May 27, 2004

Growth in Freelance Consultants reports: "freelancing is becoming an ever more popular career choice for experienced consultants looking to increase their earnings - or take greater control of their work/ life balance. In a press release issued this week, the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) estimates that there are now around one million freelancers in the UK, with up to 40% of the UK?s workforce expected to have become freelance by 2010 - powered in no small part by the rise of broadband and the home-working solutions that this has made possible.

Established consulting brands do not like to admit it, but they are increasingly relying on their networks of 'Associates' or freelance consultants to plug shortages in permanent consulting staff. The firms lose a bit of control over the quality of consulting they deliver, but on the plus side can gain flexibility in resourcing - and reduce the risks associated with over-expanding in the early phases of a recovery. "

In Bangalore I can already see this happening. An amazing number of XLRI alumni are opting for flexibility that freelancing provides. Specially ladies, though a male batchmate has already opted for it. I think another factor is the intellectual focus of such jobs. A lot of the people who opt for freelancing also write and do classes at B-Schools. Such things are usually under a scanner when working with traditional large organizations (due to concerns of copyright etc). Of course, Charles Handy has already forecast this, calling such people "Fleas" compared to the Elephants (or large organizations!). And Dan Pink in the USA has already named these people as the "Free Agent Nation" !