Infographic: Inside the Conflicted Mind of a Freelancer

By Jillian Richardson May 14th, 2015

Even though going inside the mind of a freelancer sounds like a journey only a therapist should take, one infographic dared to explore the motivations, struggles, and demographics of those who work in the gig economy. And the results include some intriguing data about why freelancers do what they do.

We recently unearthed the infographic, which was produced a few years ago by the recruitment agency 24seven, and while the freelance respondents didn’t explicitly say, “I get to make money with a face mask and robe on,” I’m pretty sure that’s a major reason why they chose to go into their respective fields.

Particularly surprising was the fact that the largest percentage of respondents— 29 percent— had been freelancing between three and five years. And 16 percent of respondents said they had been freelancing for more than a decade, a contingency that almost equaled the 20 percent of people freelancing for less than one year. While some argue that the freelance economy is just starting to take off, it’s easy to forget that there have been plenty of veteran writers, photographers, and other creatives who started building successful careers prior to this decade.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the infographic focuses on how likely freelancers would be to take on traditional employment. Respondents were asked to rate the likelihood on a scale of zero to 10, with zero being not likely to take an office job and 10 being very likely. The results were then broken down into five categories based on how long the respondents had been actively freelancing. And while it’s worth noting that the data suggests the longer someone freelances the less likely that person would be to take a regular job, all five demographics had scores higher than six.

On the bright (and somewhat contradictory) side, freelancers claimed to be happier when self-employed than when they held traditional employment. In fact, over half of the respondents expected to have an increase in job satisfaction over the following year. Plus, 55 precent expected a pay raise. Sure, the study came out in 2012, but I like to think that freelancers have maintained that positive attitude. Or maybe they’ve just been going to see therapists more often. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

You can check out the rest of the infographic below.

Image by iko/Shutterstock
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