Freelancer News

How Gen Z is Redefining the Traditional Career Path: Insights from Fiverr’s Second Annual Gen Z Research Study

Fiverr Team
February 28, 2024

In the ever-changing job market of today, where layoffs and technological advancements loom large, Generation Z is redefining traditional notions of job security and professional development. 

The latest findings from Fiverr’s second annual research study shed light on the shifting preferences and attitudes of the newest members of the workforce, ultimately highlighting a growing Gen Z perception of freelancing as a means of achieving stability and autonomy in their professional lives.

According to the study, conducted in partnership with Censuswide and encompassing 10,000 Gen Z respondents globally (including 5,000 from the United States) freelancing is emerging as an increasingly attractive career path for Gen Zers in 2024 and beyond. In fact, a staggering 70% of Gen-Zers worldwide are already actively freelancing or express intentions to do so in the future.

Additional key themes from the global data include: 

Freelancing is becoming a more attractive career path for Gen-Zers for 2024 and beyond. 

  • Almost 70% of total Gen Z respondents are actively freelancing or plan to do so in the future. 
  • Nearly 40% of Gen Z freelancers are currently or willing to work full-time while 30% in a part-time capacity.
  • 12% of Gen Z freelancers work in-between jobs or to build experience and skills.

Comfort and financial security remain the top priority for Gen-Zers.

  • 44% of global Gen Z respondents desire to be financially comfortable as part of their larger career ambition; nearly 20% want to retire early. 
  • A quarter of Gen-Zers want to own their own business while 14% want to freelance for their entire careers. 
  • Nearly 30% of respondents want to travel for work and work from wherever they want. 

Among Gen Z respondents in the U.S., specifically, data showed:

More Gen-Zers are pursuing stability through freelancing following a string of corporate layoffs.

  • 38% of U.S. respondents believe that freelancing full-time gives them the power of never getting laid off and almost 36% of Gen-Zers see freelancing as a good back-up option if they were to lose their job. 
  • Over 70% of U.S. Gen Z responders are thinking more about freelancing compared to last year. 
  • 10% of respondents said they were let go and another 14% said they’re afraid to
  • Nearly 25% of Gen Z respondents now believe that freelancing is more stable than a traditional full-time job.
  • Almost ⅕ (18%) of Gen Z responders think being a freelancers make them less likely to be replaced by AI, thus immune to AI displacement.

US Gen-Zers are continuing to prioritize autonomy and flexibility in their professional careers and work life.  

  • Similarly, nearly 20% of Gen-Zers believe that companies have no loyalty to employees anymore. As a result, almost 70% of U.S. freelancers started freelancing between 16 and 20 years old. 
  • 20% say they work to live, and don’t “live to work”, 3% more compared to last year.
  • 29% of US Gen-Zers want full control over return-to-office policies while 28% prefer a hybrid work environment and ¼ want to own their own business.

After starting their careers amidst a global pandemic and the unprecedented rise of AI, Gen Z is finally taking matters into their own hands. The findings not only cast a spotlight on a generation that not only embraces freelancing but sees it as an opportunity to remain free, fulfilled, and resilient during the uncertain times of today and the future. 

Now, Gen Z stands poised not just to navigate, but to revolutionize the future of work for the better.

Fiverr Team
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