What are the pros and cons of freelancing?
You've probably heard a lot about the freelance life. Is it preferable? Healthy? Anxiety-inducing? Like anything else, it can be any or all three, depending on your goals. So, how can you know if it's right for you? Today we'll discuss the pros and cons of freelancing: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Let's get started!
The Cons of Freelancing:
1. Going from a free schedule to an erratic one
Freelance work has a certain ebb and flow with which creatives are well-accustomed.
If you're considering freelancing, remember that your schedule may go from zero to sixty at any time. Consider organizing your freelance schedule to minimize the effects.
2. Dealing with “quirky” clients because you need to live
Freelancing puts us into contact with people we might not otherwise know. No matter the client, be thoughtful and understanding with their needs.
Use the opportunity; take time to learn from them, and use your time to teach them about helpful resources they can utilize in their business.
3. Your family requesting pro bono work
We've all had a family member (or two) who wants a favor (or two) for free. There may be projects you want to do as a gift, but what about all the other projects you don't want to take?
Remember, it's okay to say no, especially with family. (They still have to love you, right?)
4. Figuring out your own taxes
When it comes to weighing the pros and cons of freelancing, financial aspects are not to be forgotten. Freelancing means your taxes are not automatically taken from your paychecks. In fact, retirement and benefits are often up to you.
Luckily, there's plenty of information out there if you're a freelancer. If you still aren't sure, you can always save some of that next paycheck and hire an accountant.
5. Planning ahead
Because freelance work tends to involve contracts and clients, it's important that you're always working toward the future. Networking and staying informed are great ways to secure clients and find opportunities.
Remember, securing clients doesn't just mean getting hired. In order to maintain those clients, you have to establish a good relationship.
The Pros of Freelancing:
1. You get to be yourself
Freelancing allows you to make your own decisions, whether that means working in an office, hustling remotely, doing contract work for a corporation, or doing a gig for a client.
Working for yourself gives you control over your current work as well as your future. For creatives, that's a pretty sweet deal.
2. You can enjoy variety of projects
Many jobs—even design jobs—can become stagnant. You may find yourself doing the same types of projects over and over while working a steady job. Freelancing, on the other hand, often provides numerous projects for varying companies.
That frequent change can be good for your health, especially if the change is self-motivated (e.g. I'm going to embrace this opportunity, because I think I could really grow as an artist).
3. Networking with other freelancers and businesses
Because freelancers work with varying clients and companies, they're meeting new people constantly. While this can seem overwhelming, don't be afraid to embrace these experiences.
These interactions are an opportunity to learn about potential gigs, gain new skills, and make connections with people who can grow you.
4. Never being stuck in one place
Unlike most people with 9-5 jobs, freelancers can pick up and move as needed. While some people enjoy the stability of a purchased home and a familiar town, it's not for everyone.
Luckily, freelancers can live the vagabond life without any of the stigma. Take this couple, who said adopting a nomadic lifestyle helped them cut unnecessary debt and stress.
5. Working in your PJs
You may not always get to wear your pajamas as a freelancer, but the truth is, freelancers have more freedom than your average working Joe (or Jane).
This freedom, along with the flexibility and choices freelancing offers, means freelancers are statistically happier than traditional workers. So, you know, don't be afraid to put on some pajamas and get to work.
We could weigh many more pros and cons of freelancing, but in the end, it's an individual choice. Does making your own schedule scare you? Do you aspire to live a nomadic lifestyle?
Consider the good and the bad, then pick the lifestyle that is most fitting for you.