The global health crisis has shattered long-held paradigms about the world of work and caused a large number of people to reconsider their professional aspirations. It has also contributed to boosting the attractiveness of freelancing, which is more than ever perceived as a real career choice. 

Our Freelancing in Europe 2022 study, carried out in collaboration with BCG, revealed a 27% increase in the number of people registered on Malt in 2021 in the professions “traditionally” linked to freelancing – in particular those linked to tech and data, graphic design, marketing and communication. Added to that, and even more significantly, the number of registrants on Malt has increased by 63% for professions considered “established” and less commonly associated with freelancing. Among the 3,300 freelancers interviewed for our 2022 Freelancing in Europe report, an overwhelming majority say they have turned to freelancing by choice (91% of French freelancers, 89% of Spanish freelancers and 96% of German freelancers). 

Freelancing is a career decision that is made regardless of gender or age. According to our study, women are increasingly choosing freelancing (now making up 43% of the freelancer population in France, 38% in Spain, 33% in Germany). Freelancing is emerging as a credible and proven path for those who want to manage their career as they see fit. 

The ‘New Work Order’, as we call it at Malt – or the ability to take back the power of choice – is well and truly underway, and there are several factors behind it. 

To find out more, on this year’s International Women’s Day, we spoke to 3 freelancers from different backgrounds, professions and nationalities. 

Watch Esther, Nada and Inge share their thoughts on freelancing, why they chose this path and what their aspirations are for the future.

Freelancing offers freedom 

“I decided to become a freelancer to have more freedom. The freedom to choose where I work and with whom” says Nada Maalmi, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant and Super Malter 3 in France

The quest for meaning, being able to choose your projects and collaborate with clients in line with your values are now among the most important criteria for professionals, both freelancers and employees, for whom the health crisis has only increased their reflections about the meaning behind their work.

Inge Collet, Business Consultant & Leadership Coach in Belgium says: “Being able to help leaders and their teams to create structure and calm in their organization is very energizing and rewarding.

Freelancing offers greater flexibility

Choosing when, where and how to do your work is a luxury freelancers enjoy. Freelancers are able to organize their own schedules and take back control of their work-life balance. 

Freelancing offers autonomy

“Freelancing allows me to continue learning” says Esther Giménez, 360° Marketing Strategy Consultant and Super Malter 2 in Spain. Being a freelancer means taking back the power of choice over your career, and in particular over the development of the expertise or specializations you want. According to our study Freelancing in Europe 2022, freelancers spend an average of four hours per week developing their skills or sharpening them. In this way, they maintain a level of excellence that is highly valued by companies. 

Want to find out more about the state of the freelancing market in Europe in 2022? Download our full report, created in partnership with BCG, leveraging data from over 3,300 freelancers in the Malt community.

Download the Freelancing in Europe 2022 study