Like anything else in the world freelancing has its own pros and cons. I did freelance designing and website development as part time before I finally decided to switch to freelancing full-time. It has been challenging journey since then with every project having to teach you something new.
After an experience of about 3 years as a full time freelancer gathered some thoughts about my journey as self employed professional.
1. Time flexibility:
As a freelancer your work life is much more flexible and adaptable to schedule for work. You can begin the work anytime of the day with no time sheets, no boss and no reports.
2. Work from anywhere:
You can work from anywhere like your home, a coffee shop, your couch or your dining. A laptop is all your need. Since your can work from anyway my travel time is minimum or zero
3. Choose my clients / project:
Unlike your employer, your clients come and go so you don’t get stuck with the people. Better yet you can choose to accept a project or no . Freelancing give you the freedom to choose the type of work you like to do. During my 9 to 5 I hated doing certain task assigned to me employer but I had to do it. Now as a freelancer I can delegate that work.
4. Make more money:
The best part of freelancing is your get to choose my own rates. The very beginning of my full time freelancing career, I started valueing my work, and decided the best rates. The income as a self employed are definitely higher than of an employee. The income I make for a month is totally dependent on how many hours I give in and how many projects I take up.
1. Inconsistent workload:
The workload as a freelancer is never stable. A project you thought may take a week to complete me take a month due to certain circumstances thus delaying your other projects and income. You may finish a project earlier and find it difficult to get more work. You may also have to reject projects as you already have a lot in your plate. The workload is never really steady.
2. Inconsistent Cash flow & No Benefits:
Just like the workload, payments can also be irregular. You may sometimes never get paid too if you did not pull a contract. Unlike the normal job wherein the money comes in your account on a particular day, in freelancing you need to follow up many times to get you payments done. Also there is no sort of any benefits like health insurance, retirement/pension benefits. Also there is nothing like paid leaves, sick leaves for a freelancer.
3. Full Responsibility
Your entire business is your responsibility. You are in charge of business development, getting clients, getting work done, managing your clients, billing/invoicing, and paying taxes. You are also responsible for saving up for your retirement, holidays, sick days etc.
When you are freelancing, you need to be really disciplined. For people who have children or share living space it can be difficult to find the peaceful time for work, thus reducing the productivity. Working from home itself is a distraction sometimes when your household chores or homely comforts are right in front of you and can lead to interruptions or procrastination. Also your friends and family assumes that you are working from home so you are always available, so they may just walk-in unplanned during your working hours which can be very annoying. Having a separate space to work within your home can solve your problems.
As a freelancer you are mostly working from home so it is likely that you are alone most of time in a day. This can lead to feeling of loneliness, specially if you live alone. It is recommended to meet up friends over a coffee, spend quality time with family or can have a pet.
After experiencing both, full-time job and freelancing, I will always choose freelancing. The switch was scary but it was worth taking the risk. All you need is the right mindset, self-awareness, strong work ethic and desire to succeed.