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Will the freelance economy disrupt workplace realities as we know them?

The freelance economy is taking over. According to recent reports, solopreneurs and independent consultants are expected to become the workforce majority in the U.S. within 10 years. Similar trajectories can be seen in many other regions of the world as well.

Let’s think about that for a minute – odds are, within 10 years’ time, you’re more likely to be self-employed than not.

The future of work looks radically different for many of us in 2018. The proliferation of gig marketplaces, evolving circumstances for corporations, technical innovation and improved communications make outsourcing and consulting more viable. It’s the way work is headed, and we would do well to prepare ourselves.

But what’s life really like for freelancers? As a whole, are they enjoying their work and building profitable careers? Or are they frustrated that they can’t find more predictably steady work in their fields? Several recent studies show us some surprising things about the burgeoning gig economy.

1. Freelancers are better prepared for the future of work than others

“We are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution — a period of rapid change in work driven by increasing automation,” said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of freelance platform Upwork and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Future of Gender, Education and Work “but we have a unique opportunity to guide the future of work and freelancers will play more of a key role than people realize.”

The professionals who choose to work this way clearly understand that they are in control of their own destinies, for better or for worse. Kasriel believes this makes them “think more proactively about market trends and refresh their skills more often than traditional employees, helping advance our economy.”