Years ago, freelancing wasn’t as common. But today, freelancers make up a large part of the workforce. It’s estimated freelancers make up 34% of the American workforce, and that continues to grow every day.
More companies are becoming open to the idea of hiring freelance employees, short term contractors, and temp workers.
Freelancing can be an ideal work situation for many individuals. Perhaps you want to control your schedule, set your own rates, or run a successful consulting business.
Whatever the reason, being a freelancer is a popular choice and for good reason; however, there are pros and cons to any work.
So, you want to be a freelancer? Here’s what you need to know.
There’s a Risk Factor
As a freelancer, there isn’t much job security. Freelancers, temps, and contractors are usually the first workers let go if companies are cutting their budgets.
Plus, you will often have to fight for ongoing client work and referrals. While there is always a demand for freelancing services, there are plenty of other freelancers out there.
Sometimes, a client will pass you up for a cheaper worker, even if that means the quality isn’t the same.
You won’t always know whether you will have consecutive work months from now. A client may say they need work for 6 months, but end up disappearing after 2 months.
You’re in Control
One of the many perks of freelancing is you’re in complete control of your work. You get to choose the hours, who you want to work with, the type of work, and you decide the rate.
You can also work from anywhere with Wi-Fi, and you won’t have to deal with workplace distractions like noisy coworkers, meetings, or supervisors hovering over your shoulder.
However, there is a level of self-control you must master to be productive. If you succumb to watching TV all day, or putting off important tasks, you won’t make any money.
In the freelancing world, if you aren’t working, you aren’t making money. You can’t take paid vacations, or request a paid sick day. If you want to pay your bills, you’ll have to figure out how often to work, the number of clients you need, and your project rates.
You Don’t Get All the Perks
Many workers take their health insurance, employee assistance programs, dental coverage, and other perks for granted.
When you’re a freelancer, you’re solely responsible for your own health and dental insurance, 401K, and more. Many employers provide discounted insurance plans, so it can be more expensive to purchase these on your own.
Your former workplace may have had a fancy fitness facility and offered free dental insurance, but when you choose the freelancing life, those are no longer available.
If you freelance for a company, there is a possibility they offer their freelancers benefits, but usually not. Be prepared and budget.
What are the pros and cons of being a freelancer? What draws you to a freelance career?