Get. Stuff. Done.
Get. Stuff. Done.
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I've been contemplating this since Freelancers Union (in cooperation with Elance-oDesk) came out last fall with "Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce". This survey estimated that one-third of the population may engage in at least some freelancing activities - and that we're not an insignificant contributor to the economy as a whole.
Former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich believes that the 'flexible economy' or 'gig economy' or 'share economy' (whichever term you prefer) is putting each of us in an unsustainable death spiral back to an almost feudal state, because we operate in a variable cost sphere while existing in a fixed cost world. While the latter part of that statement is true, I disagree with the good professor as to the return to 19th Century sweatshop conditions.
For one thing, both Professor Reich and the recently-released GAO/BLS survey (http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/669766.pdf) seem not to know who to - and who to not - classify in this group. The GAO survey, for example, doesn't appear to know how to count us - but they're pretty sure we're somewhere between 5 and 33% of the workforce. That's a big spread. They also think we're under-educated and impoverished as a class.
As I mentioned, I've been mulling it over and looking at historical parallels. The one thing I've noticed has succeeded repeatedly is members of a community turning to "their own" FIRST and outward only when necessary. In other words, need your dishwasher fixed? Find someone reputable via Task Rabbit (or similar). New website? Look for a techie freelancer. Need an instant group of people to staff a one-time phone bank campaign? Look to a customer service VA, maybe.
To do that, we have to know who's out there and what it is that they do. I haven't been able to find any free-to-the-community directories - which kind of defeats the whole "it takes a village" thing. That's why I'm starting a directory.
I've created a Google Form to collect the data. It's not much, but it's a beginning! If you'd like to be included, please add your data to the list. And you're welcome to share the link with friends and colleagues.
- SingerSCPM.comMgmt Consulting & Project Mgmt, present
Extensive experience with 501(c)(3), (4), (5) and (6) organizations in paid and volunteer capacities. Serves on and with boards of directors, with executive management, conducts pro bono consultations for Taproot Foundation and volunteer management for a state-level chapter of a national organization.
- SDSU and Stanford
- San Diego State University
- Stanford University
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