You might have heard about freelancing but you’re not sure if it’s worth pursuing.
With remote work becoming the new normal, freelancing is certainly a good option. But being self-employed has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Read on to understand what is freelancing and see if it’s right for you.
What is freelancing?
Freelancing is a type of self-employment where a person works for themselves rather than being employed by a company.
So freelancers essentially are their own bosses offering their services to clients on a project or contract basis without committing to a single employer.
They are considered “freelancers” and not “employees” by the clients and companies they work for.
The number of services and projects freelancers can take depends on their ability to deliver them as agreed upon with clients.
But freelancing is not a temporary work arrangement you fall back into when you don’t find employment.
In fact, according to this study, just 6% of freelancers plan to be freelancing until they find a full-time job.
Most freelancers, a whopping 94% made the decision to start freelancing and 45% intend to freelance forever.
What are the differences between self-employment and employment?
Employees commit to working for a single company. They work in the office and at the days and times stated by the employer.
They usually receive employee benefits such as health care.
Employees fill a specific position and may work on multiple projects in their company.
As opposed to freelancers who are self-employed and set their own work hours And their own rates which can be a per-project basis or hourly.
Freelancers can work for more than one client at the same time, they usually work remotely and deliver their services through the Internet but occasionally they might meet the client in person.
They also don’t receive any employee benefits from their clients.
What are the risks of freelancing?
So now you might think that freelancing is the best thing in the world, you may even be tempted to quit your job the next day.
But hold on. As with any decision in life, freelancing has its own sets of risks you may consider before taking the plunge.
- Unstable income:
freelancers don’t have stable incomes like employees, especially in the beginning stages of freelancing.
They may struggle to market their services and find clients.
So if you already have a job and you’re thinking about becoming a freelancer you should save for at least 6 months of expenses which would be your safe cushion or start freelancing on weekends and nights as a side-hustle alongside your job.
- Isolation and loneliness:
you should prepare yourself to feel lonely working from home. You may feel disconnected and isolated from your community.
We all understand this feeling as we already experienced it during the pandemic lockdowns.
Some things that may help you feel connected with other freelancers are networking and socializing through social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Dealing with difficult clients:
employees don’t have to directly deal with clients, they just do the work that is given to them by their boss.
But as a freelancer that’s not the case.
In your freelancing journey, you will cross paths with difficult clients.
They may not like the work and demand multiple revisions or their personality may clash with yours.
But the worst of them all are the ones who don’t take freelancers seriously and will try to pull the rug from under your feet.
This study found that 44% of freelancers said their clients didn’t pay them and 60% said there’s a stigma and lack of respect to freelancers and the freelancing community.
Why should you become independent?
- The freedom to do what you love on your own terms:
You don’t have to work from 9 to 5 anymore, If you feel productive from 2 pm to 8 pm you can work then.
You can work for projects you feel passionate about no more of doing work you have no interest in.
feeling like working from the bed today? You can do that.
Want to work in a cafe drinking delicious coffee while enjoying the peaceful chatter around you? You can do that as well.
Do you want to travel around the world and have unforgettable experiences? Yes, you can absolutely do that.
Once you taste the freedom you have with freelancing there’s no going back. In a study conducted by Upwork 51% of freelancers said that no matter how much they would get paid, no amount is sufficient for them to get traditional employment.
- Financial independence:
you may struggle in the beginning stage of your business but with time you’ll get better at your skill.
As a result, you can increase the rates of your services and earn more than a traditional job.
- There’s growth potential:
Many freelancers start out small and as they gain experience and learn more skills they grow to the point of setting up their own agencies or companies and start hiring staff.
You would never have the chance to do that as an employee.
- Improved quality of life:
if you’re stressed in your office jobs or the office politics make you dread going to work in the morning then freelancing will likely improve your mental health and make it easier to have a work/life balance.
- Freelance jobs are on the rise:
After the pandemic hit the global economy many companies switched to hiring freelancers instead of full-time employees.
The future of freelancing certainly looks bright! Freelance jobs are in demand more than ever.
This study found that freelancing jobs increased 25% during the pandemic from April to June 2020 compared to the three first months of the year and 41% compared to the same period in 2019.
Freelancing is not for everyone. You may like the security and income stability a traditional job offers, and that’s okay. We’re all individuals and have different sets of preferences and opinions. But even with its set of risks, freelancing has a lot of advantages and can be a rewarding way to make a living if you manage to get around the roadblocks. It is worth it.