Do Millennials Really Choose To Freelance?

Industry |

On Twitter, someone responds to the piece by Fast Company by saying that saying millennials are deciding to Freelance is just a euphemism, avoiding the fact that they are being forced into job insecurity.

Twitter users are shedding an article which is accompanied by a tweet, which claims that millenials, who are the largest sector of the population of the workforce of America, are progressively deciding to go into freelancing.

Working for one’s self used to be the definition of the American dream–and, apparently, it still is. This article, titled “We studied freelancing for five years: Here’s how work is changing,” was first published by Fast Company in October, and it was tweeted about on Wednesday.

The article was written by Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, which happens to be the largest website for freelancing which enables business get in contact with skilled freelancers so they can get more done.

Kasriel talks about a report that was commissioned by the Freelancers Union and his own organization, titled “Freelancing in America, 2018.” The study surveyed more than 6,000 workers in the U.S. and it indicates that millennials are deciding to freelance due to technology, flexibility and quality of life.

But there is a very important demographic that it completely avoids discussing: freelancers who do not actually want to be freelancers. Several reporters and writers are freelancers because it’s their only option after being laid off from their actual jobs.

They choose to freelance so that they can continue to work in their chosen field, but it is usually difficult to earn a living when they do not have connections or aren’t well-known in the industry.


To give you a better picture of how common it is to get laid off in the media industry, according to Pew Research, about a third of large newspapers in the US have suffered layoffs since 2017.

And in the past 6 months, we have seen layoffs at The Outline, the New York Daily News, Refinery29, CNN Digital, Vocatic, Buzzfeed, Hearst and Vice, while the employee population of publications like Mic have been completely wiped out.

Shea Serrano, speaking as a freelance author and writer tweeted that only people who do not actually have to freelance can romanticize freelancing because it is actually extremely difficult and exhausting most of the time.

As expected, the piece sparked intense reactions from media worker, including the freelancers themselves:

They are not deciding to freelance. If you’re paying a vast majority of them less than 40-50k a year with no health insurance, what else are they supposed to do? The safety net is nowhere to be found and millennials are being exploited on a daily basis.