Survey: Freedom, Not Lack of Full-Time Work, Propels Freelancers

Author: John Egan
Published: September 07, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Somewhat surprisingly, the weak economy isn’t what’s driving professionals toward freelance gigs.

Only 4 percent of those responding to a survey sponsored by freelance marketplace Elance are working as freelancers until they can find full-time jobs, and just 24 percent say they transitioned to freelance careers after a layoff.

What truly attracts freelancers—56 percent in the survey—is the ability to be their own boss and to work on projects they love.

The survey indicated that 70 percent of freelancers are happier working as independent professionals than as employees. Given the choice, 63 percent would prefer freelancing vs. full-time employment.

“Freelancers are finding satisfaction in controlling their own schedules and following their passions and are opting for a cloud commute in record numbers,” said Ellen Pack, vice president of marketing at Elance.

Half of the professionals surveyed indicated freelancing is their only source of income, while 28 percent moonlight while holding down a full-time or part-time job.

Ben Gran, a freelance writer and marketing consultant who recently left a full-time job at a Fortune 500 company to be a full-time freelancer, said:

“I love being a freelance writer and consultant because there is constant variety. I’m always learning something new. And I love being self-employed because I can set my own hours, follow my own schedule, and work on the projects that I find the most interesting.”

As for the top challenges facing freelancers like Gran, 63 percent of survey respondents said it’s finding new clients or steady work.

For more information from the Elance Freelance Talent Report, click here.


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Article Author: John Egan

A resident of Austin since 1999, John Egan has 25 years of experience in journalism, communications and public relations. From 1999 to 2006, he was editor and managing editor of the Austin Business Journal. John's business blog, called AustInnovation, is at …

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