How to Take Advantage of the Many Benefits of Freelancing
The stability of a nine-to-five is necessary for some.
Going into an office every day and working for a steady income has many advantages. However, it’s important to note that the traditional nine-to-five is not a professional’s only option.
What are the benefits of freelancing?
- Autonomy over your work
- Not tied to one location
- Decide own income
Freelancing is a growing trend, and there are also many freelance platforms available where companies can look for freelance workers to take on specialized projects. But what’s so great about something that people are willing to set aside the perks that come with a standard full-time job, like paid time off?
Let’s discuss the benefits of becoming a freelancer.
Benefits of freelancing
There are many advantages of freelancing to take advantage of. While the benefits may vary based on the overall industry, the primary benefits are:
Freelancers know how much work they can get done in a specific amount of time. This means they’re able to create their own schedules. This is especially helpful for freelancers who have kids or pets that need care during the day.
Freelancers have the flexibility to work on a typical 9-to-5 shift, or they could choose to work only on nights and weekends. Having the freedom to choose your schedule, hours, and location is a huge benefit to consider.
Autonomy over your work
Freelancers have the divine freedom to say yes or no to certain projects and clients. At an agency or typical organization, an employee might be assigned a client that they had no choice but to work with or a project that may feel outside of their wheelhouse. Freelancers don’t suffer from the same obligation.
If a client is particularly fussy or unrealistic, a freelancer can choose never to work with them again. Also, freelancers aren’t beholden to a company, so they can even deny clients based on personal or moral reasons.
Not tied to one location
With the increase of freelancers, especially freelance writers, the remote workforce and working from home is growing. One benefit that comes with this is the ability to live anywhere, as opposed to staying local to where you work. Many freelancers leave the security of office life because they are simply tired of, or unable to, remain centrally located in the office.
This also means there’s no commute to work since freelancers can work from anywhere. This saves money on things like gas, parking, and train tickets.
Freelancers are self-employed, meaning there is no manager looming over their shoulders to make sure all work is done in a timely manner. Freelancers act as their own bosses, find their own clientele, do the work, and send invoices for payments. Being self-employed also means you have the freedom to explore passion projects without stressful office politics or performance appraisals.
The freedom of being able to control your own work and quality of work is an attractive prospect to many people.
was the total number of freelancers in the United States in 2022.
Source: Demand Sage
Decide your own income
Freelancers also have the freedom to decide what their work is worth. While the price might start out low, especially for beginners, rates can rise over time. This is a very attractive concept to many. Deciding your own income means never working for less than what your time is worth. Freelancers can also have multiple sources of income if they’re working with more than one client at a time or in addition to a standard 9 to 5.
However, freelancers do have the responsibility of pricing their rates reasonably. If a freelancer shoots too high, they may find it hard to book and retain clients.
Challenges of freelancing
While it’s clear freelancing has several advantages, it’s essential to consider the potential disadvantages, too, before transitioning to freelance work.
No employee benefits
One of the main drawbacks of freelancing is you don’t have employee benefits like health insurance, maternity leave, overtime pay, establishing a 401(k), and bonuses. Because of this, people often choose to freelance on the side, in addition to a full-time role with benefits, so they don’t miss out on these standard perks of a regular career but still have the flexibility freelancing offers.
Income can be inconsistent
Freelancing can often feel like a “feast or famine” – meaning your income will likely ebb and flow. One month you could be drowning with work and have a ton of prospective clients in your inbox, and the next, you have too much free time, and you’re worried about how you’ll cover your expenses. It’s common for those to prefer the consistent paycheck of a full-time job to the uncertainty surrounding income that can happen when freelancing.
Additionally, sometimes clients are late paying invoices, meaning the payment a freelancer was counting on for a bill is unexpectedly not available. Having to hound clients for missed payments can be uncomfortable, too.
Build your own name and experience
Freelancing is a career that can feel like an uphill battle to start. Until you have a repertoire of clients and work ahead of you, it can seem like you’re constantly hustling for new gigs and getting clients to trust you. To build a name for yourself in the freelancing world, you’ll need a mix of sales and marketing skills to establish a foundation. Over time, you can rely on word of mouth, but that doesn’t happen immediately.
Pay for your own equipment
Being self-employed also means you’re responsible for all business expenses. If your laptop needs a repair and you work for a corporation, all you likely need to do is let your IT team know, and they’ll get you a new computer. But as a freelancer, you’ll have to cover these costs yourself.
So, if you accidentally spill coffee on your computer and you don’t have the funds to get it repaired immediately, it could mean your business has to suffer.
No social aspect of work
While working from home means not having to deal with office politics or a dress code, it also means you miss out on socializing and forming relationships with coworkers. For some, this can be its own advantage, but for others who thrive in a social setting, it’s important to keep this potential disadvantage in mind.
More than one boss
When you have a standard 9-to- 5, you have one manager or boss to please. You become used to their working style and how they like to run their team. But, as a freelancer, you likely have several. It can be challenging to have multiple clients to answer to and keep their preferences, style guides, and overall needs straight. This can be especially challenging with working with clients in different time zones.
The benefits of freelancing boils down to one thing: freedom. Those who pursue this career are taking on many challenges, but with the benefit of knowing they are the only person who gets to tell them what to do. It’s up to you to decide if this major pro outweighs the cons.
Once you’ve hired a team of freelancers, find the best video conferencing software to help have productive and efficient virtual meetings.