Why Millennials Are Increasingly Choosing Self-Employment

woman working from home

It's become pretty commonplace to roll our eyes at even simply hearing the term millennial. After all, they're associated with their own shade of pink (a hue that existed before, by the way), entitlement, and the rise of abbreviated slang like AF. There also seems to be a mystery surrounding who actually falls into the millennial category. While it really encompasses the generation born between 1980 and 1996, society seems to equate millennial with pretty much any young person they deem lazy. It's unfair and it's untrue. Sure, there's typically a bad apple in every bunch, but to criticize an entire generation under one stereotype doesn't say much about the rest of us, does it?

Still millennials don't seem bothered by the negative connotations associated with their crew, and they're forging ahead with their own ideas on life and career. Namely, this generation is embracing the work-from-home lifestyle more than any before them. Brit+Co brought some interesting research to our attention about millennials and the way in which they're approaching work (because, yes, they do need to make money, too).

The stats come from accounting software company FreshBooks and Research Now in the form of their second annual Self-Employed Report. They note that nearly half of the 27 million people who will choose to work for themselves in the next two years will be those who fall under the millennial generation. They also foresee their being 42 million people in the US who are independent contractors by 2020. That's a lot of folks.

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The appeal of working for one's self seems obvious -- autonomy in the workplace and the ability to pursue projects that are not only most appealing, but that also allow a person to essentially make their own schedule. But if the reasons are so clear, then why haven't previous generations made a similar leap?

Perhaps this is simply a generation of risk-takers, or astute young people who see the office landscape changing to include more remote opportunities. Either way, the research pinpoints three key reasons why millennials are bring their work home permanently and those include career control, work/life balance, and personal satisfaction. With the ability to choose how and and when they work, those who are self-employed also have the opportunity to dictate when and how often they take vacations, or even start a family. It's no longer necessary to log strict 9-to-5 (or let's face it, much longer) hours when you can set your own schedule. If the work gets done and done well, does it really matter how or when?

So the next time you consider mocking this seemingly "lazy" generation, maybe we can pick up a few cues from them first.

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