The Future of Freelancing, Part 2 of 3
The Future is Remote and Automated
Are only certain careers limited to freelancing? As of today, almost every career can be freelanced and worked remotely in some aspect. Some careers cannot become remote-based positions, such as services that directly involve physical interaction with customers or property. They can however, become freelanced and worked from outside the constraints of a typical business.
The path for freelancing comes into play when someone excels greatly in their career and breaks out of the traditional work force with their knowledge and experiences. Those unprepared for the change will be surprised.
The corporate world will turn to remote positions to reduce employee costs. Freelancing, especially on goLance, is very transparent. Because of this transparency and the goMeter, productivity increases. No more social gatherings at the water cooler, or extended coffee breaks. When a freelancer is working, they are actually working and their productivity and tasks are being monitored. As the efficiency increases through freelancing, the associated costs for employees will decrease.
The way we produce products, deliver services, and interact with customers will be changed completely. Old industries following the "standard" of "9 to 5" will either have to adapt to the changes or fall short in the evolution of how the world wants to work.
What Careers Can Be Freelanced?
Freelancing has surged into the new standard because of the freedom of time and working remotely. The idea of a steady "work from home" job was a myth for most people until the internet came along. Freelancing has boomed as an industry, and more people are finding ways to use their talents digitally.
The minimum requirements for a job to become a remote position are simply having a computer, phone, and internet access. These three requirements lead to the most commonly known careers in internet freelancing, such as writing, editing, programming, virtual assistants, and designing.
The only other requirements in freelancing are those needed to complete a job. Consider a freelance machinist, tailor, or expert craftsman. What we traditionally view as "brick and mortar" style businesses, or "specialty" stores, can now be scaled on the internet to reach a wider audience through freelancing.
Other freelance careers that can be considered and are centered around time freedom include; any location based service such as photography, modeling, or any labor intensive services such as automotive detailing or automotive repair. Yes, there are freelance auto mechanics that will drive to your home and repair your car, as opposed to having you visit a shop for repairs.
When you consider a traditional labor-intensive career such as machining, and realize that 90% of the manual work has been reduced through computer-aided technology, freelancing becomes a viable option for those that are skilled. CNC technology has grown concurrent with computer technology. Machines are getting smaller, not bigger, and are more affordable. Freelance CAD/CAM designers and programmers are already available. Soon, freelance machinists will be an industry standard. The machinist would only need to review your program, change cutting bits, and move the position of the work piece.
Instead of paying a machine shop with overhead, could you potentially outsource your work to a freelancer? The only thing the freelancer would need is a machine and the raw material. Once a product has been machined to exact tolerances on a CNC mill, he could mail the finished product to you. This would eliminate minimum order amounts and fees associated with traditional machining work.
Automated Technology Impacts Our Future in Freelancing
Automation will reduce the costs of employment, increasing the demand for remote workers and skilled freelancers.
Consider how automation and remote workers have changed the movie rental industry. Instead of rental stores being on the corner of every street in America, movies are streamed online. Automated payments and digital delivery have eliminated the need for storefronts, employees, and massive inventories of movies. Customer support and service for companies that stream movies work in either a consolidated call center, or work remotely from home. This helps in reducing overhead costs for the business.
Consider careers that are manually intensive, how could freelancing become prominent in these industries?
Service industries will become automated with the aid of robotic technology, limiting the skills necessary to perform jobs which required expert experience. The medical industry is already considering fielding robotic equipment to perform surgery. The surgeon works from a remote terminal, which in turn, if he could own it, he could in theory be a freelance surgeon, and not associated with a specific practice or hospital. It is essentially using the best available resources for the current requirements. Imagine if your surgery could be performed on the same day, because a surgeon is available in Australia, when you live in the U.S.
The future includes technology that can be used remotely, expanding the capabilities of the freelance world. Automation replaces the physical presence of humans, and allows for remote-based work.
What Careers Cannot Be Freelanced?
Labor intensive jobs will never be fully freelanced from a remote position. Plumbing, electrical repairs, and on-site maintenance occupations will remain a necessity in their respective industries. They will be grossly limited in the skill levels required to perform certain tasks. Here are some up and coming technologies that will continue to change their industries.
• 3D printing in metal and plastic
• CNC milling machines and lathes
• Human assisted robots for construction
The rise of technology concerning the automation of jobs with the help of computers and robots will inevitably lead to more freelancing careers in the future. An entry level job might be to load a robot with construction supplies and then to simply supervise as the robot begins building. The manager or team lead could be remotely available on Skype, reviewing data from the robots and over-seeing hundreds of job-sites at once.
What will happen to the warehouses filled with inventories of parts? If a freelance plumber could arrive for an appointment, 3D print the parts he needed for your repair, and finish his work all in the same business day, would parts suppliers even be necessary? The amount of time needed to quote, estimate, procure parts, and finally conduct repairs will be greatly diminished. Plumbers would need to still physically be at your house to conduct the repairs, but his restrictions concerning parts acquisition, delays, and other current hassles would be eliminated.
How Can I Freelance My Career?
Among the various questions people have about freelancing, comes the inevitable, "How can I freelance my career?" or "How do I become a freelancer?"
The path to freelancing comes with a very specific skill set or talent that is first desired by the market, and then can be used on the internet or on an as-needed basis. The use of the internet is imperative in today's digital world, but finding ways to digitizing your current career will lead to the answer.
When anyone reaches the level of "expert" in their career, knowledge becomes one of the first resources which can be freelanced in the form of consulting, educating, or advising.
If you are unsure how to freelance your experience as a nurse: there is a way.
Provide value for people that are in search of specific medical information. There are literally hundreds of freelance positions available for nurses including; auditors, case managers, and consultants.
Remember, the goal of becoming a freelancer is to gain the ultimate freedom of time, as well as the control of income. Working remotely may not be entirely possible, but being free from a standard job is the essence of being a freelancer.
There is always the possibility of changing careers to become a freelancer. If you have ever wanted to become a writer, but didn't know how to get started, freelancing is an option. Freelancing allows anyone to take a preview of the career path in the form of working outside of a full-time job. Although it may seem difficult at first, once freelancing becomes a greater demand and pays higher than a full-time, people usually quit their jobs.
To be continued in part 3 of 3