By: Aubrey Smith
In life, every decision you make has a good side and a bad side and freelance is no different. You have to weigh the pros and the cons of being a freelance worker to help you decide whether it’s the correct field for you. Here are some pros and cons of freelance work that could help you make that big decision.
Let's start out with the pros
The first and most obvious perk of being a freelance worker would have to be that you are first and foremost your own boss. Granted you have clients that you will work for, you get to set the underlying rules that clients agree to; a contract of sorts. This contract outlines what the client may or may not do while you are under their temporary employment so you won’t get treated like a doormat and underpaid in the end. However, remember that you are technically their worker so you do want to give them what they want, this just assures that you get reimbursed for all of your hard work.
The second and almost equally great perk of being a freelance worker is that you can make your own schedule. With the exception of possibly meeting with the client here and there, you get to decide when and where you want to work on any given day instead of being stuck in a cubicle from nine to five. This also means you could take vacations as long as your work is in check and your temporary absence isn’t a problem; besides, you can work anywhere, right?
The third great perk of being a freelancer is that you get to set your own price for your clients. Instead of being told by your boss how much you will make per hour or on salary, you’re your own boss, so you decide! However you do want to consider what reasonable rates are in your field of service so you can compete with your competition and gain more clients.
However, every yin has a yang, so here are the cons to consider
Since you do get to be your own boss, this means that you are also your own means of production. Unless you have a skilled team of workers that you trust to finish the job while you are away or sick, you only have yourself to rely on. This also means that there is now more pressure for you to get as much work as you can and as quickly as you can before your bills start piling up. In limens terms, if you aren’t up for the pressure of wondering where your money will be coming from at the start, this probably is not the job for you.
Secondly, making your own schedule is awesome, but do you really have the self-discipline to choose work over play until the project is done? If not, this probably is not the right track for you. Freelance requires a lot of self-discipline and multiple days of early mornings and late nights to meet deadlines. The payoff could be great if you can handle it, but if you lack the discipline, you’re on the quick route to losing clients due to missing deadlines.
Thirdly, it would be great to charge clients a ton of money for your service without question, but the sad reality is that you can’t. If a client does their research, they will compare rates of similar services to get the best price, therefore they aren’t going to pay double the cost for the same exact service. You have to build creditability and stand out among your competition before you can start to charge more for your service. You must also understand that in the beginning of being a freelancer, you may not get many clients and your means of money will probably be scarce. If you cannot handle the pressure of keeping your head above water for a couple months, this probably is not the right job for you.
To find out how to go about being a freelancer, check out "Free Wayne? How About Freelance" in the RG Blog.