This article contains a list of the Pros and Cons of Freelancing as well as emphasis on them.
In a place where getting befitting employment seems impossible even with commendable qualifications, those affected are left with no choice than to seek alternatives. Freelancing has made that very easy.
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 individuals and corporate bodies. Freelancing gives one the opportunity to work with multiple clients at a time.
Very common fields for freelance work include content writing, graphic/web design, marketing, and social media. As common as freelancing has become, not too many people understand what it entails. For those who do, a very common question from such people is on the pros and cons of freelancing. If at any time you have ever wondered if freelancing ever has an advantage or a disadvantage, you’re not alone. Even companies seek answer to this question, in order to ascertain whether or not to hire freelancers
In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of freelancing but before that, bear in mind that there are many advantages and disadvantages of freelancing, and many may depend on your industry or area of specialty.
As you know, changes in the labour market happen faster than we can imagine. As such, I will be writing from experience as a freelancer but will try as much as possible to discuss the pros and cons from a professional perspective without sentiments.
Below are the pros and cons of freelancing:
THE PROS OF FREELANCING
One of the top advantages of freelancing is its flexibility. Freelancing takes flexibility to a whole new level. It gives you the freedom to combine different jobs without fear. This implies that with freelancing, you can successfully joggle between 9-to-5 jobs and different remote jobs. Not only are you free to do other remote jobs, you also have the ability to work alone, and in places where you are most comfortable doing so.
Working from home can save you much money, and helps freelancers keep costs and time spent efficiently by scrapping commuting and having balanced work-from-home lives.
With such freedom over clients and workload, freelancers have the flexibility that most people dream of.
2. Freedom to Choose Clients
Unlike 9-to-5 jobs, freelancing allows you to choose the clients you want to work with. As a freelancer, you’re not owned by any organization or client. Hence, you have the ability to work with as many clients as possible as long as you’re able to meet targets and deadlines.
You may get the opportunity to work with diverse types of clients, giving you the opportunity to gain more knowledge. Freelancing has given me the opportunity to work for different clients from different parts of the world.
3. Control of Workload
Another benefit of freelancing is the ability to choose your workload. You can work as much or as little as you want, and you can choose projects suit you. Not only that, you get to focus on the work you love without the distractions of a full-time job like meetings, office distractions, etc.
As a freelancer, you can pick and choose what your remote work schedule should look like without worries. This is one of the differences between a full time office jobs.
Using myself as an example, freelancing has given me the opportunity to know a lot of things I wouldn’t have known ordinarily. It has connected me to a lot of individuals across the world. This is one thing a full-time office job probably wouldn’t. Freelance job give you the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and topics. For many who believe in taking chances, they go as far as accepting jobs outside their niche. The old thing is that your client may not know. The important thing is to deliver a good job.
Being stuck with an office job in one company may not provide you experience in other industries and career areas. One would argue that workers are trained occasionally but the said training is still on the job, to help you gain more knowledge inorder to execute the same task over again.
Freelancing is a way to broaden horizons, encouraging variety which can help to create an environment that is less monotonous and boring.
The more exposure you get, the broader the opportunity to increase your income. Yes, a lot of people have the belief that freelancers are poor. This could be true to an extent, but some freelancers are experienced, run sound businesses, know what they’re doing when it comes to money and offer their services at a high rate. It’s about the individual not the work.
CONS OF FREELANCING
Since freelancing entails working for different clients of your choice remotely as the case may be, one would assume that there would be no such thing as tax payment. I thought so too till I became a freelancer. Freelancers also have deductions that full time office employees do experience. These taxes can be rather complicated and challenging, but when freelancing taxes are less straightforward than when you work full-time.
Basically, as a freelancer, you have to consider that your clients will send you checks or deposits for your work, without taxes taken out.
Let’s take for instance, you’re offered 100$ for a job and at the end of the task, you’re paid the money through whatever payment platform. Depending on the method of payment and location, you will most likely pay when withdrawing the money.
