Freelance work is here to stay. Technological advances have made freelance opportunities more prevalent than ever before, and according to recent statistics on freelance work, there are an estimated 53 million people doing freelance work in the United States, roughly 34% of the national workforce.
There are a lot of perks that make freelancing desirable to engage in, but it’s not all sunshine and roses. There are advantages and disadvantages alike to freelancing, and today, we’re going to lay some of the most common ones out on the table so you know exactly what they are before you dive head first into the freelance world.
Pro: More Freedom In How You Work
Perhaps the clearest benefit to freelancing is the freedom to pick your schedule and work where and when you choose. By and large, freelancers are independent contractors, so the companies contracting them for services don’t get to dictate the means and methods of said services. If you’re looking to set your own hours and have generous amounts of latitude working from a home office, freelancing has this upside in spades.
Con: Fewer Benefits And Protections
As a freelancer, employer-provided benefits like vacation pay, sick leave, and the like are non-existent, and you’ll need to develop your own backup plan to ensure you’re covered during those hard times. As Los Angeles compensation lawyer Omid Nostrati points out, it is important to know when the work you’re doing has been misclassified as independent contracting, as this is sometimes a way employers try to skirt around properly paying and providing benefits to employees.
Pro: Easier Barrier To Entry And Higher Compensation
This isn’t a hard rule, but oftentimes, because freelancers require less of a commitment on the part of a company, it might be a bit easier to get yourself contracted for the odd job here or there when compared to scoring a full-time position. What’s more, the reduced overhead of working with freelancers means they might also be able to offer an increased rate of compensation for those services.
Con: Sporadic Cash Flow
There’s less security in freelance work, and nearly all freelancers have run into those lean times where jobs just aren’t coming in and all the usual clients just don’t have a need for your services. This means cash can get tight, and if you haven’t planned ahead for the lean times, it can be difficult to make your way.
Pro: It’s Fresh And Exciting
Freelancing has the potential to open new doors you may have only dreamed of in the 9 to 5 world. As you work on different projects and make new connections, you’ll start to gain glimpses into other industries on a regular basis, breaking up the monotony of doing the same job day in and day out.