A curious aspect of the job market, post referendum, is the rise in number of skilled workers who consciously chose to trade in permanent job security and become self employed freelancers or temporary workers.
Workers who temp or freelance fall into four key categories :
– The ones who want to supplement their main income as they are short of cash
– Casual workers, who choose to take this kind of work but are not seriously committed to the work.
– Those who would prefer not to, but are forced to take temporary work but would rather be a permanent employment
– Those who prefer to be independent and freelance or temp as a main source of income
McKinsey reports that the happiest freelancers are those who fall into the last category; “Free agents”. They feel very much in control of their lives and their nonfinancial working conditions.
Being self-employed means you can have greater flexibility to decide when to work; it means you don’t have to worry about workplace politics, you can be your own boss, more satisfied, and have the option to get involved in more diverse responsiblities.
Digital platforms have a lot to answer for this.
The digital landscape is fuelling entrepreneurialism and independence. Workers have a wider berth than ever to before, to explore the vast array of jobs on offer. You can even work for people in the outside world, whilst based in your own bedroom. It is relatively easy, for example, for some sectors, to have an employee working remotely for a company based on the other side of the globe.
Being a “free agent “is definitely one of the main attractions to a large proportion of temporary workers and our candidate data supports this trend. The number of people we registered for temporary work increased dramatically in 2016.
In the second half of 2016 there was an 8% increase in the number of freelancing/ temporary candidates who signed up to our agency, in comparison to those who registered with us in the first half of the same year. This trend has continued into the start of 2017.
Many of our candidates say that freelancing is appealing because they are no longer tied into long notice periods, don’t have to get involved in office politics and can sometimes earn more cash and be promoted more quickly than if they stayed where they were. Temping also buys them time to try out different things and think about what their next permanent move might be.