For those on freelancing platforms like Fiverr, up work, etc, you’re equally charged a given amount for being on the platform.
Taxes can be a disadvantage of freelancing, so be sure to carefully consider regulations and laws when setting your rates and signing up in certain freelancing platforms.
2. Lack of Benefits
Most 9-to-5 employees, if not all, are entitled to certain benefits and bonuses at some point in time. Freelancers rarely receive benefits. Since it’s known that freelancers are self-employed, they are solely responsible for finding and funding their expenses even down to insurance.
You’ll have to find your own insurance as a freelancer. Once you start freelancing, there’s no company to offer you your benefits package.
3. Sporadic Work
There is this confidence that comes with knowing you have a steady means of income. For 9-to-5 workers, a steady cash flow is guaranteed at the end of every month.
In freelancing, finding a steady work is never guaranteed and that is a disadvantage. There are seasons in freelancing. One minute, you’re getting numerous jobs with serious clients, the next minute, there are no jobs. Other times, when you think you have gotten long-term contract, a client may end the contract earlier than you ever anticipated. You may finish a project and find it difficult to find more work.
When I recently joined a particular freelancing platform, I got my first job from a foreign client and deep down, I concluded it was going to be a long term contract due to how well we related. Trust me, ever since; I haven’t gotten another project from the said client.
As a freelancer, it goes without saying that every client is temporary and may not last forever. In fact, always be thankful and grateful every time a client does renew a contract or ask for repeat work
For these reasons, it is pertinent as a freelancer to always be on the hunt for more opportunities. It can be frustrating.
4. Ultimate Responsibility
What did you hear about entrepreneurs? That they are business owners, they bear the risks and make every decision? If this is true, why do you feel a freelancer is and didn’t?
When you’re a freelancer, you’re running a business. You’re in charge of business development, getting clients, managing your clients, billing/collecting, and paying taxes. Not everyone is prepared and able to handle these tasks. You are the master of your brand, and you need to run your freelance career like a business.
If you feel that your client is being too demanding, you have to carefully deal with the situation so as to not lose trust.
You also have to market yourself. It can feel like a constant job search when writing pitches, networking to 8 connections, applying for opportunities that could pan out, and being rejected. It can be a difference to working full-time for a corporation or small company.
5. Cash Flow
Do you know that as good as freelancing may sound, freelancers also get played?
Well, you may not know but freelancers also get ill treatment. While freelancers can set their own fees, they are also responsible for collecting payment. Unfortunately, there are some freelancers that have been faced with clients that don’t pay up or don’t even pay at all.
On the other hand, some clients may pay late, and before this happens, you may have to chase after such clients.
I have once worked for a client who never paid me. This was not supposed to happen but I guess I trusted too much and sadly, my trust was betrayed.
One of the biggest differences between freelancing and working full-time is that when you work full-time, your pay comes, as expected, either twice a month or every other week. With freelancing, you have to set your own payment terms and be ready to stand up for yourself when a client has limited cash flow, internal delays or other issues.
To help freelancers in this regard, some freelancing platforms have policies to prohibit freelancers from accepting payment off the platform. Every transaction and agreement must be reached on the platform. This way, the freelancer is protected to a reasonable extent.
Another common disadvantage to being a freelancer is that you will be excluded from a team because most times, you’re working remotely.
Unless you have people close to you to work with, more often than not, you will work alone and some people dread this idea. However, on rare occasions, you might have a team to work with, although every discussion is strictly online too.
If you don’t enjoy working alone without a physical supervisor, freelancing isn’t for you.
Whatever has an advantage must have a disadvantage. As flexible as freelance jobs are, it also has its downsides. If you love freedom and enjoy controlling your time, workload and calling the shots, then freelancing, regardless of your field, is the way to go, but you can’t successfully execute a task without supervision, then a 9-to-5 office job suits you better.
Freelancing is not meant for everyone. For some, it’s a means to an end while for others; it is a career that is paying off.
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