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GuestAug 12, 20225 min read

The Recession and What That Means for The Workforce and Freelance Market

The headlines have been worrying lately. Once considered unusual, rescinded job offers are happening in multiple industries. Hiring freezes are becoming the norm in tech and beyond. Paired with economic turmoil, you might be nervously asking yourself, are we already in a recession? And what does the recession mean for my freelance workload? 

While the economy seems to be a shaky subject at the moment, you can breathe a sigh of relief as a freelance worker. On-demand talent actually has the upper hand in a recession compared to full-time employees. All it takes is a little planning and strategy. Read on to discover how you can prepare for a recession and strategize your workload.



The Myth of the Financially Fraught Freelancer

Chances are, you weren’t always a freelancer. Maybe you had worked a full-time job before you took the leap. You likely heard a lot of well-meaning but ultimately back-handed comments from the people around you about your new on-demand status. Like the infamous, “can you really support yourself on a freelancer salary?” The answer is...yes! You’ve proven it. And so does the research. When the median salary for on-demand professionals is $70,000 a year with 3 years of experience, freelancers have financial gains to look forward to. 

It can feel scary if you’ve lost work due to the pandemic or the impending recession. You might feel like you’re on shaky ground. Yet, furloughs, layoffs, and reduced hours are real possibilities for full-time workers in this economic environment. As an on-demand worker, you don’t face these same struggles. Your flexibility is your greatest asset. One project might be cut during a recession. But three other higher-paying jobs will easily open.



The broke freelance talent trope is not only tired, but it also isn’t true. Believe it or not, you’re actually in better shape for a potential recession than the typical full-time employee. The main thing that needs to change is your mindset. A recession calls for you to me to become a fearless freelancer. In reality, it’s easier to find new projects if one ends during an economic downturn. Finding a full-time job is much harder. As on-demand talent, your options are flexible and open. 

Understand that recessions happen. But they also end. You could use this potential economic recession as an excuse to panic and feel down about your skill set. Or you could use the economic downturn to level up your freelancing strategy and thrive. Consider the following pros of being a freelancer during a recession. 


5 Pros of the Freelancer Lifestyle in a Recession


  • Flexibility 

The quest for flexibility is a popular one, with many full-time employees quitting their jobs to pursue a new one with a remote or hybrid work model. As a freelancer, you’re likely often or totally remote, allowing you to be flexible with your schedule, projects, and downtime. You’re not alone if this is your favourite reason to be a freelancer, as 71% of freelancers opt for their lifestyle because it allows so much flexibility. 

As the economy experiences more turbulence, your flexibility will be your greatest asset in diversifying your income sources. Try out different types of long-term and short-term work to ensure you remain financially stable. 



  • Showcase your Skills

With full-time work, proving yourself usually happens at a performance evaluation or interview. Sometimes full-time workers can struggle to identify what concrete accomplishments they’ve added to their team. On-demand talent can and always should update their portfolios with their most recent work and its impact. 

Massive skill gaps are hindering growth in corporations, with as many as 3 out of 4 companies experiencing them. Your portfolio allows employers to instantly understand what skills you can bring to their company. Bonus tip: now would also be a good time to finetune your skills with an online course. 



  • Joining an On-demand Hiring Platform

During a recession, you’ll want to supplement your income sources as much as possible. Wouldn’t it be great if companies looking for freelancers could come to you? Hiring websites can do that! Hiring platforms take out the pain of getting a gig with arduous staffing agencies. Connect directly with companies looking to hire skilled on-demand talent (like yourself) with transparency and ease.

Whether you’re a seasoned on-demand professional or new to the game, Oomple will help you find on-demand opportunities to help you thrive professionally during a recession. Pick up extra projects and make meaningful connections with companies in need of your skill set. Book a call with one of our Account Managers to learn more.  


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  • Expertise

If you’re a seasoned freelancer, you’ve likely chosen your niche. Whether it’s SEO backlinks or agile project management, you’re used to pitching your specialized skill to clients. Having a niche and a unique selling point is essential during a recession. By becoming an expert and catering to your ideal audience, you set yourself miles apart from the competition. Keep building that specialized skill, and there won’t be any more competition!

Full-time workers with more generalized skill sets don’t have this attractive asset as freelancers do. Use it to your advantage when finding new projects. And if you don’t have a defined USP and niche, it’s time to start brainstorming how you’ll approach them. 



  • Appeal To Company’s Needs

When you think about it from a company’s perspective, on-demand professionals are truly their greatest asset. Cost-cutting measures in a recession mean companies will look towards you to fill in their gaps now more than ever. Many companies believe freelancing is the future of work and want to hire you! Up to 80% of companies plan to hire more freelance workers in the next few years. 

Your expertise in project management, for example, is needed for 15 hours a week. You get paid an attractive rate, yet companies save on paying benefits and a salary. Get a few good projects going with companies and set yourself up for incredible financial gains, even during a recession. 


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