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Agile Talent
7 minute read

Economist’s Outlook: The Personal Finance of Career Independence

对于许多高技能工人来说, the benefits of going freelance may outweigh the risks—especially right now. PT视讯的首席经济学家解释了其中的原因, and reveals what he wishes he’d known when he stepped out on his own.

For too long, 在许多西方工人看来,职业独立是一个难以实现的梦想——一个在朦胧风险的枷锁之外的梦想. But this outdated collective view of the economic landscape is on par with medieval maps that warned 险恶的怪物潜伏在未知的边界之外, 在“自由职业者”还只是字面意思的时候 lance-bearing雇佣兵.

做自由职业者通常被认为比实际风险更大, and the traditional full-time career path often gets more credit than it deserves. Especially in this moment, 当熟练工人需求量很大,各种规模的公司都越来越依赖独立人才的时候.

我自己的职业独立之路始于2008年, 当我看到数以百计的金融风险经理同行,以及其他许多看似拥有强大而安全的职业的人失去了他们的家园, jobs, 投资于 次级抵押贷款危机. Meanwhile, the independent, entrepreneurial people I knew were much more agile and prepared to weather the global economic shakeup.

“风险/回报”是一个错误的二分法. 只有变化, 这种改变可能会带来风险,也可能带来回报 这取决于你如何定位自己.

Crises shatter illusions and force you to decide what you really want and who you really are. The Great Recession 让我决定不再尝试控制风险,而是选择职业独立,从不确定性和变化中获益. 很明显,在COVID-19大流行之后, 现在,许多人发现自己正处于类似的十字路口.

A line graph of US Labor Department data shows sharp declines after earlier recessions, 但从2020年开始急剧增长.

While professional independence involves more than financial considerations, 了解真正的经济影响和可能性有助于确保这一改变人生的决定的最佳方法. 以下是一个整体的观点,通过这些关键的方式,你的生活经济可以构造性地改变,当你走出去自己, based on what I have discovered on my own nine-year freelance journey.

Related: The Ultimate Freelance Guide—How to Start and Manage a Freelance Business

The Income Risks of Career Independence Are More Perceived Than Real

虽然很多人喜欢做自由职业者, 他们首先担心的几乎总是离开一份全职工作时失去一份有保障的收入, and the uncertainty of seeking out clients and building a customer base.

In truth, 与拥有一份全职工作相比,自由职业的收入风险更明显,而不是更大. 独立承包商的收入可能会波动, 但收入突然降为零的风险要小得多——就像一个全职员工意外被解雇时那样.

On a grid of gradual to abrupt income loss potential and visibility of income risk, 自由职业是渐进的,可见的, 而一份全职工作是突然的和隐蔽的.

Freelancers are also able to directly influence their own income flows by networking, upskilling, 寻找更多的客户. While similar efforts may help increase the chance of promotion within a traditional career, 员工几乎没有直接的控制, since advancement often falls within the context of a rigid structure of merit increases, budgets, and office politics.


作为一名经济学家和风险经理在纽约工作, I was, ironically, rather detached from my own financial circumstances and possibilities. 我经历了储蓄和投资的过程,但对自己的目标和更好地实现它们的方法没有更深刻的认识. My finances simply existed in the background of my day-to-day life.

当我独立的时候, my mentality shifted profoundly: I was now the only one responsible for my finances, 一开始让人畏缩,但后来彻底解放了. I paid attention to my own wealth creation in a way I never had before, which led to ideas for projects and multiple income streams that I had previously overlooked.

想想一个金融投资组合. 最好的是多样化的, with different asset classes offering varying degrees of risk/reward and income versus growth. 职业独立让你可以用同样的策略来投资你最宝贵的投资——你的时间. 当你控制你的收入和时间表, 你可以选择将你的专业知识和创造力应用到一个可以极大提高你收入潜力的项目上:写一本书, founding a company, inventing a product, or establishing an online presence to share your knowledge with a global audience.

Full-time, traditional careers can condemn such projects to perpetual underinvestment in time, while independence allows for strategically balancing monthly income with real progress on long-term, 大规模的事业. Many of the world’s most sophisticated investment firms invest a portion of their capital in low-risk, income-generating assets to support their more aggressive bets; financial managers know that some of the big bets will pay off eventually.

Contingent Staffing Networks Can Provide a Near-instant Client Base

当我成为自由职业者的时候, 我想,要想扩大我的客户名单,最快、最赚钱的方法就是给我在纽约金融界的前熟人打电话,从那里建立我的基础. 他们财力雄厚,肯定会把生意交给我.

