This is why 69% of Gen Z are planning to go freelance this year

Flexibility. Work from home. Choose your projects. No wonder 69% of 16 to 26 year olds are planning to go freelance or start a side hustle this year, according to research by Fiverr.

'Generation Z' are young people born between the mid 1990s and the early 2010s. By 2028 they'll make up a quarter of the workforce. This is what's driving their decision to go freelance.

Self-employment feels more stable

Gone are the days where a full-time job was guaranteed. 29% of Gen-Zers surveyed are worried about AI 'stealing' their jobs and employers going under. 12% have already lost jobs and don't want to experience it again.

As a result, 18% think self-employment is a more reliable option than searching for a full-time position. After growing up through a pandemic and repeated recessions, who can blame them?

Financial security is a big motivator

Every generation wants to be comfortable, but Gen Z are particularly motivated - just under a third are worried about the cost of living. 45% of respondents want their career to give them financial security and 18% are actively aiming to retire early. However...

...they're also motivated by work-life balance and greater purpose

Money isn't everything for Gen Z. According to research by UCAS, this generation is searching for meaning in their career and want to build foundations for good mental health and wellbeing. One American survey shows 88% of surveyed freelancers are experiencing better mental health since leaving full-time employment.

A university degree isn't mandatory

Skills and experience make freelancers desirable, not a university degree. According to one recent study, only 51% of Gen Z-ers are interested in pursuing a university degree, which has fallen by 20% since 2020.

Only 35% of those surveyed believed a university degree was essential for career success - 36% believe they can achieve a successful and fulfilling career without any formal qualifications.

Research is showing that Gen Z care more about career outcomes than the ranking or prestige of the university they choose. The high cost of study is making many young people want to learn on the job.

Flexibility is vital

12% want to freelance throughout their working life, partly for the ability to travel and work from anywhere. 1 in 4 surveyed freelancers plan to go freelance because they can choose their own hours.

Companies also appreciate this flexible attitude. A 2023 survey by Upwork found that hiring managers believe Generation Z is more open-minded to different ways of working.

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