As per a survey in America, nearly 1 in every three people is a freelancer.
That’s how popular freelancing is as a career choice.
More and more people are finding working individually more appealing than working under a company. What makes freelancing so appealing and is it really worth the effort are some of the questions, we address in our blog.
Have you ever wondered why the youth are so attracted to freelancing? What exactly does it mean to be a freelancer?
A freelancer is a self-employed person who earns wages from short-term jobs or tasks. Instead of working a 9 to 5 job with one employer, freelancers can work with multiple clients at once.
Usually, you can find freelancing jobs on websites like UpWork and Freelancer. A few popular categories of freelancing jobs include design, marketing, social media, content writing, and many more.
Freelancing as a term was introduced in the early 2000s when the popularity poll for independent work spiked. Today, huge organizations like Google have more freelance workers than permanent employees.
Many organizations hire freelancers for their work. However, at times they prefer hiring virtual assistants over freelancers. As the name suggests, virtual assistants are individuals who assist you with smaller tasks. Check out our blog Freelancers Vs Virtual Assistants for more information.
Working as a virtual assistant may give you the same benefits as a freelancer but with the stability of a job.
As appealing as it sounds, freelancing comes with many risks and struggles. However, if you want to improve professionally or want to be free of the corporate world, freelancing just might be the solution for you.
If you want to join the growing community of freelancing, or are contemplating restarting your career as a freelancer, we have prepared a list of pros and cons that might help you make the right choice.
Let's get right into it!
10 PROS And CONS Of Freelancing
Opportunities To Control And Grow Your Income
There have been some unwarranted myths about freelancers regarding their income, or rather, the lack of it. People assume that freelancers are usually strapped for cash. This could be true at the beginning of their careers, but there are freelancers who, with experience and practice, have established themselves as a brand and offer their services at a reasonable rate, if not higher.
Freelancing allows you to work from home, in your comfort zone. This will enable you to cut back on all the money spent commuting. In addition, it helps freelancers use the cost and time spent on commuting effectively, leading to a better work-life balance.
In the beginning, it might be difficult for you to find clients based on your lack of experience, but once you have the right expertise and skills, you will be able to create your brand and offer your services for a price. For example, some freelancers charge according to the time they spend on the project.
Work Remotely Does Not Mean Work From Home
As a freelancer, you get to choose where and how you work. You could sit in your adjustable bed in your pajamas or at your local cafe. It won’t matter as long as you get the job done. Most office employees feel stuck in a cubicle for hours. But as a freelancer, you won't have to worry about that.
You could wake up and choose to work on a personal project before working for your client and vice versa. It saves you a lot of time to invest in fitness or other such activities.
A lot of freelancers enjoy working remotely and traveling at the same time. For example, you could be on a trip to the Bahamas while working, or you could sit under a tree in your local park to work. It allows you to enjoy life to its fullest without missing out on much.
Independence To Work And Grow
As a freelancer, you will get what most employees don’t; independence. As mentioned earlier, you won’t be stuck in a cubicle for hours. In addition, you will get to choose when you want to work; part-time or full-time. So, for example, you could work part-time in the summers while working full-time throughout the year. Or you could do it vice versa.
You can choose which clients you want to work with as a freelancer. Also, there is no limit to how many clients you can work with at once. You can work on multiple projects at the same time. You would get to decide which services you want to offer and at what price. All this is to say is that you would get complete control and independence in your work.
Through the course of time, you can accumulate a substantial amount of experience and knowledge. This helps you to make well-informed choices and manage your workflow better. Utilizing the right resources to do your tasks will also be a game changer. Finding suitable tools might help you gain tremendous time.
You Can Easily Control Your Workload
When you work for a company or someone else, you don’t get to pick our clients. Instead, you are usually handed a client that you have to deal with, no matter how rude or unprofessional the client is.
You can’t say the same for freelancers. Freelancers get to choose whom they want to work with and what they want to work on.
