If you’re surrounded by corporate friends who don’t “get” why anyone would freelance, the independent lifestyle can seem a little lonely at times.
But a new report by MBO Partners suggests that the size of the independent workforce is growing rapidly and more people are embracing self-employment.
In the 2014 State of Independence in America report, MBO Partners, which provides support services to independent workers, gathered data from more than 11,000 workers.
It found that there are now 17.9 “solopreneurs” in the U.S. That’s an increase of 12.5% since 2011. While some would prefer other work arrangements, 76% plan on staying independent in the future. There are also another 12.1 million “side giggers” who work 15 hours a week on a recurring basis to generate extra income.
The top reasons for freelancing didn’t surprise me but they reinforced why the decision to go freelance often works out so well. Respondents listed:
* Control my schedule (63%)
* More flexibility (61%)
* Like being my own boss (57%)
Given the trends toward a more flexible labor force, I suspect we’re going to have a lot more company in the future. Professionals who develop the skills to succeed as freelancers will have many more career options than those who don’t–whether they opt to freelance full-time or on the side.