但我很快发现,这里有一个完整的全球网络,可以让我接触到现成的客户基础:应急人力资源行业. There were three key reasons I decided it would be more economically sound from a long-term, risk-adjusted standpoint to sign with a freelance talent platform. First, 它会让我专注于我喜欢的工作,而不用担心所有必要的罪恶, 如法定合同和应收账款.

Second, I knew that being part of a global network would also provide more diversity of clients across geography, industry, and technologies, 哪个对学习有益, networking, and risk management. 自从我加入PT视讯成为 自由金融专家 in 2017, I have helped companies build healthtech products to fight leading causes of death, 创造普惠金融的金融科技产品, build platforms for more sustainable and authentic adventure tourism, 利用人工智能实现工业物联网, and much, much more.

Finally, 我希望加入一个人才网络,可以提供一个由同样有雄心和才华的人组成的社区,我可以与他们合作. 我是对的:最近,我和我的一位网络伙伴在一个主要的CIO会议上共同发表了关于网络安全问题的演讲. 我们生活在地球的两端,有着可以想象得到的最不同的背景和生活故事, 但是网络允许即时连接和信任. 我从我们的合作中学到了无价之宝.

Related: 申请加入PT视讯自由职业者网络

Career Independence Reduces Cost of Living While Increasing Quality of Life

远程自由职业者可以让你战略性地考虑你住在哪里——无论是在经济方面还是生活质量方面. 如果我不受高额投资回报的诱惑,我就不会与人共同创立一家风险投资基金. 对我也一样重要, however, 成为世界公民了吗, which has allowed me to reduce my cost of living while increasing my quality of life.

我在南美建立了第二个家,让我可以在一个我已经爱上的地方度过一年中的大部分时间. The cost of living here is a fraction of what it is in New York City. 我的日常开支更低了, 我可以获得特殊的、负担得起的医疗保险, 甚至偶尔还会有税收优惠.

Unsurprisingly, 在设计与你真正共鸣的生活时,压力的减少和幸福感的增强也会影响工作效率. If I’d had a brain scan before beginning this international journey and compared it to one today, I would almost certainly see the effects of prolonged immersion in another culture and language. 双语对大脑健康的好处是众所周知的, 包括释放更多的创造力和 guarding against 阿尔茨海默病.

我认识的最成功的人对待他们的地域或国家的“投资组合”,就像对待他们的金融投资组合一样认真. 他们这样做往往是出于经济之外的原因, such as establishing ties with their ancestral homeland or satisfying their wanderlust. But these factors always seem to exist in a reinforcing cycle with economics.


Thanks to the accelerating adoption of open talent by companies around the world, demand for skilled freelancers is at an all-time high—and rising.

2019年,近三分之二的高管 SAP Fieldglass 报告称,应急人员对于满负荷运转和满足市场需求至关重要或极其重要. 最近的一次是2021年 survey 通过发展Sourceright, 总部位于阿姆斯特丹的全球人才招聘咨询公司, found that 56% of human resources and C-suite executives say they plan to shift more roles to freelance, project, 或者在未来承包工作.

A graphic displaying predictions about the demand for independent workers shows that 71% of hiring managers plan to sustain or increase their use of freelancers by mid-2022; 77% of C-suite and HR executives believe freelancers will substantially replace FTEs by 2025; and some experts predict that 80% of the workforce could be composed of contingent workers by 2030.

即使很多工人都是自由职业者, there is more than enough work to go around—especially in high-demand areas such as software engineering, cybersecurity, project management, design, finance, and healthcare.


我自己从不同角度管理极端风险/回报环境的15年经验,使我得出结论,即使是“风险/回报”这个短语也呈现出一个错误的二分法. 只有变化, 这种改变可能会带来风险,也可能带来回报, 这取决于你如何定位自己.

We live in a rapidly changing world in terms of both markets and technology, 在这种情况下, 一种更稳定的工作方式正变得越来越危险. Risk is unavoidable in today’s technological and economic landscapes, and the question is: What type of risk are you willing to accept?

一开始,独立带来的风险可能让人感觉不舒服,而这种转变需要付出大量的努力. 但这总比在如此多变化的环境中保持静止和舒适的风险要好得多. You have everything to gain and only your commute and cubicle to lose. 全世界的工人们,解放你们自己吧.