|Freelancing is becoming a more viable option for many professionals, especially those who are part of Generation Y.
Online marketplace Elance-oDesk commissioned a study on freelancing in Australia and found that 3.7 million Australians, or 30% of the workforce, are freelancers. Of that number, around 110,000 run their own freelance businesses; around 1.3 million are independent contractors.
In Australia, around one-third of all Gen Y-ers are freelancing, compared with other age groups that only have 25% freelancers.
One of those Aussie freelancers is Emilia Rossi, who works as a freelance consultant for a variety of businesses. She covers topics such as marketing, design and event management.
However, Rossi also found that it was difficult to secure a loan as a freelancer. She now subsidizes her freelance consultancy and two online businesses with a full time job.
Some freelancers find that they have less stress when it comes to worrying about job security.
Lisa Borden, a brand strategist, had a job at one of the top advertising agencies in the U.S. but found herself not truly enjoying her work after three years. “I was thrilled when they hired me. But I worked a lot. And I worried even more,” she wrote for the Huffington Post.
Borden found that she wasn’t sleeping much, either, answering emails at 3 a.m. on her iPhone instead. She managed her stress through “retail therapy” and spa days, as opposed to others in high power jobs to who may turn to activities like drinking, or smoking cigarettes or vaping (puffing on an electronic cigarette), to take the edge off.
After a near-fatal car accident, Borden recognized her own unhappiness with her career. She still works as a freelancer for the advertising agency, but on a freelance basis only.
“Now I am Executive Vice President of absolutely nothing,” she wrote. “But the freelance life matches my personality.”
Copywriter Kate Toon is another freelancer who feels freed by her career, though it does have its drawbacks, she said. Although she was able to take a month off at one point, it was due to the hard work the rest of the year.
“I find it much harder than having a full-time job,” Toon said to the Sydney Morning Herald. “You have to be all things to all people – an accountant, a sales person, a marketer and a business person.”
One of the most important things for freelancers, according to Raubi Marie Perilli, is to have a clear vision of the kind of business they want to run. She says that having a mental picture of that business gives freelancers a “clear, real path to follow.”
Cameron Rambert did just that when he began freelancing full-time last year after several years of part-time freelance work. He has been happy with the progress he made, though, and said that he likes the ability to choose work that interests him.
“In a traditional corporate environment… it can take several years to get promoted into a position where you have that breadth and diversity of work,” Rambert said. “With freelancing I can choose the type of work that interests me, who I want to work for, and how I want to work with them.”