More professionals are deciding to ditch traditional employment in favour of a freelancing career.
The number of freelancers in Europe has skyrocketed in recent years, increasing from under 6.2 million in 2004 to 8.9 million in 2013.This radical growth in the industry marks a shift in working attitudes and employment options, with employers now being more open to hiring freelancers and professionals having a better understanding of the benefits the career has to offer.
Benefits of a freelancing career
As the flexible workforce has seen such a well-documented and successful growth, it is likely that going it alone has crossed your mind at some point.
If you are keen to know whether the move would be right for your career, we have listed the main reasons people give for going freelance to help you to decide if heading into self-employment would be suitable for you.
1) Increased autonomy and freedom: If you long to have more control over your work, established freelancers are able to manage their own schedule, workload and client portfolio. They can also organise their development and training, providing them with more of a say over their future and career growth.
2) Flexibility over your work schedule: Rather than being constrained by rigid and inflexible office hours, freelancers often get to choose to work when they are most productive. They also get to fit their work in with other commitments, giving them a chance to strike the right work/life balance.
3) Greater sense of fulfilment: Is your current job failing to excite or preventing you from focusing on a particular enjoyable niche? Freelancing gives people an opportunity to follow an avenue they are enthusiastic about, which can lead to greater job satisfaction as you get to spend time working on assignments that tie in perfectly with your knowledge and interests.
4) Fear of being laid off or made redundant: Worried about your future after being laid off? Many people made redundant in recent years have used it as an opportunity to try something new. With more employers now looking to hire flexible workers as opposed to full-time staff, professionals have been able to craft out successful freelancing careers after being made redundant.
5) Improved income: Once established in their industry, freelancers have the opportunity to maximise their pay. Employers are willing to pay good money for knowledgeable and experienced professionals who they can guarantee will get a job done properly, allowing freelancers to set profitable yet competitive rates for their time.
If this little taste of what freelancing has to offer has left you wanting to know more about making the career change, there is plenty of support available ranging from freelance advice and networking events to umbrella companies and specialist accountants.
With freelancing having become such an established and esteemed industry in recent years, with plenty of job opportunities and assistance currently available, now would definitely be a good time to take the brave leap into self-employment and carve out your very own career as a freelancer.
Leighton, Patricia, Future working: the rise of Europe’s independent professionals (iPROS) [PDF file].