Independent Consultants Have Found Their Happy Place

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Author : John Kunzweiler
Published: June 28, 2013

Each year I eagerly await the results of the annual M Squared Consulting survey as the insights gathered from the independent consultant community are always interesting and often surprising. This year is no different. Our most recent survey of 450 independent consultants found that even amid an uneven and slowly rebounding economic recovery, independent consultants are very upbeat about their chosen career path. And that feeling of well-being extends to their outlook on the national economy, too.

Keep in mind that the contingent workforce is a growing segment of the workforce, representing a fundamental shift taking place in the American workforce. Aberdeen Group says that more than a quarter of the workforce is contingent; the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the figure at closer to 30%. And according to Staffing Industry Analysts, the majority of contingent workers are white-collar professionals.

Below are a few highlights of our most recent survey that I found most eye-opening:

-A resounding 85% of independent consultants surveyed responded they are satisfied or extremely satisfied with their career choice.

-A solid 38% of independent consultants chose their career path primarily because they wanted to work on a variety of projects suited to their skills and expertise; 19% wanted to operate their own business; 18% sought an alternative to full-time or in-office work.

-When asked what they enjoy most about working as independent consultants, the majority of respondents cited “interesting projects” first and foremost followed by “schedule flexibility” and then by “working with new clients/people.”

-When asked about personal revenue expectations, 55% expect to see revenues increase in 2013; another 37% expect them to remain the same. 39% said their income is higher than working as a full-time employee.

-And 67% of those polled are either cautiously optimistic or very optimistic about the U.S. economy in 2013, a sizable increase of 15% over last year’s projection.

Clearly, confident independent consultants are experiencing the freedom, power and satisfaction that accompany this popular workforce model. The “new world of work” is upon us, and for many it is the best of times.

The 2013 M Squared Consultant Survey Summary Report is available to download here.

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