Previously, we discussed the rise of contract recruiting in Japan due to the success in the gig economy, and how perceptions have changed which led to an increase in the number of people who value a work-life balance, or simply more flexible working arrangements. At the same time, the government has been working to improve legislation relating to freelancing, which has been very ambiguous for a long time coming. Hence this might help to settle any uneasiness for those considering working as a freelancer.
And in this article, we will highlight five key benefits of working as a freelancer, especially within the IT sector.
1. Increased income
Many people either had an impression that permanent employees earn more than freelancers, or feel concerned about their steady stream of income. Whilst freelancers may work in a variety of industries and sectors, salaries within the IT sector are actually amongst some of the highest in the world. According to the Freelance Whitepaper 2020, nearly 30% of engineers and technical developers in the highest income bracket (¥8m+) amongst those surveyed are in the IT sector, the highest proportion of any industry. Nearly 70% of those who have left the workforce, regardless of industry, have mentioned that their income either remain the same or are usually higher than before.
We also support sole traders who use their high level of skills and experience to work at a much higher salary banding than a permanent employee who may be doing a similar job. If you are looking for a role that fits your skills and experience, please feel free to contact us for more information.
2. Increased discretion and freedom
One of the most attractive aspects of working as a freelancer is the freedom to have more discretion over your own work, and the ability to organise your own schedule without limiting yourself to a specific location or time. Particularly since the pandemic, “remote working” has increased significantly, and so has the demand for more flexible working and a better work-life balance even within permanent roles.
The ability to control the amount of time you spend at work is also another attractive factor. In a country like Japan where there is a shortage of highly skilled and experienced IT professionals, your skills and knowledge can be a powerful weapon to help you design your preferred working style.
3. The ability to choose projects and jobs based on the skills you want to utilise
Many permanent employees face the challenge of spending time on tasks that may not be related to their actual scope of work or lack the opportunity to make full use of their skills. Freelancing, is a contract with a clear mandate that allows you to focus your time on the work itself. This ensures that your skills are put to good use and allows you to further develop your skills and knowledge within that very field.
In fact, according to Freelance Whitepaper 2020, nearly 90% of freelancers who have had full-time work experience in the past have mentioned that they experienced an “increase” of skills, experience and satisfaction from their role as a freelancer. If you want to focus on developing your skill sets, freelancing might be a good career development for you.
4. No need to worry about career gaps or retirement
In the case of full-time employment, a gap in your career can often have a negative impact, depending on the reason. Freelancers on the other hand, may choose to work in a way that suits them. For example, they could take long holidays between projects or work lesser hours if they wanted to reduce their workload due to personal reasons, all of which can be difficult if you are a permanent employee.
The number of older jobseekers are also on the rise due to an ageing workforce and an increase in companies offering early retirement. While it can be difficult to secure a fill-time role when you’re close to retirement age, freelancing can actually be a more stable option. This has led the government to focus on freelance legislation especially in recent years. In this age where it’s becoming common for people to live to 100, switching to freelancing at some point, or gaining experience as a freelancer might prove to be of good investment for your future.
5. Experience in a variety of industries
As a freelancer, you can use your experience to your advantage unlike a full-time job where changing jobs and moving from one company to another in a short space of time is seen as a job-hopper. In actual face, experience in other industries, best practice and a third party perspective are often valued for companies you work for, as working on cutting edge projects across industries can make your freelance CV or resume even more attractive, especially within the IT sector.
If you already have experience as a freelancer or sole trader and may be in search for your next project, please contact us using the form below. If you feel like you would like to consider freelancing as an option, you may also choose to fill up the form.
We will be hosting a series of webinars covering information around contract recruitment so please register your interest below and we will get in touch with the topics and dates. A copy of the recording will also be sent once you have registered.