Freelancing isn’t for everyone, but for many, it’s an exciting route out of the dull routine of the nine-to-five. Many people rave about the flexibility freelancing can offer, and even that it can be lucrative, but few people mention some of the significant downsides.
Are you thinking of taking the leap into freelancing? Let’s chat about some of the benefits as well as the drawbacks. While many freelancers enjoy the flexibility of working where and when they want, along with the opportunity to employ a diverse skill set, others may be turned off by the need to drum up work, the volatile nature of the gig economy and the lack of benefits. More than a simple pro/con list, let’s look a little deeper.
Working In Your Pajamas? Yes Please!
The flexibility that comes with freelancing is what drew me in. On most days, I can wake up as early or as late as I want, work a bit, take a break to hit the gym and then return to work as I please — supposing I meet all of my project deadlines.
Freelancing enables me to visit my friends and family whenever it fits their schedules without me having to ask my employer to take time off. Because most freelancing jobs are location independent, I can grind away at my local coffee shop or on the couch in my pajamas. In the same vein, as a freelancer, I’m in control of my workload. I can work for two hours a day or ten.
You Can Be A Jack of All Trades
Unlike working a full-time job where responsibilities may be strictly defined, as a freelancer, you can have your pick of what projects you take on. The limit is, truly, what you can learn.
If you are a person with many different interests and skill sets, you can choose to take on a multitude of jobs within different fields. For example, while I’m a content writer, I’m also a copyeditor, social media manager, and an online coach. I love having many different irons in the fire because that gives me a different set of challenges every day and keeps my days interesting.
The Hustle and the Burn Out
While it certainly has its draws, freelancing may not be for everyone. There are many aspects of freelance life that can be difficult to cope with. For example, freelancers have to find and land clients. That search can sometimes be difficult without the right network. Many find the “hustle” of constantly courting potential clients exhausting.
Also, pay can vary widely. Freelancers may find themselves negotiating and accepting a wide range of pay across various projects. While many freelancers have anchor clients that provide them with a steady stream of work and pay them regularly, the “gig economy” can be more volatile than many office jobs.
And finally, those cushy benefits that come with full-time roles? Freelancers are on the hook to buy those themselves if they want them.
Whether you make the leap or not depends on what you find most valuable: the stability of a full-time job or the flexibility and the excitement that comes with freelancing. To test out the lifestyle, pick up a few gigs on the side while maintaining your full-time job.