People are often influenced by the perceived advantages of freelancing and take the plunge before really exploring exactly what it means in reality. In today’s blog, we explore the most commonly cited advantages and disadvantages of life as a freelancer.
1. You’re the boss
The only people you have to answer to are your clients and yourself. Nobody is hanging over you trying to micromanage you. To a point, you are free to do as you please when you please.
2. Flexible working hours
Possibly the biggest advantage for many is the flexibility that freelancing offers; essentially you decide when you work. You can work during the hours when you feel most productive, whether that is 7:00 am or 7:00 pm, depending on the nature of what you do. The good news though is that you are in charge of your working day, you can choose the hours that best suit your lifestyle.
3. You can work wherever you want
Whilst some people prefer consistency, others like to share things up when it comes to their work environment. For me, I often find inspiration in my local coffee shop, people watching and listening in on conversations. For others, they may choose to work outdoors or in a co-working space. What matters is the choice is yours – work where you feel most comfortable, alone or with others.
4. Control over jobs and clients
When you are employed by somebody else, you rarely get a choice of who you work with. But, when you are a freelancer, that all changes. You get to choose with whom you work. This can make it a much more enjoyable experience overall and you get to develop long-term relationships and future job opportunities.
5. You get to keep all the profits
As a freelancer, you no longer have to work for a flat rate or fixed salary. Now, you get to allocate or keep all the profits from your large and small projects and clients. This gives you the freedom to then use that money to improve yourself and expand your business however you see fit.
1. You’re now the boss
Making tough decisions has now become your sole responsibility. You also have to juggle the tasks of doing the work, keeping your pipeline moving, and organizing the finances, including paying your taxes. Many of these new tasks will be completely new and you are under pressure to learn on the job.
2. You may not get a stable income (like your previous monthly salary)
Until become established, finding work on a regular basis may be a difficult task. It can take several attempts and a lot of time to land your first project, and even this may be only a short-term thing meaning you have to start the process again months later. Unlike a regular salaried job, life as a freelancer can be a little more uncertain. Some months you may earn a lot and other months it could be little or nothing. This means that you need to plan ahead and identify (if possible) when the leaner months will come. With some good money management skills, it is possible to manage.
3. It can be lonely and isolating
If you have been used to working in a busy office environment and suddenly you are now working on your own, from home, you can feel very isolated. You no longer have someone to bounce ideas off or simply go to lunch with. The important thing is not to let this impact your work. Try to find a community to give you some support and backup.
4. It can be hard to remain creative, innovative, and enthusiastic all the time
We’re not saying you have to be all these things but, depending on the sector you work in, it can be expected. As a freelancer, you need to be aware of all the latest developments and become a lifelong learner to keep your skills updated and relevant. It’s not always easy to accomplish this and it can be one of the reasons why so many freelancers give up.
5. It can be difficult to distinguish between work and personal time
Being your own boss and working from your home also means that it can be difficult to distinguish between your work time and your personal life. This is especially true at the start of your freelancing journey. You may end up working long hours and forget to make time for your personal interests.
Not everybody may be cut out to be a freelancer, but if you feel it’s for you, then it’s important to look at both sides of the coin to make sure you know what you are doing and understand the changes it may require to your existing lifestyle. There is a chance you may feel discouraged after weighing up the pros and cons, but the good thing is that with careful planning you should be able to overcome most things. Why not try freelancing as a part-time activity first before you slowly turn it into a full-time profession as your knowledge and experience grow?
Whatever you decide, we wish you the best of luck. And remember, we’ll be right behind you, every step of the way.