Over the last couple of years, influencers have been selling “the dream life”: working remotely and traveling, being a digital nomad and having all the freedom in the world while making tons of money online. But, is this really attainable? Truthfully, nowadays it’s getting easier to find opportunities and build a successful freelance career. And with the current events in the world, a lot of people have no choice but to try their hand at freelance work. So, is it really worth it? What are the pros and cons of freelancing? Let’s find out!
High-Demand Freelance Jobs
Before we dive into the freelancing pros and cons, let’s have a look at the most in-demand freelance jobs. These include:
- Programming and Software Development
- Graphic Design
- Video Marketing
- Writing/Content Marketing
- Web Design
- Business consulting
Pros and Cons of Freelancing
Just as all other types of work, there are advantages and disadvantages of freelancing.
What are the pros of freelancing?
One of the things that stands out in freelancing is the fact that you can be your own boss. This means you get to decide when, where and how much you work. Let’s see the advantages of becoming a freelancer.
Freedom to Choose Work
The freedom to choose your schedule, your work and clients is probably the most sought-after advantage in freelance work. Freelancers are independent contractors, meaning they have more freedom in scheduling projects, as well as finding clients. One of the pros of freelancing is that you don’t need to work for one company – you can have as many types of clients as you like.
Another thing that freelancers are free to choose is their workload. When doing freelance work, you can choose the amount of work you want to do. You can work as little or as much as you like to, depending on your schedule and productivity levels.
Being a freelancer means being flexible with your time – you can schedule hours and location depending on your needs.
For example, you can do part – time work for some time while traveling and get back to your full-time job as a freelancer once you’re back home. The flexibility of freelance jobs can allow you to maintain a good work – life balance. You can map out your own schedule in a way that suits your lifestyle.
Lack of Distractions
Out of all the pros and cons of freelancing, this is the one that affects your productivity the most. Most people do freelance work alone, from the comfort of their home. This means that as long as you have your own quiet working space, you will be able to focus on your work and avoid the distractions from the office such as meetings, chit-chat, long lunch breaks and office parties.
What are the cons of freelancing?
Despite all the promising opportunities and freedom to work on your own terms, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Here are some of the disadvantages in freelancing.
Although you can have all the freedom to choose your clients and the type of work you do, you might not always be able to find freelance work.
One of the most common freelance disadvantages is inconsistency, because even if you work for a couple of clients today, there’s no guarantee that you’ll still have that kind of work tomorrow.
Not finding enough clients may lead to inconsistent income. At some companies, there’s not much freedom while working 9-5, however, there’s a sense of security in having a guaranteed salary and benefits. This is not the case in freelancing – you get paid for the work that you manage to find by yourself, and this might not even meet the minimum wage. Another issue is that sometimes, clients just don’t pay up.
While a lot of people would agree that being isolated for work is an advantage, many would find it to be one of the biggest cons of a freelance career. Freelance work can be extremely isolating. You’ll probably end up working in front of a screen for hours and hours, without having any human interaction. Because the work takes place in an isolated environment, freelancers have no colleagues and no one to work with.
While there are those who thrive on their own, many individuals are more efficient as a part of a team. This is a very subjective issue; however, it is proven that being isolated for long periods of time might take a toll on your mental health.
Independent contractors don’t have the same rights as employees. One of the few disadvantages of becoming a freelancer is that you are responsible for your own benefits. This means that you won’t get benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, retirement plans etc. unless you pay for them yourself.
There are numerous pros and cons of freelancing, and many people tend to forget about the taxes. Independent contractors have bigger tax responsibilities, and have higher tax payments through the self-employment tax.
Costs of Remote Work
Working remotely in your home may be convenient, however, it can be very costly. As a freelancer, you’d be responsible for all of the costs that are usually covered by the company when working in an office, such as Internet connection, utilities, equipment, office supplies, etc.
The bottom line is, freelancing seems to be the best career choice for many people, while others find it very difficult to navigate. Reading about the pros and cons of freelancing might help you learn more about this type of work, however, you won’t be able to know if it’s a good fit for you unless you give it a go. Make sure to search Toptal pros and cons, the pros and cons of Fiverr, and other freelance platforms until you find something you like. There’s a place for everyone in this gig economy, and if you choose to try something new, you might even find the right career path for yourself!