Members of today’s independent workforce are completely rewriting what it means to be “freelance.” Understanding these changes and trends are helpful to us at AND CO since our product is designed empower this growing movement.
Earlier this spring, we launched a comprehensive survey of independent workers. The participants spanned a wide range of professions (from creatives and coders to consultants and content specialists, and everything in between) and regions. Our mission was to get inside the minds of today’s freelancers so we could better understand what challenges and inspires them and what makes them tick.
Freelancers are typically regarded as people who are in between jobs, floating aimlessly from gig to gig. As we hypothesized, that couldn’t be further from reality for today’s independent workforce.
In analyzing the data, we found that 95 percent the freelancers we surveyed sell multiple skills within their careers (e.g. “Designer / Coder / Event Planner”). Slash Workers, whose talents are multifaceted and wide-ranging, represent the newest breed in today’s gig economy—and the results of our study shed light on their story.
The people we surveyed also see freelancing as a career path, not a career placeholder, as the stigma would suggest. Just 6 percent of survey respondents indicated they were freelancing until a full-time gig came along. Another 41 percent told us they intend freelance forever.
And what about their feelings toward their financial stability and the overall stressors that the independent life brings with it? Not surprisingly, only 23 percent of respondents feel more financially stable since going independent, however 68 percent of them said that, in spite of this, their quality of life has improved. For freelancers, freedom is the new wealth.
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Some of the other findings include:
- The No. 1 reason respondents say they went independent was for “personal growth” and just 6 percent say they did it for the financial upside.
- 60 percent of respondents say they would consider adopting a nomadic lifestyle in the future.
- Male respondents were 4.5x more likely to earn more than $150,000+ a year than female respondents, but more men said they had been stiffed by a client.
And how about what’s missing? For one, freelancers say they want a little more respect (60 percent say the freelance stigma is alive and well). In addition, they’re looking for a sense of community and more remote work options.
Check out the full study at https://www.and.co/slash-workers and shoot us a tweet @andco to let us know what you think!