Working as a Freelancer: Pros and ConsMay 09, 2023
Working as a freelancer is becoming a trend for many people, offering freedom and autonomy like never before. However, while it can be an ideal job situation for some, potential drawbacks must be considered. This blog post will explore the pros and cons of freelancing to help you decide if this lifestyle suits you.
Be your own boss
As an employee, you may have heard of freelancing, a working lifestyle that may catch your interest. It is a way of working made possible because of technological advances, such as computers, laptops, messaging applications, and the Internet. It differs in several ways from full-time employment and is something you may like to try if you want to be more flexible and independent.
There are pros and cons to working as a freelance, and one should be aware of them if one wants to try this work. However, if the pros outweigh the cons, then freelancing can work for you. Some may confuse freelancing with remote work, a style of working that involves you doing your job in the comfort of your home, but there are some differences, namely:
- Remote work, or work-from-home, can still be full-time employment, the difference being that one can work at home instead of in the office. However, one will still need to work eight to nine hours daily, five or six times a week.
- A remote work employee is still someone who may work with a company; hence, they are still covered by benefits, such as having paid leaves and other bonuses.
- Someone working from home may not entirely spend all their working hours at home, as some companies do a hybrid setup where employees still need to report to the office on particular days while working at home.
If you are contemplating whether a freelancing career is for you, take note of its advantages and disadvantages and see if there are more benefits for you. For example, if you want to change your working lifestyle, attain more work-life balance, and gain more experience doing various jobs, becoming a full-time freelancer may be your thing. The following are the pros and cons of doing freelance work.
- Flexibility is the name of the game for freelancing, and that means you don't necessarily have to work eight to nine hours a day to earn your pay. Generally, output is more critical in freelancing; your workday is done once you finish your work. You can then use your remaining time to do other freelance jobs you may have or use it for something else.
- Regarding flexibility, you are not restricted to one type of work with freelancing. Usually, a freelancer works with a client for his job, and it is possible to work for multiple clients simultaneously, as long as you know how to manage your own schedule effectively and can handle all the jobs you have.
- With freelancing, it is possible to increase your cash flow compared to working full-time, and this is due to the capability of a freelancer to work on multiple projects at once. When starting, a freelancer may find it challenging to earn money, but once they get their name out there and secure more clients, they can increase their earnings well.
- If commuting is a hassle, especially when dealing with traffic, freelancing can relieve this burden. You can work anywhere as a freelancer if you have a laptop and an Internet connection to do your job.
- If you are the type of person who doesn't want to deal with office politics and drama, having a freelance career might be for you. Most of the time, you are alone when working as a freelancer, although sometimes, there may be people around you, such as your family, significant other, or people working at an establishment such as a cafe if you choose to work outside. This means you don't have to interact regularly with people; if that is your preference, then freelancing can work for you.
- When freelancing, it is possible to develop multiple competencies based on your work type. With traditional employment, you may focus only on one kind of work and do that for the rest of your career unless you shift to a different industry. With a freelance job, you may have to utilize different skill sets to do the job, mainly if you handle multiple projects. For example, you may have to write, communicate with clients, input data on spreadsheets, manage accounts, etc. As a result, you can become more well-versed with such skills, use them for personal development, and have the edge on future projects.
- Having more work-life balance is perhaps the most significant benefit of freelancing. For example, suppose you need to travel back and forth to your office daily. In that case, this aspect will be gone when you go freelancing, and you will get back more of your time to do other things, particularly those that may not have anything to do with work, such as leisure and spending time with your family and friends. You can even use this time to do more of your responsibilities, which you may neglect if a lot of your daily time gets eaten by a full-time job.
- Work stability is an issue a freelancer may encounter with this type of work. It is typical for freelance jobs to last for a particular duration, such as several months to a year or more, depending on the client's needs. Once a project is done, a client may let go of a freelancer or renew them again for a different type of work. As a freelancer, one should never forget that you may jump from one client to another, which can lead to periods when you have little or no work, affecting your finances.
- Employee benefits are something that may not necessarily be given to a freelancer. But, most of the time, they will earn basic pay, and that's it. Some clients may be generous enough to throw perks, like Internet allowances or paid leaves, but don't expect every client to give these. Freelancers will need to secure their benefits through insurance or retirement and savings plans by using their budget and putting money into these things themselves.
- As a freelancer, you will be responsible for procuring your equipment, such as a desktop computer, laptop, and Internet connection. You may also need to arrange and buy some furniture to create your working space. You will need to shoulder these costs by yourself. Also, you must be very disciplined in getting work done and manage your time well if you want to go the freelancing route.
- Sometimes, freelancers may encounter payment issues with their clients. For example, clients may suffer delays or setbacks, affecting a freelancer's pay. Unfortunately, there can also be instances of clients not paying their freelancers after a project is done. These are issues one may face when doing freelance work, so finding clients that are trustworthy is something a freelancer will need to do.
- Feeling isolated and lonely can be things that a freelancer may experience when doing their work. Often, a freelancer works alone, with minimal contact or supervision from their clients or other freelancers the same client may employ. As such, if you are an extrovert and more of an outgoing, people person, it can be a challenge to work as a freelancer due to the solitary nature one spends most of their time doing freelance work.
Is freelancing for you?
Working as a freelancer is like setting up yourself and your skills as a business with you as the boss and marketing yourself to get clients to hire you. However, it can work wonders if you are willing to enter a new world of working, if the pros outweigh the cons, and if you are ready to handle and accept the disadvantages of freelancing. As a result, many people are turning more to freelancing, and for good reasons. Some may have felt tired and constricted working in a traditional workplace; others may find it more challenging to secure employment from companies, or their earnings may not be enough. Freelancing can start as a side hustle, and this is an excellent way to test if such a work setup can work for you. If it does, you may eventually go freelancing full-time and enjoy the benefits that it can give.