Before you embark on the freelancing journey, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing and rightly decide if it is a career you want to pursue. In this post, I will be sharing 15 pros of being a freelancer and 5 cons you will likely encounter.
Why freelancing? – Advantages of Freelancing
Here Are the Benefits of Working as a Freelancer:
#1 You work for yourself
This is the first and the major advantage of freelancing. As a freelancer, you enjoy the privilege of choosing which project you want to work on, when you want to work, and where you want to work from, whether you want to work from home or the beach.
#2 Your profit belongs to you
Unlike the normal 9 to 5 job where you do all the hard job and earn a salary that will never measure up with your effort, freelancing allows you to keep all the profit apart from the little token that some freelance sites like Fiverr, Upwork, etc, might charge for using their platform. Therefore if you land a big project all the spoils go straight into your bank account and not some company management.
#3 You will gain the experience and knowledge of working at an international level
Freelancing platforms allow clients and freelancers from all over the world to register on their platforms. This presents an opportunity for you to work internationally with clients who are experts in their fields and therefore gives you access to top-class knowledge that you can use to improve your skills.
#4 Improved communication skills
Talking daily to different people on an international level will also improve your communication skills and mindset. This happens by consistently trying to listen to and understand clients from different parts of the world and also trying to make them understand you from point to point.
#5 No more boring routines
If you are like me who easily gets bored doing the same thing over and over again, freelancing can be your escape route. Different tasks from different clients daily make freelancing fun and exciting.
#6 Ability to branch out
Freelancing allows you to move into different fields of work, something you might not get as a 9 to 5 worker. For instance, a receptionist has no business in the marketing department and therefore can only earn as a receptionist. But as a freelancer, you can be a graphic designer, an affiliate marketer, a software engineer, etc, creating multiple streams of income.
#7 Higher earning potential
As an employee, you will enjoy the stability of regular weekly or monthly payments but the figure you earn is unlikely to go up unless you get promoted. However, as a freelancer you don’t depend on promotions to earn higher, you can increase your rate when you want, learn more high-paying skills, and engage in passive income side gigs.
#8 Better work-to-life balance
Freelancing allows you to schedule your work life the way you want to match your lifestyle. You can travel when you want and still work from wherever you are, whether you want to work full time or part-time, is your choice and you get to spend more time with your family.
#9 Immunity to the economic meltdown
During the pandemic, a lot of employees lost their jobs overnight, some went from six-figure incomes to visiting food banks. This is something you don’t get as a freelancer. I am an Upwork freelancer and during the pandemic, I lost some clients, some gave me fewer jobs but I didn’t lose all of them. I still had enough clients that gave me jobs that paid my bills.
#10 No risk of being sacked
As an employee, there is always a risk of losing your job especially if you are a low-level employee. When there is a loss in the company, someone has to take the fall and this often lands on the low-level employees. This is something you will never experience as a freelancer because you are your own boss. The highest that can happen to a freelancer is losing a client but there are thousands of clients out there you can immediately start looking for more.
#11 The ability to expand
Freelancers who are old in the business with large clientele and lots of jobs to handle can outsource to other freelancers and take a cut. With this kind of expansion, you will still make money without working by simply being the middle man.
#12 Improves your sense of responsibility
As a freelancer, you are essentially running a business which can be exciting and challenging as well. You will be the one to market yourself to attract clients, choose the projects you work on, and manage the financials of your business. This means you will have to learn every aspect of managing a business.
#13 Large reference base
If you deliver high-quality services that satisfy your clients, you will always be recommended whenever there is a need for professional services. This will increase your reference base globally and expose you to more opportunities.
Becoming a freelancer does not require capital, unlike other capital-intensive businesses. Most freelance platforms do not ask you to pay until you complete a project. Also, if you are just starting, you can check out some of the best freelance websites for beginners.
#15 Freelancing is fast and easy to start
All you need to start your freelancing career is the skills and the right tools, the rest involves finding and attracting clients which have also been made easier by freelancing platforms.
Why freelancing is bad? – Disadvantages of freelancing
Here Are the Cons of Working as a Freelancer:
#1 You stop working, you stop earning
This is the major disadvantage of freelancing. You need to work consistently to keep the money rolling in. When you are unwell, or on vacation and can’t work, do not expect to get paid.
#2 No retirement and insurance benefits
This is something employees enjoy from the company they work for. As a freelancer, it is in your hands to save for retirement, provide medical cover and other insurance, etc.
#3 You work for yourself
While this is an advantage I mentioned earlier, it can also be a disadvantage because once again all the responsibility falls on your shoulder. You will be doing your marketing, administration, and accounting which can be a lot for one person to handle.
#4 Inconsistent income
As a freelancer, you are not expecting any particular figure at the end of the month because this makes it a little difficult to make plans with such income. The amount you earn depends on the projects you complete.
#5 Irregular jobs
This is something even professional established freelancers have to put up with. The jobs don’t come regularly. Some months you will be very busy, while some months are slow and you might have little or no jobs.
That’s it for the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing. You will surely discover more if you decide to embark on the freelancing journey because the experience is slightly different for each freelancer.