The world of freelancing has never been so popular. The gig economy has grown exponentially over the past few years, with the pandemic further accelerating the shift away from the traditional 9-5. In fact, according to a recent survey, 92% of respondents believe now is a good time to look into gig work. With more people than ever before considering the move, weighing up both the pros and cons of freelancing first is critical before deciding to make the jump.
Obviously there are some amazing perks to becoming a freelancer (being your own boss… yes please!) However it’s important to be aware that it can also come with its own unique challenges. Freelancing takes dedication and determination, so doing your research is vital to make sure you’re fully prepared.
So, if you are considering joining the growing group of freelancers, we’ve put together a handy list of the pros and cons of freelancing to make sure you hit the ground running.
The Pros of Freelancing
Doing what you love
One of the best parts of becoming a freelancer is being able to make a living doing what you love. You can choose the exact direction you want your career to take and follow your passion. Not many people can say they truly love what they do, but as a freelancer you know you’ll always be excited to get out of bed in the morning by doing your dream job. Not only that, but freelancing also allows you to further hone your craft and become recognised as an expert within your chosen field.
This one goes without saying, but the flexibility you gain is an amazing part of going freelance. You have complete control over your workload and how, when and even where you work. You can pick work that fits around your lifestyle, allowing you to have a better work-life balance as a result. Whether you want to work full-time, part-time or maybe even take the summer off; you have the flexibility to choose what works best for you.
Freedom to choose your work
Not only do you have the choice over how much you work, but also the type of work you do. Being your own boss means you can select the projects you work on and choose work that’s meaningful to you. You also have the ability to collaborate with clients that align with your way of working, leading to better outcomes as a result and allowing you to flourish!
Exposure to New Opportunities
Don’t want to be pigeonholed into one particular industry or field? Gig work can open you up to a whole world of new opportunities. Freelancing allows you to work with different companies and people across many types of projects. This variety can help keep work fresh and exciting, as well providing faster growth opportunities compared to other careers paths.
As a freelancer, your earning potential is endless. This is because you can charge for your time on an hourly, daily or by project basis. Gig work also means you’re no longer restricted by geography and can work for clients around the world who are willing to pay for your expertise. Your income is directly tied to the effort you put in, so with the right experience and a killer portfolio, there’s lots of opportunity to make more money.
The Cons of Freelancing
An important aspect to consider is that freelancing can come with a degree of uncertainty. As you are now in charge of finding all your own clients and projects, it inevitably means there can be some quieter periods. Encountering busier and lighter times is part and parcel of gig work, so ensuring you are prepared is key. This includes having a cash buffer to take the pressure off and using a platform like Jam Pan to help you find your next gig.
Being your own boss means the ultimate responsibility lies with you. You’ll now be in charge of finding clients and work, as well as making major decisions in all areas of your business, from marketing to which programmes and tools you should invest in. To keep your cash flowing, you also will need to manage taxes, accounting and invoicing. Check out our blog for more on this and our top tips on how to get paid as a freelancer.
As a freelancer, you no longer have to answer to anyone but your clients and yourself. Not having anyone hanging over micromanaging you is pretty great, but it also means there’s no one to hold you accountable but yourself. The success of your business lies solely with you, so making sure you are disciplined with yourself is crucial. Creating a routine to manage your time effectively can help, as well as regularly tracking your targets and output to help reach your professional goals.
Going it alone
Whilst freelancing, a large proportion of your time will be spent working on your own. For some, the prospect of no longer having to deal with office politics and never-ending meetings is too good to be true. However others may miss the regular social interaction that comes with a traditional career. Making sure you have some tools and strategies in place can help combat this. This includes joining networking groups, making the most of co-working spaces and utilising your support network.
As we said earlier, there are some amazing advantages as well as some downsides to freelancing. For some, it can feel very daunting, while for others the level of freedom it provides is too good to pass up on. The important part is that you fully weigh up the pros and cons of freelancing so you’re prepared for everything involved.
If you are considering dipping your toe into the world of freelancing, starting it as a side job can be a great way to make sure it is the right fit for you before making the commitment of going full time. We’ve also got you covered with our ultimate guide to freelancing. This handy guide contains everything you need to know before taking the leap, all the way from the pros and cons of freelancing to how to get to grips with taxes.
Want to kickstart your freelancing career? Why not sign up to our platform – we’ll be there to help you every step of the way.