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Freelance work: advantages and disadvantages

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Freelancing has grown drastically within the past few years. Becoming self-employed is amazing but comes with both advantages and disadvantages. If you have come across digital nomads travelling the world or freelance workers posting on Facebook about their solitary life, it is all true. Before deciding on becoming a freelancer, here are the top pros and cons of freelancing and how it can be much better than working in a day job.

1. You are your own boss

One of the most significant advantages of being freelance is that you are not answerable to any boss, but your clients and yourself. Freelancing makes you a boss with several benefits like being free to do whatever you please at your convenient time. It is up to you to make tough decisions that work to your benefit.

In most cases, when you start as a freelance worker, you have to be answerable to clients. You have to meet deadlines, deliver work on time and meet clients' required work quality.  However, as a creative you can often remain in creative control.  The good thing is that you remain the boss. If you feel the client is manipulating or using you, you can fire them and get a new client.

2. You earn more money

With freelancing, you may get to earn more than your salary at a day job. While it may take some time before getting there, you can earn more as a freelance worker than any other day job. The best way to get there is by learning new skills, improving your services, and not getting into your comfort zone.

The bad side to this is you do not have a guaranteed pay check unless you get a full-time freelancing gig at a remote team.  Wondering exactly what is a gig worker?  Well, it’s freelancing and landing ‘gigs’ with companies or clients that are often temporary and flexible.  You may need to know how best to land full-time freelancing gigs if you want the security of a reliable pay check.

3. Flexible working hours

One of the biggest benefits of being a freelance worker is the freedom to wake up at 11am and start working at 2pm. As a freelancer, you get to choose your working time.  You do not have to worry about being late and coming up with stories to explain why you are late. The good thing about freelancing is you can work at your most productive hours. It doesn't have to be during regular working hours.

But you will need to work harder. It takes a lot of responsibilities to be your own boss. You have to manage different clients, handle specific tasks each day and issue invoices. In most cases, you end up working more hours than a day job. But because it is what you enjoy doing, the pressure feels different and somewhat better.

4. Get more time to spend with your family

Most parents working 9 to 5 jobs desire to spend quality time with their children. But because of their demanding jobs, it becomes impossible. Being a freelance worker helps solve that problem. You get to spend quality time with your significant other and your kids, thus becoming a better partner and parent.  You can choose to only work Monday to Friday or to plan your working day around the school runs.

You get to work at the comfort of your home while attending to the kids, which can be a blessing or a curse!

Even though you get quality time with your family, at times, you can be lonely. This is one drawback of being a freelance worker as most people do not understand what you do. You have no one to bounce ideas off, or just to talk to on a daily basis. As a result, you get lonely most of the time. And you will still get tired at the end of the day too and need downtime!  Most people do not understand how mentally tiring it is to engage in creative work all day long and to run your own freelancing business.

5. You become more productive

As a freelancer you have to be motivated and productive, otherwise you simply won’t get paid!  However, as a freelance worker, you can work on projects at your own pace and at the time that suits you. Even though you have to meet deadlines, you have the freedom to work at your convenient time.  Make sure you do take your time to produce quality work without rushing.

But you will also get distracted while working. For example, when a friend or relative visits you unannounced thinking you’re at home all day doing nothing!! Your kids are also your biggest distraction when they get back from school and start yelling and running up and down the house.

Even though freelancing has its advantages and disadvantages, nothing is as important as your happiness. The joy of doing what you love at the comfort of your home is irreplaceable. You do not have to struggle in a day job to cater to your family's needs. Working as a freelance worker might be the best thing you ever decide to do.