White-collar sole traders have remained happy and optimistic about their situation despite the economic downturn, new research has found.
A study by Monash University and consultancy Entity Solutions reveals that independent contractors are more satisfied than a year ago, scoring a rating of 7.4 out of 10 compared with 7.3 last year.
The survey of 372 white-collar professionals also shows that their emotional wellbeing has improved, up from 7.7 to 7.8.
According to the report, independent contractors are “upbeat, confident and content” with their roles, with 41% saying that they would keep going to work if they won a $10 million lottery prize.
Matthew Franceschini, CEO of Entity Solutions, told StartupSmart that independent contractors have been well placed to adapt to the GFC.
“They are pulled by opportunities, they need a job to put food on the table and they tend to enjoy their work and the sense of freedom that goes with it,” he says.
“They tend to be more resilient and more entrepreneurial, which has helped them handle difficulties in the economy over the past 12 months. They are also more skilled than other workers, so they’re are in a better position than someone laid off during the GFC who hasn’t got a specific skill set.”
Franceschini adds that he expects the number of self-employed people in Australia to rise over the coming years.
“There’s a new world of work where people want a work/life balance,” he says. “There’s a lot of people, such as women and older people, who don’t want a regular full-time job.”
“If you do become an independent professional, you need to focus on skills – do you have the right skillset for the job?”
“Secondly, you need to be prepared to do training. A lot of independent professionals factor in time each year for training so that, for example, they know they will work for 40 weeks a year, train for two weeks and take 10 weeks off.”
“The final thing is networking. The most successful independent professionals don’t chase jobs – jobs come to them.”