Elance release a Freelance Talent Report on September 2010 with 700 freelancers participated in the study. This report looks at demographics, satisfaction levels and expectations of online freelancers which I think interesting to check out. This report gives out important information, especially for online freelancers. It gives a clear picture on how the situation of current freelancing market. Freelancers also get to know the competitors among themselves. Most important of all freelancers can see what’s ahead, things to expect and problems that might occur. Overall this report can help freelancers plan their business and be ready for what’s coming ahead. Either you’re a beginner planning to take on freelancing work or an experience freelancer, you’ll gain benefits from this report.
There is a lot of useful information that makes you think about your job as a freelancer in this report. Here I’ll pick up some points which I think it is important for freelancers to understand and take note. It seems the top challenge of being a freelancer is finding new clients and steady work. Well, that’s obviously the biggest concern of being a freelancer. It took years to build up reputation online which can draw clients and work constantly. The question is how long it takes to reach that level. That is why it is best to start out as part time freelancer instead of quitting the day job and jump into full time freelancer directly. A part from that, freelancers do not enjoy benefits provided by companies like for example healthcare, retirement funds and vacation time. Basically you’re your own boss and you just have to create those benefits yourselves.
Despite some of the challenges and problems that you might face being a freelancer, there are still lots of good things and bright future ahead of you. I suppose the best thing of being a freelancer is that you’ll feel happier than as an employee. 70% of the freelancers who participate in this study responded on that. 79% of the freelancers stated the best thing about freelancing is having control over their own schedule. 62% of the freelancers have their income increases in the last 12 months as a freelance professional. Finally 63% of the freelancers prefer the freelance lifestyle than a full time employee.
Judging from all the above, it is still very encouraging to become a freelancer. But still this is just an overall finding and majority of the freelancers are happy about their choice. The freelancer lifestyle is not for everybody. Before you start jumping into the decision of becoming a professional freelancer, perhaps it will be better to be a part time freelancer and see if you like it or not. Although there is a big difference between a full time freelancer and a part time freelancer, but that is the closes you can get.
P/S: There are still lots of data and information which you can gain from the report. Check it out. Perhaps you’ll discover something different. If you do, it will be nice if you can share it.