If you could leave your job right now to be your own boss and set your own rules, would you do it? Ask the majority of freelancers in America, and they'll tell you it's totally worth it.
A recent study from Upwork and the Freelancers Union looked at how freelancers feel about their employment situation, and the results were overwhelmingly positive. According to the study, 35 percent of the U.S. workforce (that's 55 million Americans) are freelancing, and 79 percent said freelancing is better than working a traditional job. And more than ever, going full-time freelance is a choice, rather than a necessity—63 percent started because they wanted to.
So why are people turning to freelancing? For full-time freelancers, it's all about flexibility and freedom (for part-time freelancers, the ability to earn additional income is the biggest incentive). Plus, freelancers said they are significantly more likely to feel empowered, respected, and excited to start each day.
Freelancers are also happier with their workloads overall. Most said they feel like they have the right amount of work to do—only 23 percent of freelancers said they have too much work on their plates, and 25 percent said they had less work than they'd like to have. On average, freelancers work 36 hour weeks, unlike a traditional job.
Not to mention, freelancers are earning more money than ever, too. 54 percent of freelancers who left a full-time job said they made more within a year than before, and total freelance earnings for the past year are at an estimated $1 trillion.
In fact, freelancers are so happy with their employment that 50 percent of all freelancers who responded said that there is no amount of money that would get them to stop freelancing and take a traditional job. It's good to know they wouldn't change a thing (except their rates, which the majority plan to raise in the coming year—a good sign!).
The future looks bright for freelancers—84 percent of respondents said they believe the best days are ahead for the freelancing universe. Eighty-one percent of people are more open to freelancing now than they were before, and 37 percent said they've considered quitting their jobs to work independently.
Check out the full study from Upwork and the Freelancers Union here.