It never occurred to me that anything about my current work situation was different – until I tried to explain it to my dad: “Well, I’m working at Hachette Monday through Thursday 9-5, I do work for Kate White on the commute back and forth, during my lunch break, and on Fridays, and I write for Levo and The Gloss (plus my own blog, for which I don’t pay myself) at nights and on the weekends.” He goes, “Wow, welcome to the new economy.”
The man’s words got me thinking, and he definitely has a valid point. Obviously, my current situation is influenced by the industry I work in. Many people are turning freelance writing into a full-time profession, but for me, it is more of a side job. Nevertheless, I’m confident that this is only the beginning of a much larger trend.
The change seems to start with the mindset that every hour of the day needs to be filled, which begins in high school and continues into college. If you’re not playing three sports, Instruments, have a paid job, volunteer position, and unpaid internship while also singing in the choir, running for president of six different clubs, having an enviable social life on Facebook, and getting perfect grades then you may feel like you’re falling behind.
Having multiple jobs while in college was the norm for me, and it still is after graduation. I like having lots of different projects going on at once, so this isn’t surprising. But could this become
the new normal?
A recent article posted on Twitter, titled “Why 9-5 Won’t Work for Millennials” caught my eye. While I don’t agree with everything the author, Mr. Carter, says, he is correct in noting that careers are becoming increasingly fluid for young professionals. “Temp,” “part-time,” “virtual,” and “freelance” are common responses amid “What are you up to?” conversations with recently graduated friends. The decreasing availability of well-paying jobs and the increasing levels of student debt are making it difficult for many young people to make ends meet. In addition, we’re a generation that’s constantly multitasking and pursuing various interests. Therefore, when you graduate from college, “part-time” is an excellent way to explore different career paths. These days, if done correctly, “freelance” work can earn you more money in fewer hours worked.
Common Sense Millennial’s Chelsea Krost recently tweeted the first piece in a series on “Side Hustle Shuffle,” a topic that is second nature to recent graduates. Between working a 30-hour job and writing/doing freelance social media consulting, I barely have time to sleep, let alone keep up with my blog. It seems like everyone has a blog these days, and personal branding can be quite time-consuming. While having a day job, one friend drives for Uber, another writes short stories, yet another does freelance illustrations and has her own Etsy shop and the last freelances as a copy editor.
Yes, I work four jobs and feel like this is becoming the norm rather than the exception.