What Company Would Make You Want to Give Up Freelancing?

By Mason Lerner July 9th, 2014

Freelancers in any industry tend to be creative mavericks who refuse to compromise artistic integrity to appease the man. However, if the right man (or woman) comes along, well, that’s a different story.

Working Not Working, a network connecting freelancers with companies, recently asked 500 creatives to name the one place that would make them give up freelancing in favor of full-time work. The crew, which includes art directors, copywriters, designers, developers, producers and photographers, listed 187 different companies, and Working Not Working published the 46 most popular answers on their blog.

“Our background is advertising and probably half our members are advertising creatives—art directors and copywriters,” said Justin Gignac, co-founder of the network.” It’s interesting that less than one quarter of the most popular companies were actual ad agencies. The companies were all over the place, and it’s interesting to see where the industry is heading.”

The survey featured a wide array of companies. There were the usual suspects like Facebook and Apple, as well as more esoteric choices like Psyop, a multimedia production studio, and SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket and spacecraft outfit.

“Some of the places on the list, like NASA and Red Bull, shocked me,” Gignac added. “People simply want to be a part of a brand they’re excited about.”

When a team like that speaks, ears around the industry perk up.

One common thread links all the companies on the list: innovation. According to Gignac, a big reason the answers to the survey were so varied was because more brands and tech companies are adding in-house creative teams.

This one-question poll was birthed from a previous survey. In 2013, Working Not Working asked their freelancers how many of them would take a full-time job if the right opportunity came along. The founders were shocked when over 80 percent of respondents said they would go full-time. The results suggested the freelance industry was rapidly changing, and Working Not Working would have to change with it. For starters, they no longer required their freelancers to be completely independent.

“We used to kick people off the site if they took a full-time job,” he said. “We realized that was a little unfair. Freelance is an ebb and flow. It’s not always a final destination for everybody. So we added a full-time profile in December and launched the ‘UnJob Board’ in April, which is a way for our creatives to find out about great opportunities at the companies they want to work at, whether they’re full-time or freelance jobs.”

Since the freelance workforce is so varied, it can be tough to find useful data about how contract workers are feeling. But now we have some hard evidence: If some freelancers had to choose between the liberation of sweatpants and health insurance at an innovative company, maybe working for the man isn’t so bad after all.

Image by Working Not Working
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