When someone says that he or she works as a freelancer, people imagine them working in pajamas with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a small plate of delectable cookies on the table.
While it may sound like a relaxing and laid back setup, you mustn’t be fooled so easily. The picture above barely paints the entire story.
There’s so much to becoming a freelancer. The roles and responsibilities you need to attend to changes, depending on the industry you choose to work in.
Before quitting your current job, it’s crucial to understand the pros and cons that come with being a freelancer. This will help you avoid making too many compromises and understanding which career option works best depending on your personality and work attitude.
What are the advantages?
Several advantages come with working as a freelancer. We gathered the top four perks that attract people to shift to a freelancing career.
1. Work on your most convenient schedule
People working on the usual nine to five schedule sometimes can’t take full advantage of their most efficient and productive hours. Some individuals work better in the wee hours of the morning, while others perform and work more efficiently during late nights.
As a freelance worker, you have more control over your schedule. You can choose to take client work that suits your preferred working schedule.
2. Choose your workplace
Thanks to the improved connectivity, freelancers are no longer tied to working inside their homes. They can work in coffee shops, libraries, coworking spaces, and just about anywhere that has a WiFi connection and a power plug.
3. Work without worrying about your boss
As a freelancer, you get to have full control of your workload. You’re no longer answerable to a manager or supervisor. Of course, there may be instances wherein you need to work on some tasks that you’re not really keen on doing, but at least you still have the opportunity to move on to another project.
4. Increase your income potential
Freelancers tend to earn more money than salaried employees because they get to charge depending on what value they can offer to their clients. In most cases, salaried employees get paid 20 times lesser than what their companies charge their clients.
If you choose to work as a freelancer, after you settle your expenses and taxes, you get to keep the rest of your earnings. The only challenge is to find long-term good-paying clients.
What are the disadvantages?
Before you abandon your regular day job, you must consider the disadvantages of working as a freelancer at home. Here are the four most commonly complained disadvantage of being a freelance worker:
1. You need to invest time and resources in learning new skills
In most cases, you need to learn how to use freelancing tools like Quikflw for generating quotes and invoices, Trello for organizing tasks, Time Doctor for time stamping your projects and Google apps for usual client work.
You also need to invest time in learning new skills. Sometimes, freelancers are required to undergo training to offer more value to their target customers.
2. You have to be more mindful of the cash flow
Every month, you have to pay for your rent, mortgages, food expenses and other costs. Unfortunately, as a freelancer, you don’t get to enjoy a steady cash flow like when you work in a regular day job. There may be months when you don’t have any project and weeks where your clients fail to pay you on time.
3. Say goodbye to the usual employee benefits
Freelancers don’t get to enjoy the same benefits that employees get such as legal assistance, health care coverage, dental plans, life insurance and retirement benefit plans.
4. You’re responsible for everything
Working as a freelancer means you don’t have the luxury to pass on tasks and responsibilities to someone else.
For example, if you’re a newbie, you need to reach out to prospects, create your own copies, conduct market research and perform other necessary tasks in order to seal the deal with a suitable client.
Do take note, that because of the increasing demand for freelance work, it can be tough to find customers. Millions of former employees have started shifting into the freelance industry. Like you, they’re also actively looking for clients. Unless you have something unique and valuable to offer, it will surely take you long to find a steady paying gig.
Like your current nine to five job, freelancing is not an easy task. It entails a lot of things and requires immense work ethics and discipline. It takes guts and a lot of hard work to succeed as a freelancer.
Before you make a career change, be sure to weigh in on the pros and cons to avoid issues in the future. You must understand what it takes to work in this highly competitive industry.