2014-02-17 15:20:57 - The freelancing business becomes more and more mainstream. However, why so many people chose to give up their secure jobs seemed unclear until recently: freelancermap.com has asked their users why they became freelancers in the first place. The results can be found right here.
Freelancing is getting more and more mainstream in the IT-industry. It brings a huge amount of freedom, satisfaction, independence, and control over the balance between work and life. But what are the “real” motivations behind IT-experts pitching themselves in the role of a freelancer? The IT-project board www.freelancermap.com has investigated in this matter to identify the top 5 reasons to start freelancing by requesting their users to take part in a voting. Here are the results of the survey:
For 35% of the interviewed freelancers, the main intention to become self-employed was to obtain more flexibility in their job and free time – the so-called work-life balance! Those of you who have ever worked in an office before know how hard
it is to take some days off work as you always have to confirm your holidays with your superiors. Or, hand on heart, how often did it happen that you were about to leave the office when suddenly a “super urgent” task of your boss seemed to appear from nowhere and ended up on your desk? It’s hard to say “no” as an employee. And maybe this is why a lot of IT-experts nowadays say “yes” to freelancing. As a freelancer, you can decide on your own when and where to work. If you feel ready for a holiday, just do not take a new assignment. Or simply take the project with you on your holiday and work from a cozy hammock under palm trees. Surely, that sounds easier than it is in real life BUT it is possible!
Another 21% of the participating freelancers told us that “being your own boss” is their goal of life. And this also might be the most obvious reason for IT-experts to become a freelancer. No more paternalism. No more getting told off for being late. No more undesired work assignments. No more working for others. No dress code. No co-workers and subordinates… As a freelancer, you are in control of your working life. However, being your own boss sounds more attractive than it sometimes is. Being your own boss requires managerial and sales skills next to specific technical know-how. And without those skills, freelancing is almost impossible!
It’s all about money – at least for 18% of our interviewed freelancers. Maybe it is not the main motivation but at least one of the major reasons to start freelancing. But the aim of a freelancer to earn more money can lead to frustration. Of course, if you are really good at what you do, you will earn more money than an employee, especially as you decide on your own what to charge for your services. But freelancing also means increased costs when it comes to taxes and equipment. Freelancing is a great risk, especially if you lack proper skills, equipment, and guidance. Clients will come and go but your fridge must be filled every new week. The right calculation is the key for any successful freelancer.
Working from the comfort of your own home – a great idea that motivates 13% of our freelancers. And maybe freelancing is the only real career option that allows you to start your working day in the late morning with a nice cup of your favorite coffee, still wearing your pajama. Furthermore, you can save a lot of money when working from home e.g. for electricity, office rental, or food. Being an IT-freelancer allows you to work from almost anywhere – perfect! But in fact, it’s not for everyone! To work from home also means to manage your working day! Do not run the risk of frittering yourself between work and personal life or distracting yourself from client calls, TV, bed, crying kids, and moaning dogs. Freelancing from home is a blessing for those who are able to separate work from free-time but can end up in a nightmare for the ones who can’t…
Another 12% of the interviewed freelancers couldn’t find their reason for freelancing in the given set of answers and therefore voted for “other reasons”. Here are some further motivations of freelancing:
Choosing your clients and projects on your own.
Doing the work you love.
Low start-up costs.
No other options (e.g. unemployment).
Lining your own pockets.
Picking your own co-workers.