The general picture of a limited company contractor is between 25 and 45. However, according to a report from the Daily Telegraph, the over-50s demographic is where it’s at in terms of dramatic career changes.
After many decades carving out a successful career in the sector of their choice, the chance to go freelance is becoming more and more popularity with this age group.
In some cases, a cut in salary is an inevitable part of the career change, yet the driving forces of freedom and flexibility – as well as a chance to do something exciting – are a bigger draw.
Many of these workers are contracting their services in the field they have worked in on a part time basis, and using the freed up time to do voluntary work, art classes, learn new languages and expand their learning.
The prospect of cutting down on 60 hour weeks, removing the mantle of responsibility of their job role and walking away from the pressures and stresses of their position is enticing.
This group, dubbed the “silver self-employees” are growing in numbers. Figures from the Office of National Statistics, commissioned by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), have found that since 2008 there has been a 46.5 per cent increase in freelancers over 50. The age group now accounts for 72 per cent of all self-employed people.
While contracting and freelancers is growing across all sectors, it is the over-50s that is the real boom area. In the 1960s and 1970s, self-employment was relatively uncommon – however, it is now being seen as a much coveted position to be in.
And of course, the over-50s are famously the generation that got it all, while later successions have struggled. Many people in this age group have paid their mortgage, have enjoyed comfortable salaries and generous pensions – all without the drain of student loans. This means that leaving the comfort of a regular salary is less of a risk.