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Is Freelancing Worth It?
September 8, 2022
Introduction: Is Freelancing Worth it?
In recent years, freelancing has become a popular way to make a living. You may even be considering taking the leap yourself. But is freelancing worth it? There are pros and cons to freelancing, and it’s important to weigh those carefully before deciding if it’s the right path for you.
In this article, we’ll outline the most important pros and cons of freelancing. We’ll also look at the skills you need to succeed as a freelancer.
The Advantages of Freelancing
Is freelancing worth it? Well, it really depends on the person and what they’re looking for in a career. It is important to reflect on the pros and cons of freelancing because it can be stressful and overwhelming at times. However, if you believe the pros outweigh the cons, then you should look into beginning to freelance. Let’s consider some of the advantages of freelancing.
Flexibility and Autonomy
Some of the many benefits of freelancing include the ability to choose your own projects, set your own hours, and work from anywhere. Moreover, freelancing provides you the ability to choose who you work with. Additionally, you are in control of your own schedule, so you can be as flexible or rigid as you’d like. This can be especially helpful for those who have other important responsibilities.
Essentially, freelancing allows you to be your own boss. And, if you are your own boss, you have a better pay opportunity. So, if you value flexibility and autonomy in your career, then freelancing may be worth it for you.
Moreover, as time passes and you become more experienced with more clients as a freelancer, you may have the ability to expand. This means you could outsource parts of your job by hiring other people. Thus, you can choose which specific parts of your business you want to be involved in. In this sense, freelancing provides you even more control over your projects. Some people believe freelancing is worth it because of this control.
Furthermore, as a freelancer, you have the flexibility to set and negotiate your rates. You can even increase your rates periodically as you gain more experience. Another pro of freelancing is the higher earning potential. Since the companies you’ll work with will not pay for your health insurance or other benefits, you can typically charge them a higher hourly rate. Additionally, you can decide how you’d like to balance time and money. For instance, you may have a busy month to generate more income so that you may rest and take it slow the next month.
Thus, if you are interested in the growth opportunities allowed by freelancing, then it may be worth it for you.
The Disadvantages of Freelancing
There are a few disadvantages to freelancing that should be considered before taking the plunge into working for yourself. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of freelancing before deciding whether it is worth it for you.
Lack of Stability and Predictability
The first disadvantage of freelancing is that you may have difficulty finding consistent work. When you’re first starting out, it can be hard to build a client base and get regular work. You may have to take on jobs that you don’t really want to do just to keep the bills paid. Moreover, once you secure regular clients, you should know that it is not guaranteed. Clients could drop you or decrease the amount of work they’d like from you.
Furthermore, when you’re starting out as a freelancer, you may have big swings in income. This means you may have a great month but then have a month where you don’t make any money. Of course, this can drain you mentally.
Overall, if you freelance, you’ll have to face inconsistent work and income. Some people dislike this lack of stability and predictability and believe that freelancing is not worth it.
Responsibilities of a Boss
Another disadvantage of freelance is the amount of responsibilities you’ll have to take on. For example, you’ll need to arrange your health insurance, student loan repayments, and pension contributions. Moreover, you’ll be responsible for other business management aspects like sending invoices and collecting payment from clients. Of course, you’ll also have to handle the business expenses and taxes. For example, the U.S. self-employment tax is more than 15% – which will come out of your pocket.
Essentially, by finding your own clients and managing projects all while managing finances, it is like having your own business. This can be overwhelming at times. Hence, some people prefer the predictability of a regular paycheck and the security of benefits like health insurance over the freedom and flexibility that freelancing provides. Thus, for some people, freelancing is just not worth the extra worth required.
Discipline is Required
Moreover, as your own boss, you have to keep yourself grounded and focused. It can be very tempting to not work as you get overwhelmed, but if you do not work, you do not get paid. So, a downside of freelance is that you have to hold yourself accountable. You’ll need proper time management skills. For some people this is easy, but others struggle with this.
Freelancing Can Be Limiting
Yet another downside of freelancing is that if it is your full-time income, it can be limiting between deadlines, work load, and managing the business finances. Essentially, you have to factor in administrative tasks, marketing, sales, and other various things into your time.
Thus, if you are doing anything service based, you need to have good project management skills. Even then, scoping projects can be difficult due the volume of feedback and project needs.
Is Freelancing Worth It: Quick Recap of the Pros and Cons
Overall, there are many pros and cons to freelancing. It is up to you to decide whether freelancing is worth it or not. Here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons of freelancing:
- Choose your own projects
- Choose who your work with
- Choose what parts of the project you work on as your grow
- Decide how to balance time and money
- Set your own hours
- Set and negotiate your rates
- Better pay opportunity
- Higher earning potential
- Outsource parts of your job
- Work from anywhere
- Difficulty finding work
- Difficulty staying focused
- Lack of stable income at the beginning
- May lead you to take jobs you don’t want
- Business management aspects
- Pay your own taxes
- Contribute to your own retirement savings plan
- Secure health insurance
- Limited time between deadlines and work load
Is Freelancing Worth It: How to Start
If you think freelancing is worth it, then you may be wondering how to start. The biggest thing to get into freelancing is building up your portfolio. Moreover, in many cases I am a proponent of working for someone else first to get an idea of how the industry works. You could also choose to do freelancing on the side while you have a full-time job so to get a sense of how it works. It is a big plunge to take, so make sure you are prepared financially and mentally.
Conclusion: Is Freelancing Worth it?
Is freelancing worth it? That’s up to decide. You have to weigh the pros and cons and consider whether freelancing provides you with what you want from a career. If you prefer freedom and flexibility, then consider freelancing. However, if you opt for stability and predictability, then freelancing may not be for you.
My advice? If you’re a person who’s willing to take risks and has the courage to face anything that may hit you on the way, freelancing is the right choice for you.