While it is an attractive endeavor to become a freelancer, many people assume it is easy work. Freelancing is no walk in the park, and requires hours of dedication and an assiduous work ethic to be successful. As with any business venture, and freelancing is essentially starting your own business, there are some pros and cons. So what are some of them?
You can enjoy the freedom to set your own hours, decide for yourself how many hours you want or need to put in. If you are a night person and you are most productive at night, you have the freedom to work at night and spend your days sleeping or socializing.
In Charge Of Your Own Career
To a larger extent, when you are employed to someone other than yourself, the progression of your career is impacted by factors such as, the industry, the work environment, the company you work for, etc. As a freelancer, you are your boss and the master at the wheel steering your own career. How far you go or not, is solely depend on you.
Work From Home (Or anywhere you want)
Most freelancer are able to set up a home office and work within the comfort of their home. In order to maximize disposable income, the possible exclusion of daily travel expenses (fares and gas) or a rigidly formal wardrobe is a major plus.
Low Start-Up Costs
To get started, freelancing requires minimal monetary initial investment. You can decide if you want to start out doing it as a side job and then transition to full-time after you have gained traction or a significant client base, or you can decide to jump all-in full-time, engines revving. Depending on the services you offer, a freelancer’s main tools will be a computer (laptop or desktop), internet access and a cell phone.
If you are family oriented, striking that work life balance is that much easier when freelancing.
Reputation is Everything
As a freelancer, your reputation will be one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal and word of mouth travels fast. If you are consistent and produce stellar work, you are likely to be recommended to other potential clients and/or re-hired by the same client who has another job in your field.
You are in Charge
You may have noticed that this was cited earlier a pro. That is because it can be both; a pro and a con. It requires discipline to work for yourself. Since the client’s deadlines are the only persistent encouragement you will have, the rest of your motivation must come from you. If someone hires you by contract, they are expecting you to deliver, both in quality and with punctuality.
As a freelancer, you will only be paid as much as you work. No work or clients, no income. A steady stream of clients is likely to only come after years of establishing yourself. This means you must constantly be on the prowl for new clients, projects and opportunities. You must also determine if an opportunity, even if it does not pay monetarily, is worth the investment and whether you can actually afford to forgo another project that does pay in cash, but will only important until it’s completed.
Reputation is Everything
You may recognize this ones from the list of pros. That is because, it can be both. If you are inconsistent and unreliable, your reputation will follow you just as closely and may even travel faster that if you are a model person to work with. There is nowhere to hide, when you are your business, you represent it in its entirety.
Being a freelancer can be a rewarding career path, and as with any other decision, you should weigh the pros and cons before jumping in to get your feet wet.
Shandean is a freelance writer and business planning consultant. Visit her website Shandean WR Business Services for hire.