Generational shifts have always influenced the workforce, but recent data suggests that Gen Z and young Millennials are redefining the very essence of employment.
According to a recent article published by ZDNet, a staggering 64% of Americans under the age of 35 are either already freelancing or have plans to do so in the future. Likewise, 31% of adults over the age of 35 have similar aspirations.
This data stems from the “Unconventional Jobs Survey” published by Collective, which reveals that Gen Z and young Millennials in the U.S. are twice as likely to engage in freelance work or expect to, in comparison to their older counterparts.
The rise of the gig economy over the past two decades has made a major impact on how younger generations perceive work. For many in this younger demographic, career success is no longer defined by traditional metrics.
According to ZDNet, “making it” for Gen Z and young Millennials means never having to work more than 40 hours a week while still earning enough to support their desired lifestyle. This is a stark departure from the reported 44% of Americans over the age of 35 who consider “making it” as having enough money for retirement.
The data also reveals that 59% of U.S. adults under the age of 35 have a backup plan in case of layoffs — a figure that stands in contrast to the 30% of older Americans who have made similar preparations.
Additionally, younger adults are more inclined to save for potential layoffs and often have side hustles that could evolve into full-fledged careers. This proactive approach to career planning is reportedly paying off. Collective’s survey data indicates that 88% of current freelancers have also seen improvements in their mental health since transitioning from traditional employment.
The younger generation’s pursuit of career independence is not just a fleeting trend. With a vast array of digital tools and technology at their disposal, and a redefined sense of what it means to succeed, young professionals are helping to pave the way towards a future where freelancing might just become the norm.