The Advantages and Disadvantages of Freelancing

Thursday, July 24, 2014

FreelancingIf you are tempted to quit your fixed-salary nine-to-five office job for a freelance career, you are probably currently focusing on the advantages of freelancing. Here is a more balanced picture.

Advantages

  • While it is still a full-time job, freelancers have flexible hours and work locations. They can easily sleep until noon and take their work to the park.

  • If their services are in demand, they can refuse to work with people with whom they do not get along. 

  • Freelancers are not geographically restricted and can serve clients all over the world.

  • Those freelancers who have established a good reputation can refuse work that is monotonous or unprofitable. 

  • Because they must do the full range of tasks for which office workers and marketers are normally available, they build a much larger skill set than most regular employees.

Disadvantages

  • They must earn a lot to compensate for the lack of employer benefits like health, disability and pension plans. 

  • Freelancers have to market themselves. They accordingly spend a lot of unpaid time chasing potential employers.

  • If their services are not in demand, they have to work with people with whom they do not get along, and frequently take the risk of working with people who pay them only sporadically or not at all.

  • Freelancers have variable workloads that range from an hour a day to 16 hours a day. If demand for their services is low, they cannot refuse heavy workloads, for those employers will then simply employ someone else.

  • Since freelancers lose employers if they turn down work offers, most of them work far more hours than regular workers with no sick leave or holidays. This does not apply to freelancers in high-demand sectors and those who have built a solid reputation.

  • Many employers hire freelancers because they want a more cost-effective option than to recruit permanent staff. As a result, many employers and freelance jobs pay substantially less than ones skills and services are worth.

  • Freelancing is, therefore, difficult for beginners in service areas that are either in low demand or are characterized by poor pay. It is both pleasurable and profitable for workers with special skills in high-demand sectors. 
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