The impact of work-related values and work control on the career satisfaction of female freelancers

P. Peters*, R.J. Blomme, W. De Jager, B.I.J.M. van der Heijden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Using the job demands-resources theory incorporating a job-crafting perspective to develop a set of hypotheses, this study contributes to the self-employment and freelancing literature by examining whether female freelancers use their agency to mobilize their personal resources (i.e. work-related values) to craft their work resources (i.e. work-control indicators: work autonomy and time-spatial flexibility) to achieve more career satisfaction. Our structural partial least squares model (N = 203) shows that the work-related value 'intrinsically rewarding work' prompts two motivational processes that affect career satisfaction: one running directly to 'career satisfaction' and one through 'work autonomy'. Although the value 'work-life balance' is positively associated with greater 'time-spatial flexibility', this does not affect career satisfaction. Moreover, we find negative associations between the value 'financial security', on the one hand, and the two work resources, on the other hand. Hence, the value financial security is negatively related to work autonomy towards career satisfaction. We conclude that female freelancers' multiple, oftentimes blended values compete with one another, implying that achieving meaningful work, work-life balance and financial independence simultaneously is difficult in female freelancers' careers. We discuss the study's implications for future research and advocate labour-market stakeholders (e.g. freelancers, freelancers' networks, career coaches, temporary work agencies, unions, local and national governments, educational institutions and public and private organizations) to partner in developing value-based career strategies and policies that account for less linear career paths in increasingly flexible and individualized markets and truly support (female) workers developing portfolios that better match with their multiple work-related values on a long-term basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493–506
Number of pages14
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Career satisfaction
  • FIT
  • JOB
  • Women entrepreneurs
  • Work related values
  • Working conditions


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of work-related values and work control on the career satisfaction of female freelancers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this