Forbes magazine states that “Careers are dead”. Some experts are of the opinion that 50% of the population would be independent contractors by 2020. That is what freelancers are: independent contractors. Like every job, there are some benefits and negatives of freelancing. Take a look at them and then decide whether you are ready to make the brave choice.
Flexibility and Independence
Like stated, freelancers are independent. There is a lot of flexibility in the working hours. There is an upside of being able to negotiate pay, timing, location and working style. People can work in their own unique ways instead of taking the corporate lead.
Because of the variety of work that a freelancer gets, there is hardly any room for getting bored. Freelancers can pick and choose between time, bosses and payment. This is why many people preferred to remain freelancers instead of going back to jobs after the recent recession.
There is a chance to maintain source of income even if the freelancer is having trouble with an employer. A permanent job can sometimes be a misnomer especially in countries where there is a lot of unemployment and political trouble. There is lesser chance of being exploited by employers if you are a freelancer.
Despite these attractive benefits, there are disadvantages of being a freelancer. To be very honest, the disadvantages surpass the advantages for many people. That is what makes them go back to a 9-5 job.
Harder Business Development
Friends might joke with freelancers about working in PJs. Husbands might not take the commitments of their wife seriously just because she is working from home in her night suit. Despite that, it is a hard job to keep the work coming in. With so many freelancers available, why would any employer bear late submissions, poor quality of work and procrastination? Impressing current clients and keeping the new ones coming is thus a hard job.
That is the biggest problem with freelancing in my opinion. Some websites have a lower limit of cash before which you can’t withdraw. If you are not reaching that limit because of not getting paid further, what you have already earned will remain stuck for weeks. When dealing with big companies, there are issues like getting payment through accounting cycles. This delays the payment and disturbs cashflow.
This situation can best be managed by setting up different payment times with multiple employers. This will keep the money coming though the monthly average could remain low even after you do this.
Cash Management & Benefits
Money keeps coming and you keep spending it. With freelancing, saving for pension, retirement fund etc. is hard. Also making a budget is tough because you do not know how much the next payment would be. It all depends on how much you work and there is an upper limit to that as well. Also there are downtimes like the Christmas Season where there is little or no work.
Inaccessibility to Potential Mortgages & Loan Packages
Because of the way freelancers work and earn, they are not the kind of fish that mortgage and loan companies seek. It would be hard for freelancers to get either.