Freelancing provides flexibility, opportunity for amazing compensation, and serves as an outlet for creativity. However, freelance positions come with their fair share of drawbacks as well.
Before throwing your hat into the world of remote work, be sure you’re up for the challenge by examining the pros and cons of this career option.
From sleeping in to wearing your jammies while finishing up a project, there are numerous benefits to a freelance position.
Working On Your Own Schedule: Most freelancers are enticed by the opportunity to create their own schedules. If you’re not a morning person, you can create a schedule that allows you to sleep in. If you have a doctor’s appointment, you can take a break from your day and come back to your work later on without worrying about a nosy boss clocking your hours down to the second.
Better Work/Life Balance: Freelancers often find it’s easier to balance their work schedules and life responsibilities. Instead of spending an hour or more in commute traffic, freelancers can switch from work mode to personal life with the snap of a finger. Freelancers have almost complete control over managing their hours, and the right prioritization strategies can see you with more dedicated family and social time than you would have had in a corporate setting.
Variety: As a freelancer, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of different clients on a wide array of project types. This can not only make your days more exciting but also make your resume more competitive. Switching up your focus can reinvigorate your career on a weekly or monthly basis, and the flexibility in your schedule can add further to this sense of excitement. Remote work is quick to come by and found in a variety of timelines; remote workers can find jobs here that may be completed within a few hours contracted for months at a time. This gives freelancers plenty of autonomy in determining their working hours and commitment level.
With all the advantages freelancing provides, it also comes with some unsavory aspects. Ditching the corporate life isn’t all sunshine and roses, unfortunately. Prepare for certain disadvantages, including:
Working from home makes you susceptible to a host of new distractions. If you have kids that are home during the day, managing your workload while also playing the role of parent can feel almost impossible. It’s also easy to get caught up in household duties—the laundry in the hamper may inspire you to take more breaks than you should, and the satisfaction you get after vacuuming the living room may leave you with a false sense of accomplishment when it comes to your work day necessities.
Most in-house employees are given some type of compensation in the form of health benefits or 401k options. Freelancers generally don’t have these perks. If you only freelance, you’ll have to go it alone when it comes to health insurance, dental coverage, and savings options. These costs can really start to add up and this factor has driven many freelancers back into the corporate world.
Freelancing can be lonely. Think about how many times a day you turn to a coworker for a quick break from your task, and whether or not you could handle being on your own for eight hours a day. Traditional work spaces allow for socialization that you won’t find alone in your home. While there are co-working spaces that can combat this sense of isolation, it can be hard to create the same sense of community.
If you’re interested in freelancing, be sure you take the time to consider all aspects of this type of position before jumping in headfirst. Having a comprehensive view of the disadvantages and benefits of this type of career endeavor is crucial to ultimate success, so invest the appropriate amount of time into your decision making process.