Freelance work has become a popular career choice for a lot of people these days. Instead of working on a regular basis for one employer, freelancers are self-employed and offer their services to businesses, usually working with multiple clients at a time. Popular fields for freelance work include writing, design, marketing, and social media.
With the gig economy on the rise, you may be interested in becoming a freelancer yourself. Before deciding if you should make the switch, it's important to take a look at the pros and cons.
Watch the video below to learn some of the pros and cons of freelance work.
Freelance work provides more flexibility than singular jobs. You're able to map out your own schedule as you see fit, instead of having to work specific hours chosen by someone else. If something comes up during the day, you can deal with it and continue your work afterward. This flexibility may make it easier to maintain a good work-life balance.
In addition to your schedule being flexible, some freelance jobs allow you to work from anywhere, whether it's at home, in a coffee shop, or on the go. You may end up saving money by not having to commute, and there's the added bonus of not having to worry about getting dressed up for work.
In many jobs, you're often assigned tasks or projects without having much say in the matter. As a freelancer, you're able to choose your own projects. When starting out, you probably won't get to be too picky, but you may have more flexibility as you become more successful. You also have the option of choosing which clients and companies you work with, allowing you to pursue what you're more interested in or passionate about.
The pay rates in freelance work are often higher than permanent employment, and the amount you make is entirely dependent upon how much work you choose to take on. While there may be some hidden costs, like travel expenses, marketing, and off-the-clock preparations, you may sometimes be able to set your own pay rates to account for these costs.
While there certainly are a number of benefits to freelance work, there also are some downsides. There may be periods of time when your workload is inconsistent. You may experience a feast-or-famine cycle, where you'll have a lot of jobs and projects one month but not much the next month. The unpredictable nature of freelance work may turn some people away from it.
A reason for this may be that you're experiencing difficulty finding clients. As a freelancer, you'll need to be motivated and outgoing to find consistent work. While finding clients, it's also important to make sure they're reputable. Businesses may pay you later than they initially stated, or in some particularly bad cases they may not pay you at all.
The freelance lifestyle has a much less structured day than traditional employment as well. Some people enjoy this and view it as a positive, but for others it can potentially pose some challenges. If you're not disciplined, motivated, and organized, it can come back to bite you. You'll need to be able to keep track of multiple projects and deadlines at the same time, and you'll have to avoid becoming distracted or lazy in an environment in which you are your own boss.
In addition to keeping track of your work, you'll need to track, manage, and put aside money for all of your taxes. In most traditional jobs, taxes are automatically deducted from your paycheck; as a freelancer, you're on your own. You'll need to keep tabs on all of your income, expenses, and other miscellaneous financial records to ensure you're saving enough to pay for them.
You also don't receive benefits as a freelancer. You'll have to pay for insurance on your own and organize your own retirement funding. There's also no paid time off or sick leave. Although you get to set your own schedule, you still may need to work during your vacation or when you're not feeling well.
Some freelancers love the the lifestyle that accompanies their work, while others have found that it's simply not for them. It varies from person to person. We hope these pros and cons can help you decide whether freelancing is right for you.