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Online freelancing as an alternative working form increasingly gains prominence in research and practice. Here, independent workers offer services on digital labor platforms. While the general understanding of this form of work increases, IT work performed in this form is not fully understood. Especially the collaborative nature of IT work and the high, rapidly changing skill level required, affects the career development of IT freelancers. Therefore, this study aims to understand how the careers of IT freelancers evolve. To answer our research question, we conduct an exploratory analysis of twelve IT freelancers on a digital labor platform. We develop an IT freelancing career process model. Furthermore, we outline advancement and decline mechanisms and different exit options from the digital labor platform. We also illustrate the role of IT freelancer teams. Our findings thus contribute to the body of knowledge on IT work and alternative work forms on digital labor platforms.



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