Leaving your job to go freelance is proving to be a smart career choice for thousands of self-employed consultants who claim to be working less and earning more.
A recent survey paints a picture of a highly motivated and happy group of independent workers with 91% claiming they are satisfied with their new lifestyle.
Two thirds (67%) of the consultants questioned said they were earning as much if not more money than they did in conventional employment with a similar number (68%) claiming to work fewer hours.
“There is a huge migration towards self-employment amongst higher management in business, and this survey helps understand the reasons why so many people are jumping ship,” said Pimento People founder Nick Band.
The research goes on to show that pursuing a different lifestyle is the main driver: whether it’s to pursue other business interests (62%) or achieve a better work/life balance (57%).
Whilst the motivations for going solo are broadly the same for men and women, women seem keener to find a better work/life balance than men ( 62% compared to 57%) but are more likely to miss the buzz of a conventional office ( 49% compared to 37%).
The number of top-level freelance consultants will grow dramatically over the next five years to over a 1m with an estimated 650,000 more joining the mass exodus away from traditional employment.
“This is a brain-drain of epic proportions and a huge warning sign to business that the traditional 9-5 employment has passed its sell-by date,” said Band.
The migration of workers at all levels had been accelerated by the growth of cloud-based marketplaces which make it easier for freelancers to find project-based assignments, he added. Working alone does have its drawbacks, though, with 84 % admitting that they worried where the next assignment would come from. However, less than half (40%) said they missed having other people around them at work