What it’s like to be a freelancer? Are your reasons strong enough to develop a freelance career?

Why did you start freelancing? Did you only want to be your own boss? Did you want to earn more money? Do you like to work in different places? Or you just didn’t like to work from 9 to 5 every day? Whatever is the reason, it is okay if it is good enough for you.

There are many other reasons why someone wants to start a freelance career. Some of the people think that kind of job is easy and they are jealous of freelancers. Then they try and return back to the old job because it is hard for them to focus and organize.

One of the words told by others is “It’s easy that someone pays you and you sit at the computer.”. My answer is “Why are not you doing that if it is easy?”. In the end, I don’t want to spend my time convincing somebody who is assured that a safe job is the one from 9 to 5. Let them live in their own bubble.

The job market is developing and stereotypical types of jobs are no longer the only way of developing a career. Technology makes us smarter and adaptive to changes. Some of the reasons why freelancing is good for the person, society and the environment are:

  • You can manage your own time. This is good for people that don’t like working fixed hours. Some people are productive in the morning, and some in the afternoon. No matter when, job needs to be done and with the good organization of the time that isn’t the problem. You can use some apps to help you determine the time for work, relaxation, sport time, and others.
  • You can make time for a travel when you want. For the most of working people travelling requires planning when you will get time from your everyday job. It depends on the country, but you can get usually 3 weeks in the year for vacation. On the other hand, freelancers can plan their travel, or take the job with them. This is good for the people who like travelling and working from different places. Even if you have family you can organize small vacations during the year to visit some interesting countries and places.
  • You can manage how much money you will earn. When you work on the fixed hours job you will get fixed amount of the payment each month. When you are a freelancer you can manage how much you will earn by getting more projects to earn more money. You can manage your earnings by increasing or decreasing hourly rate. In the end, you don’t need to work for some client who isn’t regular in paying or don’t want to increase proposed hourly rate.
  • You can make time to learn new skills. I hear from people working 9 to 5 that they don’t have free time for something. I think it has become fashionable to brag that we have no time for anything. Then I see some of them looking at smartphone or loosing time on something irrelevant. Freelancers are usually more organized and they make time for some hobby or learning new skills. Let be honest, freelancers don’t have boss looking at them so they need to be organized to finish some job.
  • You can actively participate in family life. There are professions that require more time during the day and they are specific. For the people that are working in regular professions I don’t have justification when they aren’t involved in family life. When they let other people take care of their children, or manage their house. Freelancers have time benefit that allows them to be more engaged in family activities. Besides them, people who work fixed time and like to dedicate themselves to the family also make time for those activities.
  • You will not loose time for travelling to and from the work. You will usually loose 2 hours daily on work travel. Freelancing is good because you can work from nearby cafe, park, shared space office, or home. You just need wifi and quiet space.
  • You will meet persons from all around the world. Lets just be honest. When you worked fixed hours in some company you will be engaged with people from the same city. You must take business trips so you can meet people from the other countries. When you are a freelancer you will work for clients that are all around the world. You will get better in a foreign language because freelancing requires everyday writing or speaking in the language that is not your native.
  • You can make time for exercising. This is good for people who like walking or running. You can make time during the day for exercise and to relax from work. Exercise is good for your physical and mental health.

After writing these positive effects of freelancing, you can only think that this is exactly what you need to make your life better. But as always there is another side of the story. Besides all pros that freelancing gives, there are some potential cons in this story. I don’t want to say that it is a very bad thing, but we should be aware of all the things that come when you are your own boss.

Some of the cons of being freelancers are:

  • Sometimes it can be so lonely. You are working from home and don’t have a benefit of chatting with other persons as you would if you work in a company. This problem could be solved if you join in some training community, or go to some course. Make a time to go on a coffee with a friend.
  • Sometimes you will have a problem with separating work from personal life. If you don’t write how many hours you will work you will be lost in everyday work and lose time for personal life. You should have app that will help you with time management. Have a physical space that will clearly be for working.
  • Sometimes you can be money greedy. You see everything as a opportunity to make money and you don’t know when to stop and make time for a private life. Make a plan for your budget and than act according to that. Don’t just throw yourself into any job or project. Planning is the key to successful organization.
  • You are your boss, HR, IT and other stuff. When you work as a freelancer, you don’t have a benefit that someone else negotiate for the project, or communicate with a client if there is some problem. You will be the one that must solve that. Don’t be afraid, you will learn those roles after many projects, and it will come to you naturally when you must act.
  • There is no secure income. This is very important thing, especially if you don’t have enough energy to organize and earn money for living. You will not have secure income if you are not available to work as you would if you work in a company. It isnt shame if someone prefers to work fixed hour work with lower income because he wants to get every month secured amount of money. This is hard thing, but you will get used to working on time specified jobs after couple of projects. After many years of freelancing it is strange to me when someone mention that he wants to find safe job.
  • Some people think that your job isn’t serious. They think that you can manage to solve their problems so they are asking for favors. For them you are not working hard enough as they are. In those situations you must be serious and just say no. Or you can emphasize to them how it would be if you ask them to solve something while they need to work. I learned through years that those people don’t have the respect for the others, and they are always looking for someone else to take care of their staff. I’ve learned to just don’t answer on those questions or say no.

Maybe it seems not easy to have a freelance job but throughout life, we face many obstacles that make us stronger and more experienced. In the end, you should think about what you want in life. Make a list of your own pros and cons reasons for becoming a freelancer. In that way, you will have a bigger picture. You can read articles and listen to advise from experienced people, but nothing can help you better than your own thoughts and experiences.