Upwork’s #UpNext23 Campaign: Inspiring Gen Z to Embrace Freelancing

The future of work is evolving, and Gen Z is at the forefront of this transformation. With a focus on passion and making a positive impact, this young generation is embracing freelance work as a key component of their professional lives. Upwork, the leading freelancing platform, recognizes this shift and has launched the #UpNext23 campaign to inspire, support, and guide Gen Z as they embark on their professional journey.

The Rise of Freelancing Among Gen Z

According to Upwork’s research, 43% of all Gen Z individuals engaged in freelancing in 2022. This statistic highlights the significant role that freelance work plays in shaping the lives of this young generation. Looking ahead, 65% of Gen Z individuals plan to utilize more freelancers in the next five years, showcasing their increasing reliance on this flexible and independent work style.

Embracing Remote Work

In addition to freelancing, Gen Z is leading the way in embracing remote work. A whopping 90% of Gen Z individuals view remote work as a vital factor in attracting talent. This shift towards remote work is driven by the desire for flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere. Recent graduates are now redefining the concept of a career post-graduation, seeking opportunities that align with their values and provide freedom in their work.

Upwork’s #UpNext23: Empowering the Workforce of Tomorrow

To celebrate and empower the next generation of professionals, Upwork has launched the #UpNext23 campaign. This weeklong social media initiative aims to inspire, support, and guide Gen Z individuals as they embark on their professional journey. Through a series of influencer speakers, helpful tips, and resources, Upwork is providing the tools and guidance necessary for young talent to take control of their careers and pursue their passions.

Keynote Speakers and Influencers

The #UpNext23 campaign features a lineup of influential speakers who will share their insights and experiences. Grammy-nominated rapper, singer, and songwriter Cordae will kick off the online event with a powerful “commencement” speech. Cordae will delve into what it takes to build a lasting legacy, sharing his personal journey from a mixtape-dropping high school student to a Grammy-nominated music star. His “Hi Level” mindset serves as a driving force behind achieving his dreams.

Other keynote speakers include @corporatenatalie, @saraimariee_, @lewishowes, and @advicewitherin. These influential individuals will cover a range of topics, from the importance of humanity in a remote-first world to building a work-life balance and thriving as a freelancer. Their diverse perspectives and experiences will provide valuable insights for Gen Z individuals navigating the evolving landscape of work.

Upwork’s Commitment to Empowerment

Melissa Waters, the Chief Marketing Officer at Upwork, emphasizes the company’s commitment to empowering and inspiring the workforce of tomorrow. She believes that the future of work begins with Upwork and that #UpNext23 represents an opportunity for young professionals to graduate from traditional work norms and explore the endless possibilities of the new world of work. Upwork aims to provide Gen Z with the necessary tools, resources, and support to take control of their careers and find fulfillment in their work.

Workshop: Upwork’s In-House Creative Agency

The #UpNext23 campaign marks the first external project from Upwork’s in-house creative agency, Workshop. Workshop is a fully remote distributed team dedicated to bringing fresh and innovative ideas to the world of work. Their collaboration with Upwork for the #UpNext23 campaign signifies an invitation to the next generation, inspiring them to reach their full potential and redefine the meaning of success.


As the future of work continues to evolve, Gen Z is embracing freelance work and remote opportunities. Upwork’s #UpNext23 campaign serves as a catalyst for empowering and guiding this young generation as they navigate their professional journeys. Through the insights and experiences shared by influential speakers, Gen Z individuals will gain the inspiration and resources needed to pursue their passions, create their own destinies, and find fulfillment in their work.

So, join the #UpNext23 movement and unlock the boundless possibilities that the new world of work has to offer. Embrace freelancing, embrace remote work, and embrace the freedom to design your own career path. The future is yours for the taking.

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