Australians are getting tired of the nine-to-five grind.
Work-from-home policies are great – but for some, it hasn’t been enough. Australians want more control of how they work, as well as when and where they do it.
As a result, the workforce is shifting. The trend of employees leaving full time employment to dip their toes into the gig economy, where they take on project-based work and dictate their own hours, is growing locally and internationally.
And online marketplace platforms are playing a major role in driving this trend towards the gig economy.
As it stands, there are more than 600,000 freelancers registered in Australia on Freelancer.com, earning money from skill-sets ranging from project management or marketing to web development.
But the most in demand skills vary considerably depending on which city you’re in.
According to Freelancer.com data, exclusively obtained by Yahoo Finance, these are the services and jobs most in demand for those freelancers living in Sydney, the nation’s biggest city by both population and economy.
If you’re a nifty wordsmith, your services are most highly sought after in the economic powerhouse cities of Sydney and Melbourne in particular.
Smaller capital cities such as Brisbane and Adelaide tend to demand more creative services such as graphic design, logo design, and photoshopping.
The average job value among the top five per cent of freelancers offering article writing services is $417.96, according to Freelancer.com data obtained by Yahoo Finance.
The skills of the new workforce
Successful members of the gig economy will do well if they have certain skill-sets under their belts. One of them includes communication skills, according to managing director of SEEK Australia and New Zealand Kendra Banks.
“Transferable skills typically fall within communications, leadership, interpersonal, organisational, people, problem-solving, sales and marketing, time management and creative areas, which candidates will often have developed proficiencies in during the career,” she told Yahoo Finance.
“Communications skills are a key skill set within any role and encompass abilities such as listening, writing and face-to-face communication.”
Sydney and Melbourne represent Australia’s two biggest economic cities, and together are responsible for more than two thirds (68.8 percent) of the national Australian GDP.
Sydney’s biggest industry is the financial sector, accounting for just over 15 per cent of the city’s economy. It’s followed by the professional services sector, at just under 10 per cent.
The same two sectors are also Melbourne’s largest two industries, although to a lesser degree than Sydney. Construction and healthcare are the third and fourth largest sectors (approximately 7.5 per cent and 7 per cent) accounting for the city commonly referred to as the ‘Europe of Australia’. But communication skills will be needed across the board, Banks indicated.
“For writing skills specifically, all industries need candidates who can write reports, blogs, sales materials, articles and other documents.”
Freelancers fill a gap
What with the automation of jobs and the rise of artificial intelligence, workers are realising that there’s an advantage to being a specialist. At the same time, businesses are leaning on a ‘contingent workforce’ to fill skills gaps that open up, and are heading to freelancing platforms to source talent.
Companies are using freelance platforms to “crowdsource solutions to tricky technical problems as it provides the organisation with a broad pool of specialised skills to draw upon,” said Freelancer.com’s director of communications Leon Spencer.
According to him, being able to find and hire skilled specialists for project-based work at the drop of a hat is what the workforce of tomorrow will look like.
Long, long gone are the days where you would stake your career in one company alone. People are valuing the experience that different workplaces can offer their career and often hop around as a result.
Online marketplaces also means that people can find work anywhere in the world, opening them up to employment opportunities wherever they are irrespective of economic conditions in their home country.
“They’re starting to work in a more contingent way,” Spencer said.
In a series of stories for The New Investors, we look at the most in-demand jobs in the gig economy in each Australian city, who are the biggest earners and how you can upskill for the future of work.
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