Freelance Workers—Experiencing a Career Outside an Organization

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/1733-8077.16.4.06

Keywords:

Freelance, Career Outside an Organization, Boundaryless Career, Professional Work Experience, Grounded Theory

Abstract

This article focuses on the issues of everyday work as a self-employed, professional freelancer in Poland. The appearance of this specific category of workers on the labor market is connected with certain major changes on the economic, technological, and socio-cultural levels. The career of a freelancer is sometimes considered to be an antithesis of a corporate career. The key points are: working on one’s own, functioning outside the traditional organizational structures, HR management and supervision, promotion procedures, corporate career paths, et cetera. For a freelancer, the organization is not “an employer,” but rather “a client” or “a business partner.” The manager of the organization is not “his boss” and the employees are not his “colleagues.” As we can observe, most of the typical boundaries of a career are blurred here and that is one of the reasons why it arouses curiosity as an unusual phenomenon. The article aims to present a sociological perspective regarding the career of a freelancer in Poland. A framework of symbolic interactionism and grounded theory were applied to the author’s research (conducted in 2009-14) on which the article is based. Its first part focuses on the theoretical background and the methods that were used to collect and analyze data. The second part includes some of the author’s findings and conclusions on a freelance career from the interactionist perspective, as well as a discussion about the possible agreement and discrepancies between the author’s understanding of freelance against the widely discussed concept of precarity.

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Author Biography

Piotr Miller, Stefan Batory State University, Poland

Piotr Miller is a PhD in social science in the discipline of sociology. He specializes in the sociology of organization and management and sociology of work and employment. Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Social Sciences, Stefan Batory State University (classes in the fields of HRM, career counseling, and professional development). Lecturer at post-graduate studies in vocational guidance and career coaching at SWPS University. Qualified career counselor and consultant, coordinator of several, long-term training and development projects. The author of a book about freelance careers and several papers on: qualitative sociology, professional identity, skills development, and HRM techniques, published in trade and scientific journals.

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Published

2020-10-31

How to Cite

Miller, P. (2020). Freelance Workers—Experiencing a Career Outside an Organization. Qualitative Sociology Review, 16(4), 90-104. https://doi.org/10.18778/1733-8077.16.4.06