Being a freelancer has never been easy. But freelancing as a blockchain developer throws all the web2 rules out the window and Freeflow is enabling that, here is how.
The project-based landscape continues to grow, with or without a pandemic-fueled “Great Resignation”. In a 2020 report, 59 million Americans were estimated to have freelanced in the past year (1) and there are no signs of that number slowing. Small to medium-sized companies are the usual suspects to hire contract or freelance employees, mostly benefiting from the ability to scale up or down their teams quickly without having to deal with the bureaucracy of a full-time hire. And large companies hire them as well for short-term initiative-based projects.
Yet, as a freelance worker in the web2 ecosystem, the options to find roles that are aligned with your career goals are limited. You are competing with a world of talent that can afford to have lower rates, on a number of platforms that prioritize the client's needs- leading to the inevitable race to the bottom. Being overqualified and underpaid is a narrative all too familiar to the freelance community (speaking from experience as a print and UI/UX designer).
Now how does web3 affect this? Well, the change lies in a few places:
💰 Compensation: Blockchain talent can be compensated with cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, tokens/NFTs, or even project equity. The method of payment can vary from project to project and there is no more bank-related red tape. Also, every transaction is on-chain so it is permanent, traceable, and transparent.
👯♂️ Locus of Power: Where web2 has a central figure and a chain of command, web3 has distributed power. You are an equal member of the team. If you are being compensated with a percentage of mint or equity in the project, your success is directly correlated to the success of the project.
🙋🏻 Client Types: Due to the nature of web3 work being remote and asynchronous, clients are global and can come in all shapes and sizes. And because there is a more level playing field in the web3 builder space, individual creators have the financial capacity to compensate talent well just like small/medium/large companies.
🗣 Communication Methods: Job interviews are more of a dialogue (and often happen on Discord). While the client may be interviewing you, you are also interviewing them to ensure that you will find them a good fit for your career goals (especially if you are taking equity in the project as compensation). Let’s not forget, blockchain talent often remains anonymous. So it is not uncommon for all communication to be entirely text-based.
🏆 Meritocracy and the Job Hunt: When applying for a traditional job your identity is a big part of your application (whether we like that or not). Things like a university, a grade point average, and even a home address can shift your odds of landing a gig. This is not the case with blockchain work. Your merit, your ability to learn, and examples of previous work is often the only data point that is involved in a decision to hire. Also, job searching is not like it used to be. Folks are not sharing their resumes out into the abyss anymore or applying with an extremely low hourly rate after spending days on end organizing your perfect portfolio site. How to find blockchain developer roles is through communities you trust, and testimonials to your excellent work can replace a resume.
🚀 Early Adopters: Lastly, you are building the future! Blockchain freelance developers get to be on the ground floor of an emerging technology that promises to change the way we interact with SO many parts of our known world.
Now that we have experienced freelancing in the web2 space, we can appreciate the shifts that occur when moving into the web3 space. But who is making these shifts possible? What factors are encouraging skilled workers to take up contract work in the blockchain sector, and what factors are making these positions available to blockchain developers? Services like Freeflow are the answer.
Freeflow helps talented blockchain developers connect with crypto projects quickly and securely. Currently functioning on Discord and fortified with bots, the platform acts as a medium of trust between the projects and developers. It provides payment solutions (that are ever-evolving) and project security for the developers in the network. Let’s take that list from earlier, the one with how web3 is revolutionizing freelancing for blockchain talent, and point out where the company shines:
💰 Compensation: Freelance web3 developers deserve the ability to get compensated when they please, and in the currency they prefer. So, if a developer prefers to work for a percentage of mint, upfront payment, or maybe a milestone-based payment schedule, the marketplace will help facilitate it so it can be done securely and to their exact wishes.
👯♂️ Locus of Power: The service makes the connections between a client and a developer and helps create work agreements, but the completion of the work itself is up to the developer! The platform's mission is always to lift up the talent in its network, not be a burdening middleman or manager.
🙋🏻 Client Types: The service has a number of partnerships with prominent figures in the web3 industry including; HashLips, H.E.R. DAO, CryptoDevs, CryptoDevHub, PolygonHub, and more. If a web3 developer has a specific project type they are interested in working on, tell an admin and they will find the perfect role!
🗣 Communication Methods: Because the service currently operates on Discord, connecting with a client to discuss job details can take minutes (seconds even!). Also, all roles are async and remote, so no developer has to sacrifice the project of their dreams because of a timezone difference.
🏆 Meritocracy and Job Searching: Finding top blockchain developers can be difficult, but the company vets all talent on the platform. This vetting recruits clients that are serious about their projects and are looking for only the most trusted web3 developers. And thankfully, talent can kiss goodbye to the implicit biases of traditional job applications that may have prevented them from landing a role in the first place. The platform embraces digital identities, while still holding onto the legally compliant practices of KYC, to ensure safety for all parties in a work agreement. As for the dreaded job search, the platform does that legwork as well! Consistently sharing available roles, developers can pick and choose which suits them without the constant fear of a race-to-the-bottom style competition.
🚀 As more and more talent moves into the world of freelancing, web3 will continue to revolutionize project-based work and put power and autonomy back into the hands of the talent. Freeflow is already enabling this shift.
The Great Resignation Didn't Start With the Pandemic [Harvard Business Review] https://hbr.org/2022/03/the-great-resignation-didnt-start-with-the-pandemic
Number of Freelancers in the US 2022/2023: Demographics, Platforms, and Trends [Finances Online - Reviews for Business] https://financesonline.com/number-of-freelancers-in-the-us/#:~:text=In%20a%202020%20report%2C%20an,part%20of%20the%20American%20workforce
ACTIVELY ADDRESSING UNCONSCIOUS BIAS IN RECRUITING [Harvard School of Business] https://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/insights-and-advice/blog/post/actively-addressing-unconscious-bias-in-recruiting
Check out some of our other content on all things blockchain development, and project-based work.