A Freelance Career vs. The Traditional Workplace

freelance work

In the modern world, the opportunity to grow your career in new and wonderful ways is there for the taking. With a little hard work, you could forge yourself a career path that fullfil your life ambitions whatever they may be. One way to do this is by becoming a freelance worker.

This is someone who does not work on a permanent basis for just one company, but via short contracts and one-offs for various clients. Doing so gives the freelancer a lot of freedom when it comes to their career, as well as their personal life as it is not a career that is tied to a specific place. However, not all is daisies and roses in comparison to the traditional workplace.

When choosing between the two paths of employment there are many factors you need to consider, as both pros and cons of both forms of working.

Flexibility

The biggest draw that brings many people into the freelancing world is the flexibility. Setting your own work hours, working wherever is convenient and not having to work a draining 9 to 5. It means being able to adapt schedules when needed and working only as much as necessary to get by.

Regular Income

A pro of the salaried and traditional workplace is the continuous paycheck. At the end of the month, or whatever your pay period may be, you know how much money you will have. Whereas, as a freelancer, you could earn substantially more or less depending on the month. Your income is very rarely set or a sure thing

For many, the insecurity presented by freelancing as an income stream makes it unviable.

Portable Office

When your laptop holds every important file that you will ever need, your office can be as mobile as you need it to be. Working from home one day can easily be followed by a day in a coffee shop, overlooking a scenic view or two. You are not tethered to a desk in a bland office and so it can feel a lot less soulless.

For those hopeless wanderers, it can be ideal for a freer way of working. Even more so if you want to live a nomadic lifestyle and travel while you work.

Additional Costs

Another factor when it comes to money as a freelancer is the additional costs. From professional indemnity insurance or all the way to equipment, you are responsible for everything that a traditional business would normally pay on your behalf. That includes taxes.

Creative Freedom

Sometimes a salaried job means doing what you’re told, even if it potentially stifles your creative flow on a project. As a freelancer, you have greater control and ability to work directly with your clients to be more creative.

You can also surround yourself with a much more creative and productive environment. Decorating your working space to best suit your needs and it allows you to avoid many annoying sounds typical of the traditional workplace; such as ringing phones, chattering coworkers and the general bustle of the workplace.

Benefits

A permanent salaried position comes with a few perks: paid time off, sick leave, medical insurance and more depending on the generosity of the company. None of this is available to a freelancer. If you are sick, then you inevitably will lose money for that day. The same if you decide to take a holiday.

Foregoing the benefits of a permanent position is fine for many people. But, for some, it would be impossible to live that way. Making a career as a freelancer a far-off dream.

Opportunity to Expand

One of the biggest pros of being a freelancer is the opportunity to turn your one-man band into a full-blown business. As your client list grows you can slowly begin to take on people, charge more and maybe even root your business in a physical office.

Working in a traditional office may offer more security, but it is freelancing which offers the opportunity to be your own boss from day one and expand to be someone else’s one day too. It just depends on what your ambitions and career goals are in life. If owning your own business is one of them, then being a freelancer may be your first step down this path.

Overall, deciding whether or not the freelancing career is for you versus a more traditional workplace is completely dependent on you and your circumstances. Can you deal with the uncertainty that surrounds such a career? Can you afford if something does go wrong and you have no source of income?

Perhaps, the key is to launch your freelancing career over the safety net of a full-time job. This gives you the chance to determine whether or not freelancing is a viable option, while still staying within the safe parameters of a traditional career.

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