Think of the term "freelancer," and there's a good chance the first thing that comes to mind for most people is the idea of working in pyjamas from the comfort of your sofa. While it's safe to say that you do have a lot more control over your working environment when you're a freelancer, there's more to it than just lazing around in front of the television while you work.
Freelancers work a lot harder than most people might imagine, and they have to put up with a selection of "negative" working points if they want to reap the benefits of being their own boss (so to speak). As with most things in life, there are ups and downs to being a full-time freelancer. In today's article, we're going to let you see the pros and cons!
The Advantages of Being a Freelancer
There are plenty of plus points to becoming a full-time freelancer. After all, there has to be some reasons why so many of today's employees are taking the freelance route wherever they can. Even standard workers are looking for more opportunities to work from home - so what's the draw of freelancing?
1. You Choose Your Own Hours
While a nine-to-five shift might be the most common option for people in search of a well-paying career, this schedule might not take advantage of your most productive hours. As a freelancer, you can choose how you want to organise your day based on what you know about your working habits. For instance, if you know you do your best work during the early hours of your morning, you can schedule all of your tasks to happen then, and then enjoy the rest of the day however you like.
2. You Choose Where You Want to Work
Becoming a full-time freelancer doesn't just mean that you have the freedom to work from your sofa - it also means that you can work wherever you want. In other words, if you want to take your laptop down to your local coffee shop and work from there, then that's totally up to you. If you'd prefer to go out in the garden and complete your tasks in the sunshine - that's fine too, as long as you don't get caught in the rain with your electronics.
3. You Can Earn More
When you're a freelancer, your income isn't limited by how many hours you work. Instead, you can charge your clients however much you think you're worth. Although it's worth doing your research and making sure that you're offering a competitive rate, it's also important to note that freelancers can potentially earn a lot more than their salaried counterparts too. Plus, you get to pocket all the profit that comes from your work.
4. You're Your Own Boss
Finally, one of the biggest benefits of being a full-time freelancer is that you don't have anyone watching over your shoulder all the time to make sure that you're completing your tasks how and when you should be. Instead, as a freelancer, you get to take charge of what you work on each day, and you have no-one to answer to - unless you count your clients. You get to pursue a career that you're passionate about and build the career that you want most.
The Disadvantages of Being a Freelancer
Although being a freelancer can be an incredible experience, there are also disadvantages to consider too. When deciding whether the lifestyle is right for you, make sure you consider the following.
1. You'll Have to Make More Money
Although you can naturally make more money as a freelancer, you'll also need to remember that simply making the same as you did in your last job won't be enough. Although it can feel like you're accomplishing your goals, when you're earning the same income, you need to remember that you're also paying for extra things that might have been covered at your salaried job, like taxes, and business expenses too.
2. You'll Have to Do More
Although you'll probably be offering a very specific service to your customers as a full-time freelancer, that doesn't mean that you won't have a lot of different jobs to do. For instance, you'll have to devote more time each week to activities that you never considered as a standard employee. For instance, you'll need to deal with accounting matters like managing your books, conducting your own advertising, and sending out invoices to clients.
3. You May Have to Deal with an Inconsistent Cash Flow
Ultimately, regardless of what you do for a living, you'll need to remember that your mortgage or rent must be paid every month, and you have to buy food every week. The bills that you have to deal with as a standard employee are the same as the expenses that come in for a freelancer. However, when you're working as a freelance employee, you can't necessarily count on getting a regular paycheck. Unless you're lucky enough to have regular clients, you'll need to work on saving cash back from every payment, so you have enough to make ends meet.
4. You're Responsible for Finding Work
Finally, when you're employed, you come into work, and you get your tasks for the day - it's as simple as that. However, when you're a freelancer, you have to constantly look for opportunities to earn more income. Sometimes, if you're an established freelancer, you'll be able to generate attention from clients with your marketing and social media efforts. However, to begin with, you're going to find it difficult to find clients. Additionally, freelancers can also face ups and downs in demand.
Making the decision to live life as a full-time freelancer can be a wonderful change to your current situation. However, it's not a change that should be considered lightly. Like any big decision, you'll need to think carefully about your options and make sure that you're taking the plunge with your eyes open.