If you are a freelancer, you can work on a project that you love or are passionate about. Freelancing also gives you the flexibility of how much work can be completed. For example, you could work on a project for 4 hours in the morning and then do another task for 3 hours in the evening. That helps you build a balanced work-life. People who like to travel usually freelance when they are traveling. Certain people freelance while working for a company.
A full-time freelancer gets to work on the projects they love without distractions like meetings, office politics, etc. They do it if they like the job; they don’t have to justify it with any documents or presentations.
You Are Your Boss
That’s right, you are your boss. So you can work from anywhere, wear anything you like and nobody will call you out on it because you are your boss. But that’s not the important stuff.
What’s important is that you will get to select your clients. You will get to choose what to do and how to do it. You will not have to report your work to a superior or worry about it getting approved. You will not have to worry about not getting enough credit for the job. All you will have to worry about is picking up a project and giving it your best.
You will be the sole head of your business. You can control it however you want and reap all the profits.
Filing Taxes Can Be A Complicated Process
As an employee of a company, all you have to do is take your paycheck home. Your company is the one that handles all the taxes while you get the balance amount.
But when you are a freelancer, you are on your own. Your client won’t send you a paycheck with the taxes deducted; you have to do it independently. Freelancers usually have the responsibility of paying self-employment taxes quarterly.
However, freelancers or self-employed people qualify for deductions that employees don’t. Being a freelancer means knowing how to file your taxes, something they don’t teach in school. Taxes can sound scary and hard to deal with, but you will be good to go if you carefully read the regulations while setting your rates.
No Paid Leaves Or Employee Benefits
Most employees get paid time off, sick leaves, national holidays, and even company benefits like reimbursements, discounts, and insurance. Unfortunately, freelancers don’t. They have to rely on their earnings to get these benefits solely.
In addition, a freelancer has to pay insurance bills and organize retirement funding. So although you would get to work independently, you would not have any paid or sick leaves.
Lack Of Stability In Your Work
Most research shows that businesses fail within two years. The same could be said about freelancing. Today, you might have tons of clients at your doorstep, but there may be none tomorrow. Freelancing is all about keeping your work up to date. It’s not just about working from home. It is about growing while working from home.
At times you might have no clients at all. Your contract may get terminated abruptly. Your client may ghost you. Freelancing comes with no insurance. You have no insurance that you will always have success. Hence you must work on something that you like or are passionate about. Freelancing might not give you any financial insurance, but it promises many experiences.
Lots Of Sporadic Work
Being a freelancer means you have to run a one-person business. An employee just has to submit his proposals on time, but as a freelancer, you have to plan, schedule, market, everything on your own. And after doing all this, you still might find inconsistency in your work.
Surveys show that finding clients is the most common struggle among freelancers. Sometimes you might get shelved, or your contact might end abruptly. You might also experience clients who don’t pay at all. Today, you might have three jobs, but after a week, you might not even get a single one.
Freelancing work is best described as sporadic work. At times it is inconsistent and irregular. To have a successful career in freelancing, one might have to work hard to build a reputation or a profile that ensures the best quality to the client.
You Are Your Boss
Even though being a boss sounds exciting, it can be difficult. You won’t have someone responsible for putting a paycheck in your account, for starters. You will have to do it on your own. Sure, you can slack off a little since you don’t have a superior to report to, but doing the same may end up hurting you more.
Just because you won’t have a boss won’t mean you can slack off a lot; because unlike your boss, you will have to report to someone more demanding - your clients. And maybe you could refuse a rude client or show them the door, but you will have to think twice since you depend on them for your livelihood.
Freelancing has its share of pros and cons.
Now you know about the pros and cons of freelancing. It is a two-edged sword. Freelancing gives you the freedom to choose and flexibility, but it comes with risks of failure and no insurance.
So people looking for a more stable career and remuneration may consider becoming a virtual assistant instead.