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5 Reasons Why Employees Prefer Self-Employment, and Why You Should Use This to Your Advantage Find employees that care about your business as if it was their own.

By Jeffrey Shaw

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While employers often blame employees (or the attitude of an entire generation) for the lack of engagement, the truth is there are plenty of workers who desire nothing more than to care about the company they work for as if it were their own business. I refer to these valuable employees as employees with a self-employed mindset.

Let's look at the top five reasons as to why someone chooses to be self-employed. In doing so, you'll see your best employees are those with a self-employed mindset.

1. Flexibility

The number one reason anyone chooses to become self-employed is to control their destiny. Much of that feeling of control comes from flexibility and choice. The ability to choose when they work and where they put their effort.

According to Citrix's Work 2035 project, 88% of workers state they will look for jobs in the future that offer complete flexibility in their hours and location. It's no wonder after more than a year of remote work for most people.

Related: Writing Flexibility Into Your Business Model Can Save Your Company

2. Work/life balance

What every self-employed business owner knows to be true is there is almost no line between their personal life and business life. Work/life balance is a false notion when you're self-employed so at best, you make sure work fits into your life and not the other way around.

Likewise, today's workers put life first. Like their self-employed counterparts, employees with a self-employed mindset seek a job where their job fits beautifully into the life they want to live. When it does, they give it their all because they see it as part of their life. The 9-5 employee punching a time clock is an outdated model. The self-employed mindset employee isn't necessarily looking to escape fully from the job, but wants to be sure there is a healthy work/life blend.

3. Self-fulfillment

A big motivator in being self-employed is always striving to reach your full potential and seeing tangible results of your efforts. Outcome is more important than output because it's not about the hours put in. It's about how you feel about yourself and the feelings of pride, accomplishment and the results you achieve.

Why wouldn't an employer want employees who are striving to be their best for themselves? Employers should want employees to live up to their own standards, which may even be higher than those of the companies because it's not approval that's on the line. It's how they feel about themselves.

Related: How to Survive Your First Month of Self-Employment

4. Mission

The self-employed business owner doesn't quit. It's their dream they are building and nothing short of obstacles that can't be overcome are going to stop them.

Employees with a self-employed mindset want to be part of the bigger picture too — the mission, the impact and the purpose of a brand. Employees who work for a company with values similar to their own also don't quit. They are working towards something greater.

5. Impact

While money and supporting a lifestyle is often a primary objective of a self-employed business owner, it is not solely the reason they work so hard. It's also to make a difference in their communities, the world and to those they serve. Money alone is rarely enough to sustain even the most die-hard of the self-employed. Impacting lives is the fuel that keeps them fired up.

Gartner research shows that 74% of employees expect their employer to be actively involved in current social issues. It is this sense of impact and making a difference in the world outside of the company that keeps employees committed, engaged and proud of their company.

As companies continue to open up after the pandemic, many are struggling to find enough workers. Some serious consideration needs to be given to what the best employees of the future want. Employers will want to learn how to recruit, support and encourage a self-employed mindset in their employees. There's an opportunity here for a true win-win: Employees seeking the autonomy and satisfaction of self-employment without the risk and employers gaining a workforce that cares about their business as if it was their own. This makes the best employees of the future those with a self-employed mindset.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Social Impact Businesses are on the Rise

Jeffrey Shaw

Small business coach

Small business coach, Jeffrey Shaw is the author of The Self-Employed Life and LINGO, as well as an in-demand keynote speaker. He's the host of the top-rated podcast, The Self-Employed Life and a LinkedIn Learning instructor. Shaw's TEDxLincolnSquare talk is featured on TED.com.

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