An increasing amount of people, like myself, are turning their back on the traditional 9-5 workday and the lifestyle that goes with it. At this point in time, there is no guarantee that working full time in a grey and beige office will provide a steady enough income to buy a house and support a family. The rise of zero hours, contract temporary positions, and static wages not matching the increased cost of living are all disenfranchising people of all ages and experience. Why work in an office according to someone else’s rules, being sapped of creativity and enthusiasm, when you don’t even have the benefits of a nice lifestyle to show for it? It’s no surprised in the present climate that unorthodox careers are increasing, and appealing to the masses.
There are also plenty of people who feel the need to supplement their steady income with some freelance work – for some it’s driving an Uber, for others it’s freelance writing. As families grow, people may want to be in the home, but unable to afford to stop working completely. In short there are many reasons for the increased numbers of freelancers, and people taking on extra work that they can do on their own terms. However, despite all the attractions of a freelance lifestyle, there are also some downsides, and both the advantages and disadvantages should be considered before you make a career change.
Pros of freelance writing
While all angles should be considered, the benefits of a freelance career can be pretty tempting:
Flexibility The ability to set your own working hours is hugely appealing to a lot of people. Skipping the early starts, morning commute, and winter days waking up in the dark and facing the cold streets is a big attraction for a whole lot of people. Being able to start late, work around your family life, social schedule, or even gym and sports commitments is no doubt appealing, and it’s clear why. The rat race has nothing compared to getting up when you want to and working in bed with a cup of coffee.
Low start up costs It doesn’t cost you anything at all to give freelancing a try. There are no overheads or start up costs to consider, and you could actually find yourself saving money. No more train tickets, much less gas in your car, and no need to pay to park. Plus, you won’t need a work wardrobe, so you can actually find yourself saving a whole lot more than when you work in an office setting.
Cons of freelance writing
Despite all of the benefits listed above, there are some disadvantages to this lifestyle that shouldn’t be overlooked, and should be seriously considered before you decide whether this is for you or not.
Less of a schedule – while you will sometimes end up doing work that you are not paid for, you could frequently receive payments that are less than expected or late. Some jobs may seem like a reasonable fee for the work, and then the project turns out to be bigger than it looked, or the client requests multiple changes, and you are not receiving satisfactory pay. You’ll need to be careful about the work you do and who you do it for.
No Employment Benefits – you can say goodbye to healthcare, bonuses, and pension plans, you will have the same duties towards yourself as a self-employed person.
Be self-aware – some people are aware that they tend to procrastinate. If this is the case, then freelancing is not for you – you will need to be self-motivated, and able to work without the pressure of a boss or a natural end of the working day. If you don’t think you can make yourself stick to a work schedule, then you may struggle with this lifestyle.
Freelancing can be amazing, and bring opportunities that would previously be unavailable, however the lifestyle is not for everyone. But often, so are a lot of things in life.