at one company is a relic. It just doesn’t happen anymore. It’s odd; unlikely. And for it to happen you have to do really great work for a really great company. Most companies are not that loyal anymore. One slip and you’re gone. Employment can be an illusion. So what’s a talented graduate to do? Freelance. Whether it’s driving for Lyft, delivering for Shipbird, performing voiceovers on Fiverr, or as a 3D printing maker, you can do whatever you want. Even law produced permanent associates, then temps and outsourcing, then outsourcing to other countries. That stock option agreement you read may have been written in India. We are now an economy of one third freelancing. Being freelance gives one the self-employment benefit to doing ones work when one wants but also makes clear that when we work hard we prosper and when we don’t, well, we don’t. No one to complain to. But no one gave you your job and no one can take it away. You earned your job and every dollar you receive doing it. Is freelance good? As with everything, for some people, sure, for others, not so much. Is it to be fought? Nope. Not if the market demands it. The smart person will embrace it and figure out how to kill it and make a belt. To fight it is to cling to old models that our economy is rejecting. We say, embrace the change, learn new skills, and market the freelance brand of you.