The current pandemic has greatly affected the way people currently live and how they make a living. Most people have been laid off from work, or their working hours have been reduced, resulting in people looking for new ways to make a living.
Others are already into freelancing and are worried about how their income will be affected in the coming days. This may make one wonder whether it is wise to return to employment, take the plunge, dive into freelancing, or even stick with it.
So, is freelancing worth it today? Freelancing is worth the short! Freelancing offers significant benefits whether you are looking for a full-time job or want to increase your income with a side hustle. Freelancers may take contract work from companies but are still self-employed.
But what is freelancing all about? Simply put, a freelancer is someone who works for themselves rather than for an organization. A freelancer is responsible for getting their projects and setting their working hours.
Whatever your situation, this article will consider the pros and cons of freelancing and help you decide if freelancing is worth it Today!
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What To Expect When Going Freelance?
For those who might have worked for an employer, going freelance can seem like a big challenge. This is because they enjoy the perk of having a steady income every month. Therefore, in times of economic uncertainties like Today, it is important to be sure that undertaking a certain venture will pay off.
Getting into freelance is easier than most people think. Depending on your business nature, you might need a laptop, your skills, and a good work ethic to get you going.
Knowing you are in charge is an amazing feeling but can also present a lot of pressure. When you go freelance, you are responsible for things you may not have thought much about, like pension contributions, health insurance, and taxes, depending on where you live.
For this reason, it is important to try out freelancing as a side hustle to help you build your clientele and understand how freelancing works before leaving traditional employment. Freelancing is also a great way to ensure you don’t make an enormous lifestyle change you do freelance full-time.
Pros of Freelancing
Freelancing offers tremendous benefits, including flexible hours, freedom, and becoming your own boss. Here are the pros of becoming a freelancer.
1- You Are the Boss
Freelancing comes with a lot of freedom. Statistics show that the number one reason people venture into freelance is the freedom and flexibility it provides. Freelancer has the liberty to set their working hours and create a schedule that suits them.
If one wants to start early and finish early, it is up to them. One can also easily take time off to take care of personal things without needing to get anyone’s permission.
2- Remote Work
A freelancer can work from any preferred location, either home or a coworking space, wear what they like, and take a vacation without giving notice in advance. Working remotely boosts productivity, drives efficiency, increases motivation, and decreases stress.
One does not have to think about catching the train/bus to and from work or office distractions, thus making work enjoyable.
A freelancer does everything for them and their business instead of working for a company in which one has no share.
3- Earning Potential
In a freelance environment, the earning potential is theoretically unlimited. One is free to negotiate their rates and increase them as need rises as opposed to a traditional job where you can only earn as much as the salary you are given.
You can also choose how to balance money and time. For instance, you might choose to work more hours in a certain month to earn more and work less for another month to rest and recharge.
You can also increase your income by venturing into other passive income earning ideas like creating an online course, affiliate marketing, or selling an e-book. Another advantage of freelancing is that you get paid almost immediately for finished projects and don’t have to wait for semi-monthly or monthly cheques.
With freelancing, there is never work discrimination, and one is judged purely on performance, not gender, age, appearance, or ethnicity.
4- You Do What You Love
Freelancing allows one to turn what they love into a career. You can choose to be in any field that is your heart’s desire. Since you are in charge, you have the freedom to say yes more to the projects you love and no to those you least care about.
This is unlike in a traditional job, where you may find yourself stuck with a project you dislike since your opinion and interest are not valued.
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The Cons of Freelancing
Like anything in life, freelancing also has cons, including you pay for your own health insurance and retirement, paid vacation time, and sick days.
Here are the cons of freelancing:
1- You Are the Boss
As life will have it, every positive has a potential negative. As mentioned earlier, being the boss comes with a lot of freedom. This freedom can threaten some, especially if they struggle to keep themselves focused and motivated without a boss supervising them.
Working on time management and self-motivation is advisable before starting a freelance career if you find yourself in this space.
Being the boss also means you are responsible for hunting for projects and new clients to network with. This is an enormous responsibility, seeing that it can affect a freelancer’s quality of life when it becomes problematic to get a job.
2- Financial Pressure
Freelance income is uncertain because you don’t earn if you don’t work. It can go up and down as well. Therefore, a person needs to have financial contingencies in place.
One way to counteract this is by having regular clients keep a steady flow of income. However, even this is not guaranteed.
Clients can decide to let go of you or cut back on the work they give you. As a freelancer, you should accept the idea that income will fluctuate from month to month. If you embrace the idea, then freelance is for you. If not, freelancing might not be the career for you.
3- Lack of Benefits
Working as a full-time freelancer also means preceding some company-sponsored benefits. Retirement plans, healthcare, paid time off, and other perks are unavailable to freelancers.
However, in recent times, there have been efforts to try and find solutions to these issues. Organizations such as the Freelancers Union have stepped up to help.
4- Lack of Consistency
Freelancers may also struggle with stability in their work lives because everything changes around them.
Work hours are never a standard like a 9-5 job; differing work standards due to working for many clients and rate cards may vary from job to job.
5- Isolation from Company
Human interaction is very important and plays a major role in staying motivated and having morale for work.
For freelancers working remotely, this means they are disconnected from the company, which can become an issue, especially when there is a lack of communication and understanding between a freelancer and a client.
You can solve this problem by clarifying expectations, needs from each other, and how much time should be spent on the project. Transparency is key when freelancing.
How to Get Started as a Freelancer
You can get started as a freelancer by visiting a freelance site to get work. You can also network with those you know to get your first client. However, before that, it will be wise to consider the following;
Decide What Services You Will Offer
A good starting point is to decide if you will offer general services in your field or focus on a particular niche. Examples of services you could offer in the marketing field are content writing or social media management.
Identify your Target Market
It is important to determine if there is a demand for your services. Your skill level will help determine if you should work for large or small businesses.
Pick Your Rates
This can be a hard task to do as you want to ensure that you are being paid what you are worth at the same time while being attractive to clients. Being too high or too low can sometimes have opposite effects.
Create an Online Portfolio
A platform like LinkedIn is a great free online tool to promote yourself as a freelancer and the services you offer. As your business grows, you can advance your blog or website.
Market Your Services
Find low-cost ways to market your services and attract clients. This can include offering free consultation or networking on social media and adding new skills to your CV to improve your freelancing game.
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What Is The Most Important Thing To Consider As a Freelancer?
Freelancing requires excellent time management, client networking, and financial planning. Being a creative person is not enough to become a successful freelancer. You will need to acquire additional skills to improve your chances of succeeding as a freelancer.
In addition, your success as a freelancer will also depend on your ability to estimate project timescales and your minimum rate effectively.
Finally, how successful you will be in freelancing depends on your personality, lifestyle, working style, and how well you can deal with and tolerate uncertainty.
Is freelancing worth it? Having laid out the pros and cons of freelancing, ultimately, you are the only person who can decide if freelancing is the right choice for you.
The good news is that if you are determined, self-motivated, and have marketable skills, the rewards of freelancing can be substantial both in terms of a lifestyle and financially.