The phrase ‘I am a freelancer’ is reaching out to our ears a lot of times when someone is asked about what they do for a living. Freelancing is exactly shaped into the most desirable wok option from anywhere, anytime.
We are living in a time where the location isn’t the primary alternative anymore. Our needs call for more flexibility and freedom. “Work from anywhere” isn’t a choice, it has become a requirement.
Freelancing jobs offer the ultimate in location flexibility and independence. You neither have time boundaries nor have someone to boss around. In fact, the ability to work from anywhere allows you to migrate with your jobs wherever you need to go. And this could mean anything, taking care of an ailing family member several states away or moving to a town with a lower cost of living to ease the financial strain.
What exactly is freelancing?
Freelancing is an independent profession where you work and earn on a per-project basis. Normally, people consider this career as an option of earning by working unaided without any obligation.
The best part is you take the contract of working with them for a particular period of time. The company pays you on that contract basis and guess who has the liberty to take the job or leave it? It’s you!
There is no one who can boss you. You are your own boss. Everything is flexible in freelancing. You have the liberty to decide. And there is no obligation that you must do the job.
The gig economy has seen a boom in recent years. Today, all of us can be freelancers and work independently. In fact, this profession is directly linked to advancements in technology. But before preparing ourselves to opt for this role, we need to know the ins and outs of freelancing.
Benefits of Freelancing
“Can I just switch to another company?”
I wonder if people still crib for switching to other roles or companies. Maybe the fear of pursuing a full-time role in the same company doesn’t sound to be a kind option for many of them. And when we start with the “Whys and Hows” list, the answer appears to be embedded in our human psyche.
Rehiring is similar to switching back to the same company only if they liked your work. They kind of start believing in your ability and reliability. Tell me what is more satisfying than pleasing the employer with your work.
Flexible working schedule
You can either be a night owl or you work in your day time, nobody questions on your time boundaries. You’re an autonomous soul who is independent of the control of 9 to 5 office grinds. You’re ready to go with your schedule. Your hours are much more flexible and you can adapt them to fit around your other commitments.
Long term offers
Did I talk about being offered a rehired position before?
It is such a great feeling to be offered a more permanent position from one of the employers you have worked for. This can be ideal, especially if you still want to work from home/ while on the move.
You’re lucky enough if you’re an old client and persistently working with the same company on a contract basis. The trust and reliability they hold on you is always satisfying.
Greater earning potential
No doubt, why the requirement of freelancers has reached heights. According to ZipRecruiter the average annual salary for freelance writers in the United States was $63,488 in 2019. The average freelance writer made $31 an hour, indicating that the market continues to grow from a $21 hourly rate in 2015 according to Payoneer.
Consequently, branding yourself and promoting your work through a blog and social media channels can help you gain exposure.
Not tied to a desk
It is obvious to get frustrated with a login of 6 to 9 hours being seated at the same desk. Being a freelancer, you have the freedom to work according to your comfort zone. You can actually take advantage of great new working spaces or spend more time at home. In fact, you can even enjoy travel perks and work from another country.
Take holidays when you like
“A long vacation with a work-free mind”. Well, who doesn’t crave for that?
As a freelancer, you are free to mark your calendar dates on your own. Whether it’s a trip to a foreign land or a planned holiday with your friends or family, you’re all set to go.
According to a recent study by PeoplePerHour.com, self-employed individuals spend as many as 21 nights on holiday, compared to 10 for those working for someone else on an average.
The ratio of the projects may vary depending on the interests you carry as a freelancer. You might find out some interesting projects and sometimes you might even feel like quitting at the same time.
But you get to learn a variety of things. You introduce yourself to a plethora of knowledge that comes in these packages of projects.
Disadvantages of Freelancing
Apart from benefits, there are certain things you grin and bear as a freelancer. Since no other employee can deduct income tax from your pockets but that doesn’t mean you’ve nothing to pay tax for. You’ll have to register with HM Revenue and Customs and follow their instructions for self-employed taxpayers.
As a freelancer, it’s incredibly important to keep a clear record of your income and expenses. Your records will help you estimate your profit, tax liability, and refunds, as well as protect you from penalties.
Lack of support
Due to the current pandemic situation, a number of people have either lost their jobs or have faced great losses in their financial growth. Newly self-employed people, freelancers who work through limited companies, and those who do a mix of employed and freelance work are particularly badly affected.
You’ll have no employer to provide benefits such as sick pay, paid annual leave, maternity or paternity leave, and any company-sponsored health benefits.
According to a recent survey, three quarters (74%) of freelancers had lost income, on average by 76%. two-thirds (69%) say they now have cash flow problems.
No fixed work
Freelancers do not have fixed jobs due to which they are not sure of their career growth. As a freelancer, you might be approachable to a number of people but are you earning the fixed amount? You might even feel insecure about not getting work. Not knowing when your next job is coming can be a little unnerving,
Building new networks
When you connect to other companies, you basically connect to a variety of people. You’ve to build new networks When you go freelance, it’s completely up to you to find projects and book clients. And it gets difficult to maintain a continuous flow of work. You may try to be in touch with your old clients by showcasing/ in detailed description of your new projects. But this constant hustle can be a deal-breaker for many.
No guarantee of acceptance of work
Being a freelancer is always a game of extremes.
Getting your salary on a contract basis often keeps you in the situation of “no permanent job”. Then it’s obvious to face another challenge of not getting a guarantee of acceptance of your work. On most days, you’ve buried neck-deep with work, meeting deadlines and completing assignments, and other days you’ve nothing to do.
In simple words, “Freelancing = A lonely experience with freedom and flexibility but no friends and teammates even for a cup of coffee.”
It is not a big deal if working all day, all night might leave you feeling isolated. And when you have such a secluded feeling, you even find your projects to be boring. Eventually, it results in making your life daunting when you’re not around like-minded people to brainstorm.
Upskilling is the willingness to leave behind lower-skill projects for those requiring greater expertise. It is more likely to give a promotion to yourself.
Freelancers must keep abreast of the most in-demand skills to improve their prospects of finding their next gig company. They need to stay updated with modern skills to keep pace with their new projects. In fact, the goal for every freelancer should be to continuously upskill.
Though, the life of a freelancer is quite appealing, working on their own terms and conditions. They may work from home or utilize their talents as a side hustle. They also have to juggle other business activities, from acquiring clients to chasing them down for payments to marketing yourself to managing your finances, the list goes on and on. Honestly, freelancing is more than “being your own boss”. Now you’ve heard a little more about what going freelance entails, you can’t just opt for it until you’re really prepared!
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