10 Things to Love About Being an Independent Professional
From freedom, flexibility, and control, to pursuing your passion and working from anywhere in the world, there are plenty of perks to working as an independent professional. Here are our top 10 reasons to fall in love with self-employment.
1. Be Your Own Boss
As an independent professional, you have the flexibility to set your own hours and create the work-life flexibility you’ve dreamed of and deserve. Independents testify that their career choices stem from a desire to have greater freedom, flexibility, control, and purpose.
Finding the right balance can be a journey of self-discovery, but it’s an effort you’ll thank yourself for in the end.
2. Make More Money
Did you know that more than half of the independent workforce (56%) say they make more money working on their own than they would in a traditional job? On top of that, there are now 3.3 million independents earning more than $100,000 each year, according to our State of Independence research. A strong economy and tight jobs market are driving the need for skilled independent talent, giving independents in highly-skilled fields more work opportunities and allowing them to increase their fees or wages.
3. Turn Your Passion into a Career
While going independent is a great opportunity to increase your income, the large majority (74%) of independents say that doing something they love is ultimately more important than making money. When you break down the reasons, it’s a no-brainer: more passion equals more productivity. When you feel a personal connection to your work, it’s natural to put in more hours in a day.
4. Retain the Power to Say “No”
On the other hand, if a potential project doesn’t seem fulfilling, you have the power to walk away if your heart isn’t in it. Those kinds of discussions, both with yourself and with potential clients, aren’t always easy, but it’s important to know that you’re able to say: “it’s not you, it’s me.”
5. Grow Your Business with Your Interests
The freedom to work where you want also provides the freedom of continual learning. Different projects you take on will require different responsibilities and skillsets. Keeping skills and knowledge current through personal pursuits or through diverse work experience can give your business a competitive advantage when starting new work relationships.
6. Take Advantage of Tax Deductions
Running your own business can be costly, but it also entitles you to some special perks. From office supplies to professional memberships and subscriptions, there are a myriad of expenses you may be able to write off as a member of the independent workforce.
7. Save Time and Money by Commuting the Way You Want
The average U.S. commute time has been steadily increasing year over year. Rather than spending hours stuck in traffic, paying for tolls and parking, or structuring your day around a train schedule, choose a workplace with a commute that’s right for you. There are many possibilities for independent professionals—a home office, coworking space, coffee shop, or private office building are all great options. Less time spent on the road means more time to spend on your clients, and more time to dedicate to your personal well-being.
8. Retain Control Over Your Own Ideas
The freedom of creativity is a powerful thing. As a self-employed professional, your ideas are yours alone, and without having to run anything past a manager or team, your only criticism will come from someone already invested in your ideas, your clients! When you’re your own boss, no idea is ignored.
9. Work from Anywhere in the World
In the words of Buckaroo Banzai, “No matter where you go, you are there.” As an independent professional, you have the power and technology to run your business from anywhere. Whether you’re California dreamin’ or heading down South, between cloud-based services, mobile offices, and constantly evolving technology, home truly is where the heart is.
10. Meet Interesting People and Expand Your Network
The independent lifestyle provides a unique opportunity to meet people you may have never crossed paths within a typical work environment. After all, the key to a successful start as an independent business is networking—whether it’s via LinkedIn and social media, joining professional organizations, or attending special events, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to marketing yourself and getting leads.