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Are you looking to join the gig economy? You might be surprised by how many people are doing the very same. Recent statistics show that there are 73.3 million freelancers in the US! What’s more, more than half of them are between the ages of 25 and 44.
Freelance work is a form of self-employment where you handle different projects, commissions, and other assignments for various clients. Unlike standard employment, you’re not tying yourself down to a long-term contract with a single entity or employer. Simply put, you become the one in charge of your own work.
What makes this interesting is that you also have some control over the clients you choose or work with. You also get to pace your own hours, set your own standards, and make your own deals. Basically, you give yourself a lot of power and flexibility through freelance work!
Another surprising thing about freelance work is that it can be a lucrative market. Did you know that, on average, freelancers bill an hourly rate of $28? Plus, with the global gig economy growing, experts predict that freelancing will cross the $455 billion mark! Imagine how exciting that is for the different types of freelance work you can do. From artists and chefs to writers and mobile app developers, freelance work can be a great way to set your own path to success!
There are many reasons why people are looking at freelance work for their careers. It offers several different advantages that you won’t find in a traditional workplace or contract. Here are some of the benefits you stand to gain from freelance work!
Are you tired of the 9-5 work shift? If so, you’ll be happy to hear that freelance work throws all that out the window. Freelancers have the ability to pace themselves and determine their own working hours. They don’t need to follow a strict timetable every single day. Because of that, you can optimize your schedule to work during your most productive hours!
In addition, you also get to set your work week according to the needs of your clients. You don’t need to do a traditional Monday-to-Friday plan. You can work all days of the week or switch up the routine and take breaks in the middle. And if it doesn’t feel effective, you can still change your schedule to find the best time possible.
Ever since the pandemic, people have begun to embrace the idea that the office isn’t the only place to work. While it can be a productive environment, there are other places that can offer both focus and comfort. With freelance work, you can choose where you handle business to get peak performance.
For example, freelance writers have the option to work in a cafe, a library, or at a home office. Not only do they have plenty of places to go, but they can also switch their environment if they need a change of pace. And the best part is that you won’t even need to spend as much on travel, especially if your workstation is just a few steps away!
When you enter the working world and sign up for a specific role or job, you might not have the chance to make money on the side. There’s a chance that your contract will limit that opportunity. You also need to consider the nature of your work or the time needed.
Freelance work, however, can give you multiple opportunities to make money. While you still have your primary job, you aren’t restricted from exploring other opportunities. There are plenty of ways that freelance work can help you gain a foothold in other industries or revenue streams. Plus, you can even start your freelance work as a side hustle first!
A traditional contract and work setting usually focuses on one kind of skill set. Following that path likely means you’ll be working within that skill set for most of your career. In other words, you can learn to specialize in one field but it’s unlikely that you get to branch out.
Freelance work, however, gives you the chance to learn new skills and step outside your comfort zone! Just because you freelance as a writer or a video editor doesn’t mean you can’t discover new tricks. For example, you can study online courses that focus on skills related to your field, like graphic design and advertising. Since freelance work makes you the boss, you can also learn to manage your own finances. You can also reach out to experts in other fields to learn new things!
Freelance work is a form of independence that you won’t find anywhere else. You become the boss of your own business, handling everything from the clientele to the deadlines and obligations. You get to run the show your way.
However, don’t treat this as a free pass to slack off. As the boss of your own business, it’s your job to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You have to pace yourself, set your own prices, coordinate with your clients, and deal with any issues or concerns. It’s not an easy path, but it can make your work life more fulfilling!
While freelance work can be a great way to make your own living, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There are several concerns and setbacks that you face as a freelancer. Here are some of the drawbacks you face when you take up freelance work.
The sad truth is that freelance work lives and dies by the clients you have. They are the ones who pay for your work and make the requests you have to meet. To be successful, you need a steady and dedicated list of clients to keep your job afloat.
Keep in mind that there will be days when you can’t seem to catch a bite on your lure. While you can still make money on a regular basis, it’s not going to be as certain as a monthly paycheck. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to dip your toes into freelance work.
Being the boss has its own drawbacks, the main one being a lack of proper benefits or bonuses. As a freelancer, you won’t be able to avail of paid sick leaves or vacation time. Instead, you’ll be working from the ground up and trying to make money through your commissioned projects. While you can still take time off from freelance work, you certainly won’t be paid for it. In addition, remember that you’re also responsible for your own insurance plans.
Even though there are over 70 million freelancers, it’s not a walk in the park. Many of them are still trying to establish themselves and gain a steady stream of clients. Freelance work can definitely feel like an uphill battle, especially at the start. After all, you’ll be trying to put your name out there for the world to see.
If you want to break through, you’ll need to brush up on your sales and marketing skills. You can even start by doing commissions for close friends, family members, and local businesses. That way, this allows you to build your reputation and get more eyes on you and your skills.
Having coworkers that you can bond and build relationships with make a big difference. Even though you can still work remotely with your colleagues, nothing beats the experience of meeting them face-to-face. Plus, freelancers don’t usually hire teams or run groups to manage their business. The lack of a proper team aspect can be daunting, especially if you have so many tasks to carry.
That said, there are still ways you can make meaningful connections with other people. For example, you can network with those in the same industry to get new opportunities or share information. You can connect with them through job sites like LinkedIn or social media sites like Facebook. Still, keep in mind that these won’t have the same experience as being part of a team or being around coworkers regularly.
Being the boss is not just a role or a title; it’s a serious responsibility that can make or break your business. As such, you are responsible for every single aspect of your freelance work. That means you run marketing, customer service, quality assurance, and financial management. Simply put, you cannot neglect or ignore your responsibilities.
Ultimately, freelance work is an exciting and rewarding opportunity. You can enjoy several benefits, from a flexible work schedule to multiple revenue streams. However, it comes with its own unique set of challenges; these include a lack of steady income and a lack of specialized benefits or bonuses.
What’s important is that you are aware of all these pros and cons before you jump on the bandwagon. Remember that freelance work experience is unique for everyone. It’s up to you to figure out if this is the path your career should take!
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