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Most Freelance Designers Are Extroverts & Enjoy Their Jobs, Says Global Study
By Mikelle Leow, 31 Oct 2019
Image courtesy of 99designs
Freelance designers around the world are satisfied with their jobs and are happy to be away from nine-to-five routines, according to a massive survey spanning 10,000 creatives from 42 countries.
The study, conducted by 99designs, dives deep into the world’s freelance design industry, averaging their profiles, attitudes, and challenges.
Take a look at some key findings, and read 99designs’ comprehensive report here.
Image courtesy of 99designs
Why designers are choosing to go freelance
42-percent of designers surveyed said they decided to start freelancing because of additional “personal flexibility and freedom,” while 17 percent said they preferred have more “creative freedom.” The other 17 percent have daytime jobs, and are looking to get more income.
Good news for the last tier of freelancers, because:
Freelance work is more accessible than before
The majority of freelancers (76 percent) live away from urban areas such as New York, San Francisco and London, and are instead residing in “smaller cities, towns, villages and rural areas.” In spite of this, they’re still able to find creative work, as technology has helped to democratize access to projects.
Freelance designers find most of their work through online platforms (57 percent) and social media (11 percent).
Remote designers are “global citizens”
The study shows that 85-percent of freelance designers work with clients outside of their time zones. They are also “exceptionally well-traveled”—43 percent have lived and worked abroad, while a little over 25 percent have lived and worked in more than three countries.
Digital nomads are ambitious
The report suggests that freelance designers are “driven to create their own success.” 60 percent are now teaching themselves new skills, and 74 percent have picked up new talents and insights via YouTube tutorials.
Most remote creatives are also formally educated, and own undergraduate (40 percent), postgraduate (nine percent), or technical (20 percent) design certificates. However, only 15 percent think official design education is crucial for success; the rest believe everything they need to know can be self-taught.
Most freelance designers are happy with their jobs
According to the study, the majority of freelance designers are satisfied with their present working situation, though 65 percent still think it can be improved.
However, a few think going freelance comes with an “emotional cost.” 21 percent feel “isolated,” while 12 percent currently feel like they are burning out.
Global freelancers look like this
Freelance designers across the world seemingly prefer using Wacom tablets (62 percent) more than iPads (38 percent).
Over 70 percent from North America and Australia lean towards using Instagram instead of Behance to show off their portfolios.
Most freelancers surveyed identify as extroverts (63 percent). However, Australians (64 percent) and North Americans (58 percent) are generally homebodies, and would rather stay indoors than socialize.
European designers are most likely to work with partners than creatives anywhere else in the world.
To find out more, read the full report here.
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