Freelance Life: Pros and Cons

Friday, April 21, 2017


On the surface, the idea of working freelance might sound like a dream come true. As a contractor or freelancer, you get to pick your projects and the people you work for. Furthermore, you have the luxury of doing them in your own time when you see fit - so if you want to work at 2am in the morning, you can. Whether you’re looking to go fully independent or just working for a company on a freelance or contractor basis, then it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of how good it will be - forgetting that there’s a flip side. For every peak there must be a valley, so what are the pros and cons of choosing this way of working?

PRO: Control 
When you're a freelancer it gives you control who you work for, the hours of day that you work, and how much you do for them. You can do more work on some days and less on others, you can fit work around your other commitments. If you’ve lived up until this point with a boss breathing down the back of your neck, it's a very freeing way to work.

CON: You Do Still Have A Boss
It might not be quite the same relationship, but you do still have a boss - now you just call them your client instead. While you have the flexibility to choose jobs, you do still have deadlines to meet and if you miss them, then you could damage that working link beyond repair. They will just be on the end of the phone or email rather than supervising you in person. You’re still going to be responsible to someone, so don’t think that working as a contractor means you have absolute autonomy. 

PRO: Knowing Your Worth
If you want a raise in conventional working situations, it’s a challenging meeting with your boss - something few of us summon up the courage to make. As a freelancer, however, you can set your rates and decide what amount you think your time is worth. And remember: whatever money you do make goes to you - you don’t have to split a commission with your employer. 

CON: Handling Tax Affairs 
Tax is a problem that many freelancers and contractors run into, mostly because the entire business is more confusing than trying to unlock a door with a stapler (and about as possible). Learning how to handle your own tax is a job in and of itself, so it’s worth considering accountants for contractors who are used to handling the thorny side of self-managing your employment. 

PRO: Working From Home
If you’re sick of the office environment (perhaps literally) and want to spend more time at home, then this is a major plus point. Being able to work in your own home office, surrounded by the things you take comfort in, you should see your life change for the better. 

CON: Working From Home
Yes, this can be a negative as well as a positive! Working from home has its challenges, the biggest of which is motivation. If you’ve come from a working environment where your boss is in the office, then it might be a big adjustment to having to motivate yourself to put the TV remote down and crack on with work. You have to have that self motivation to get up and get on with things every day without being micromanaged. 

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