Poll: Majority of Americans Are Confident They Could Easily Become Freelancers

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Almost two thirds of Americans believe they can quit their day job and launch a brand new business or freelance career from scratch.

A new poll found that 63% of Americans are confident they can make the move, while 34% said they were “very confident” according to data collected by OnePoll and Invoice2go. Researchers wanted to find out how Americans felt about starting a business on their own, and how the pandemic affected their career trajectories. A total of 2,505 Americans were polled, including 500 small business owners. 

The pandemic is creating a new workforce

One factor why a large number of Americans think they can make the move to freelancing is because of the ongoing pandemic. A majority (60%) of those surveyed said they have been thinking about exploring new careers while in quarantine, while a third (32%) said they started a new business because of the pandemic.

The second factor was the reality of hobbies. With Americans stuck at home, people have taken up new hobbies. As a result, it led many to believe they could start new businesses related to these hobbies. According to the poll, a total of 68% of those surveyed believe they could turn their new skill or hobby into a winning business. 

Out of all activities, the most popular were writing (42%), baking (34%), cooking (32%), graphic design (32%), and illustration (30%). 

Doubling down on work

Additionally, many full-time employees are contemplating adding freelance work on top of being full-time employees. Although a majority of those polled believe they could transition into a freelance career, many of them have already added freelancing on top of their full-time job. 

Nearly half (40%) of respondents said they already work freelance jobs on the side, while almost a third (30%) said they run a small business. 

While the survey doesn’t explain every reason why people are so confident about their entrepreneurial prospects, other changes in the world may shed some light. For instance, there are more freelancing sites than ever, so people may think finding freelance work is easy. Further, large businesses have made big announcements about hiring freelancers, likely increasing confidence that someone could freelance for a ‘traditional’ employer in ways that weren’t available pre-pandemic. Finally, a new study found that remote companies are more likely to hire freelancers. Given how many companies are staying remote (or hybrid remote) post-COVID, it makes sense that people would be confident they can find work. 

People enjoy the perks of freelance

A big part of what’s attracting people to freelancing, is the perk of feeling ownership of their own business. A whopping 78% of those polled said the feeling of having control over their work is what they enjoy most about running a small business. 

Some other popular freelance perks included being their own boss (60%), pursuing a passion (57%), and working with clients (64%).

Getting these perks, though, requires having the right skill set. While freelancing is fundamentally about execution and getting tasks done, that’s not all that a freelancer needs to know. Since freelancing is a one-person business, successful freelancers must also cultivate business-focused skills that help them navigate the world of sales, freelance contracts, and client management. 

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