4 pros and cons of freelance work

4 pros and cons of freelance work

This article will help you understand the pros and cons of freelance work. We took time to explain 4 major pros of freelance work and 4 major cons of freelance work you must get used to as a freelancer. With this, we believe you will become a successful freelancer. Don’t forget friend, it might not come easy but you will eventually get there.

In recent years, freelance work (freelancing) has become a common career choice for many people, especially artisans and tech enthusiasts. This increase in freelance work can be attributed to the growth and development of the gig economy, coupled with the flexibility and convenience it offers, rather than usual 9-6 working hours of the traditional office system.

According to recent surveys by Upwork, it is indicated that as much as 40% of the labor force in the work industry are freelancers. This is a huge testament to the fact that more and more people are joining the freelance work system and as freelancing experiences steady growth within the industry, it is without doubt that more job opportunities will be created that will require the use of freelancers.

However, the decision to join the freelance work should be a matter of personal choice, as freelancing is not usually a great fit for everyone.

Like any other job, freelancing comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Hence in this article, we would be highlighting some of the pros and cons of freelance work that would help you in making the best career choice or switch as the case might be. But before then, you might want to check out our article on How to overcome common freelance challenges – 4 tips.

4 Pros of freelance work

1. Independence – you are your own boss.

One of the best aspects freelancing offers is that you are your own boss. Most freelancers highly regard this fact when being asked about the luxuries of freelancing. When you work for yourself, you have complete autonomy, which means that you have the complete control and authority over your job. This gives the freelancer the freedom to choose the kind of jobs he wants, the kinds of people he works with, the amount of time he dedicates to his work and even the freedom to take breaks and vacations.

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This liberty can only be provided by freelance jobs as in the typical office set-up, there is usually an established hierarchy, with your superiors having clear authority over you. These superiors have a say over your individual work efforts and can even be responsible for evaluating your work performances. In the freelancing system this is not so as you have nobody to report or answer to except your clients.

2. Flexibility

Freelancing comes with flexibility. Freelancing offers the opportunity of flexibility that most workers can only dream of. This is because being a freelancer will allow you to work at your own pace. It allows you to work at any time and any convenient location for as long as you wish, with yourself being your own boss. This when put in simple terms means that the freelancer is able to schedule his working hours according to his personal lifestyle rather the traditional work system that operates based on the nature of the 9-6 working hours. Additionally, the freelance system will greatly help reduce the time and money spent commuting various work locations.

Also when you are sick, stressed or fatigued, you can give yourself necessary breaks, or even take the day off. You get to approve that as you are the boss of the business.

3. Unlimited income streams

At the traditional work system, workers income are fixed at specified rate either daily, weekly or monthly with the amount predetermined by how much those in charge think your work is worth. Yeah, there is the possibility that you earn a great amount at standardized businesses, but you should bear in mind that your income gain is totally dependent on someone else’s evaluation of your work whether it’s worth the stipulated amount or more.

But as a freelancer, your income potential is virtually unlimited as every penny you earn from your freelance job is paid directly to your pocket. Experienced freelancers are able to diversify their skills with the aim of exponentially increasing income, by providing additional services for which prospective clients are willing to pay a significant amount for.

This will allow the freelancer to better improve his portfolio and earn more profits.
Also, as a freelancer is the boss of his business, he is charged with the financial aspects of the business such as setting rates and prices, selecting clients and even buying necessary work equipment.

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4. Expansion of skills

This pro of freelancing is one that many freelancers fail to consider when they venture into the work system.
In the company system, as a worker, you won’t be able to gather necessary experience and knowledge in other industries or fields except for your own specialized field. This is majorly due to the fact that you are restricted solely to the company. On the contrary, the new system of freelancing has created good opportunities to expand skills and career horizons.

It is without a doubt that freelancing will help to improve your digital skills to the next level as the work system will help to unlock various abilities required of an individual to work on different projects. Freelancing will drive the individual towards acquiring new skills and knowledge about different technologies in different industrial sectors by working on a variety of different projects for different clients.

Freelancing does not teach the actual skills necessary for the job execution alone, but also improves your overall performance at certain critical skills like time management, communication, finances etc.

4 Cons of freelance work

1. Irregularities in income gain

One advantage that the traditional work system has over freelancing is that it offers assured income, in the sense that no matter what the business is experiencing in terms of losses or even bankruptcy, as a worker you are entitled to earn the agreed amount on the same routine basis. Contrary to this, freelancer work is highly dependent on being able to secure clients. This makes the income generated to be very sporadic in nature, often resulting in you gaining low amounts on very dry periods.
Similarly in freelancing, most times your income can also depend on how many tasks or projects can be completed within a certain timeframe. To this end, the income could be very inconsistent as several factors such as power outages, internet connectivity could affect your work rate, thereby affecting your income.

2. Greater risk of isolation

Another challenge of freelancing is that you will be working alone without any teammates or work colleagues. As a freelancer, the only people you can interact with on a regular basis are people in your personal space and your clients. You don’t get to get to build relationships with coworkers and colleagues as most times freelancing is just a  one-on-one work activity with your clients. 

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Yeah, it can be very lonely to work all by yourself on a regular basis, but studies has revealed that most people especially introverts enjoy the singular working nature of freelance work as they are more efficient. For this set of people, this might not necessarily be regarded as a con.
However for freelancers that like to indulge in social interaction and enjoy the traditional atmosphere of office spaces, to overcome feelings of isolation they should utilize the use of co-working spaces.

These are spaces designed for remote workers to perform their work in a workspace that is surrounded by other people. This will provide the workers with the office atmosphere they require to work effectively.

3. No employee benefits

Most workers in the traditional working system, whether full-time or even part-time are entitled to some company-funded benefits like health insurance, car allowances and even pension plans.

On the other hand, as long as the system of freelancing is concerned, freelancers are solely responsible for paying for healthcare, funding insurance and other perks they require. This is mainly so due to the fact that they are self-employed and are in charge of all the finances of the business. Hence, there is need for freelancers to make judicious use of their income, as their clients are not expected to cover the expenses of healthcare, retirement insurance and the likes.

To this end, there are now modern-day solutions for freelancers and other self-employed individuals to benefit from like individual retirement accounts.

4. Difficulty in securing freelance jobs

One of the disadvantages of not only freelancing, but self-employment in general is the difficulty in finding work consistently. It is not an easy task to find enough work that would keep your expenses at bay, especially when you are a newbie in the freelance system. This is because to secure work in the freelance system consistently, can be a very slow and challenging process.
The two major contributing factors to securing work consistently are; building good relationship with your client base and also creating a good reputation in the freelance industry. This will allow for continued patronage by clients, also allowing for them to generate good referrals that would provide you with more than enough work.

In conclusion, decide carefully if you would be a traditional worker or a Freelander. But if you must be a Freelancer, please sharpen your skills so that you won’t run out of gigs, earnings and opportunities. As a starter, don’t expect it to be easy. But once you are focused, you will succeed overtime.

Israel Otoijamun

Israel Otoijamun is the founder and CEO of GigHQ.xyz. With years of experience in the digital space, I have earned a lot from freelancing, both on Upwork and fiver, thanks to my digital skills. My goal for creating this platform is to help digitally skilled people earn a living through their skills online, irrespective of their location and background. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have enquiries. E-mail: israel@gighq.xyz. ✌️

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