First use of the term Highlancer

A search I did on Highlancers netted the below article which I found inspirational and relevant, and I hereby give the credit to the authors Brooke Borgen and Griffen O’Shaughnessy  the founders and co-presidents of Canopy Advisory Group  who have done a great job: 

So we at the Highlancers project aren’t inventing the word, but we are intending to refine it and put any needed twists on it to make it more competitive with the mega agency business model.

Below is a long excerpt from above article after I took the liberty of editing it (my words in italic) so it is generalized and applicable to anyone who is not getting a fair deal in today’s inefficient job marketplace.

Enter the “Highlancer.”

The term refers to a new breed of freelancer. Highlancers are highly qualified individuals, having typically attended prestigious undergraduate and graduate schools. They have also been big-firm trained, but, experience in the corporate world has left them feeling disillusioned and dissatisfied.

Acting as independent consultants, highlancers have ownership over their careers.  This particular aspect is appealing to high-achieving people who crave challenging assignments, meaningful work, as well as flexibility and freedom to balance family life and personal interests.

Highlancing offers people a true “third-way, ” allowing them to contribute a second income and meaningful work without giving up the freedom to devote time to family and personal investment. It is also a promising alternative solution for those suffering from long stretches of unemployment due to the inefficiencies of the current recruitment/employment system. 

And, the business community has taken notice.  With flourishing startup communities and a growing need for project-based work, hiring highlancers has increasingly become a profitable relationship and a formidable business strategy.  A massive 76 percent of respondents told oDesk that their use of contractors was a long-term strategy.  More than 80 percent of those surveyed either agreed or strongly agreed that remote hiring increases competitiveness and that the practice will soon be common.

Businesses are popping up around the nation to support this freelance workforce.  Brick-and-mortar buildings, such as the fast-growing $10 billion WeWork network with several Denver locations, provide collaborative work spaces to “make a life, not just a living.”

Other new innovative firms are also emerging, such as Canopy Advisory Group (a *tiny* plug), which support highlancers by connecting them with clients, thereby alleviating the stress of doing business development and slugging through mundane back office tasks such as invoicing and client contracts.

Clients who seek on-demand resources may need extra hands, but they’re looking for the right ones.  For Brian Abrams, the board chair for the Presidential Scholars Foundation, brining on a high-level consultant to do mission-critical work without the FTE status was a godsend.

“Not only has she changed the organization, she has changed my life – now I only have to spend one hour a week meeting with her instead of the treadmill that I had been on,” Abrams said.

Are highlancers only women?  Only moms?  Of course not.  Highlancing is a choice, not a demographic, that certainly provides margin for raising your own children, but also, in our experience, caring for an elderly or ill parent, nurturing relationships, pursuing hobbies and interests that make you a more complete person (and even a more passionate professional), and any number of deficient areas.

This community of highlancers is a meaningful addition to the workforce who predominantly still believe this country needs to continue making changes to achieve gender equality in the workplace.  But, this is not a generation that sits idly waiting for change.  Highlancers are already carving their own paths to success and not looking back, a path that doesn’t end in the corner office.

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