The Major Benefits and Downsides of Being a Freelancer

Weighing the pros and cons

You’ve probably noticed the signs that remind you of more reasons to hate going to the office earlier than you would prefer. Or perhaps you’ve been nurturing the idea of being an entrepreneur. But, before you devote time to start your own business as a freelancer, its best to be aware of the pros and cons of being a freelancer. This will be a life-changing decision, and it has the potential to affect you positively or negatively. As part of what you should know, Below are top five benefits and and disadvantages of being a freelancer in comparison to working as a full-time 9-to-5 employee.

5 advantages of being a freelancer

1. Flexible Working Hours 

This is one of the first reasons why a lot of people choose the option of working as a freelancer. You can literally choose to work whenever you want without being forced to by someone else. If you feel like taking an entire week off, you simply have to give yourself permission to drop what you are doing and pursue something else. In addition to this, you can set yourself to work during the time of day that you are most productive. You won’t be restricted to any official business hours as you can work during at night and rest all day.

2. Control over Clients and Jobs –

When you work for someone else, you don’t get a choice of who you work with. You can become stuck with unprofessional or rude clients. But, when you’re a freelancer, you can choose with whom you work. If you don’t mesh well with a client’s personality or business or payment philosophies, you can pass on the opportunity and wish them the best. It’s as easy as that.

3. Work Wherever You Want –

Whether you prefer consistency or shaking things up when it comes to your work environment, you can choose to work wherever you want, whether you choose to work in a local coffee shop or while you’re on vacation in Europe.  You are no longer stuck in an office or even in your home. Find a place in which you work best. You could work in a park, at the library, or in your living room while you’re wearing your pajamas.

4. You’re the Boss –

You no longer have to answer to anyone but your clients and yourself. No one is hanging over you or micromanaging you. You are free to do as you please, when you please. Making all the tough decisions just became your responsibility; you have all the control.

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5. You Keep All the Profits –

No longer do you have to work for a flat rate, no matter how large the projects are that you complete. Now, you get to allocate or keep all the profits from your large and small projects and clients. This gives you the freedom to then use that money to improve yourself and expand your business.

Disadvantages of Freelancing

1. Not Steady or Reliable Workloads –

Unfortunately, being a freelancer means that your income and your workload are unstable and inconsistent. For the most part, you won’t be able to depend on any regular project, client, or profit, whereas you would know the exact pay you’ll receive at a traditional job.

2. Distinguishing Between Work and Personal Time –

Being your own boss and working from your home also means that it can be difficult to distinguish between your work time and your personal life. This means that you can work long hours and never make time for your personal interests.

3. A lot of Legwork –

You are now in charge of finding all your own clients and projects. When you worked a traditional job, your projects were probably handed to you. But now, you’re the sole person responsible, so that means a lot of legwork on your part.  And that means you have to wear many hats, including marketing, advertising, and sales.

4. Not Getting Paid 

Being a freelancer also means that you run the risk of not getting paid. This is fairly common in the freelance world, and one more hat you’ll have to wear is that of a debt collector. There are ways to protect yourself from non-paying clients, but sometimes you won’t realize you’re at risk until it’s too late.

5. No Employer Benefits –

Health benefits are expensive. Depending on your current health, switching to a freelance lifestyle might not be in your best interest. Also, starting your own freelance business means you no longer have paid sick days or vacation time to use. Every day you don’t work is a day you won’t get paid.

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The takeaway

Freelancing is equal parts positive and negative. You just have to decide if you’re willing to take the risk that almost always accompanies it. Freelancing means professional freedom, but it also means instability and the risk of failure. And that may not be what you need in your professional life. But if you risk your stability for something more in tune with your professional goals than a traditional job, you have the opportunity to build your name and reputation and reach your professional goals.

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