In today’s world of advanced technology and a gig economy, freelancing has become more common than ever before. Freelancers have existed for centuries, but the evolution into what a freelancer is today has been in the last few years. Freelancing means that you are self-employed and an independent contractor for hire in your field of work. Freelancers find clients or gigs through various outlets or contract themselves out to do certain types of work for a period of time and get paid according to the individual job. Though being self-employed can be lucrative and rewarding, there are some pros and cons to consider before ditching the office and work attire. Here are the pros and cons of freelancing.
Pros of Freelancing:
Many businesses are trying to integrate “work-life-balance” so that employees can work in a flexible environment. But still, many employees are stuck in “nine-five” type shift work, and some businesses expect employees to be available outside of working hours via email or text. Freelancers are not an employee, so they have more flexibility when it comes to schedule and availability. A freelancer can also refuse jobs they don’t want to do.
Since a freelancer has so much time flexibility and set their hours and types of projects, they can easily fulfill family and social commitments. As long as assignments are delivered on time, freelancers can take hours or even days at a time off for obligations or recreation.
Most businesses have some level of office politics. At times, office politics can be adverse and even toxic to employees caught up in it. Office politics can be so extreme at times that it can affect productivity and individual employee performance. In the case of the freelancer, there is no office politics, therefore eliminating its adverse effects on their work. Further, if a client is difficult or causing productivity issues due to a negative attitude, a freelancer can end the relationship and discontinue working with the client. This ability to pick and choose clients and eliminate negative ones ensures a positive and healthy working environment for the freelancer. In some cases, the freelancer may put up with more if the job is well-paying or necessary, but for the most part, a freelancer does not have to deal with toxic or negative people in their workplace.
Because a freelancer gets paid by the job, there is no fixed salary, which means the freelancer can make more than a salaried position with experience and negotiation. There is no ceiling to the amount of money a freelancer can earn, depending on the job and the payment negotiation.
Cons of Freelancing:
For a freelancer, it is rare to get steady and reliable work. Most freelancers are subject to month-to-month financial concerns. Most freelancers seek out regular gigs, and when they have a well-paying assignment or gig, they save some for times when the work is not steady or in abundance. The sporadic nature of freelance work makes it not for everyone.
Difficulty Finding Clients
Depending on the field, finding clients can be competitive and challenging. Many freelancers will use sites to assist in finding clients. However, most of these sites take a percentage of the commission and payout over a period rather than immediately. Creative freelancers can find ways to get clients through social media platforms, their websites, and other free to inexpensive avenues.
Freelancers are more vulnerable to fraud or non-payment for various reasons. If a freelance job is done directly with a client, some may not get paid or have slow payment outside of a website. Even with a site to help the freelancer get paid, a client can receive work and dispute payment, therefore getting work for free. While this type of fraud is rare, it can still be costly in time and revenue.