This question popped up at least 3 times in the past 6 weeks. Conjuring up an answer for it forced me to think it through very carefully.
My last permanent position was with a non-profit company. When I left for freelancing and running my own business, it was somewhat around the same time the GFC hit most of the developing/developed world. Everyday there was news of jobs being cut, organisations “restructured”, etc.
Because of the calamity all around me, it made being a business owner (or more bluntly put, unemployed) less unpalatable. The argument was, “being permanent isn’t all the secure either”. The months that followed saw me build up a convincing case for being a freelancer over being an employee.
Over the years, things changed, the work that I busied myself with evolved from juggling multiple clients and projects, to more recently, devoting most of my week to one project, for one client – not unlike what a full-time employee might be accustomed to.
When I was most recently asked why I’d remain as a contractor as opposed to committing as a permanent, the best I could come up with was:
“It’s more a frame of mind”
I has been my way of keeping on my toes, affirming and preserving my identity as an independent professional, and not overexposing myself to the whims and fancies of a composite construct.
Work matters have been rolling along very swimmingly, I hope I don’t get swept up and disoriented, because it looks like it’s going to be one hell of a ride.