Is Freelancing the Life for You

Freelancing, what is it really all about? Why is it that so many people push towards freelancing than the normal stationed employed job. Is their something remarkable about freelancing or something that we have missed? Being a freelancer myself I know about all the ups and downs of freelancing full time, sometimes you want to jump off a bridge other times you are happier than happy. Why is it that so many people still struggle to undermine which path they have to follow to gain success. I think their is a simple question that we could relate to, to narrate all of the misconception and misunderstanding that a lot of people bear with everyday.

IS FREELANCING THE LIFE FOR YOU?

Let’s start off by looking what clients gain from freelancers.

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There are several reasons why companies like to use freelancers instead of full time/permanent staff, basically because they have a variety of different skill sets to choose from and they can be interchanged.

For example:

  • They are usually more flexible working over time than permanent staff.
  • They are easier to hire and fire – so they won’t have to put up with a staff member that signed a contract or agreement.
  • They provide skills the in-house team may not be able to supply.
  • They complete once off jobs or regular tasks that do not require a full time employee.
  • They will cost the client much less at the end of the day even though the job price sometimes seem steep at the time.

With those points made, I would say that businesses hiring freelancers will save much more money in the end than a business having a permanent employee. Why? If the business has to fund sick pay, holiday pay, redundancy, support, medical aid, pension funds and more they will definitely be spending much more money on a permanent employee than a once off freelancer or contracted freelancer.

What will you be getting out of Freelancing?

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Every freelancer has his or her own reasons for liking it. Some of the most common reason are:

  • Being you own boss – no one to tell you what to do or when to do it.
  • More Money – Freelancers are usually paid more than employees working alongside them on a project
  • Freedom – to a certain degree you can choose when to work and where to work from, when to take holidays etc.
  • Variety of work – Moving from company to company, you can develop a impressive CV and ethical work experience.
  • Freelancers generally have more time to themselves than a full time employee.
  • Freelancers, if following professional advice will reduce their taxes that they pay greatly.

Those are just a couple of reason why a lot of people are attracted to freelancing but, the real topic we are discussing today is if the freelancing lifestyle is suited for you. Let’s get to the other side of things, the actual content that we are here for.

The pitfalls of Freelancing.

pitfalls

Of course, if freelancing was an easy and completely safe way to earn a living most people would be freelancers. Some skills are not suitable for freelancing(e.g. where the employer needs a stable workforce and the customer expects to deal with the same member of staff each time). But even if your skills and experience are suitable for freelancing, it may not be right for you. Only you can weigh up the pros and the cons.

Some of the disadvantages you will need to consider include:

  • Less security – freelancers are not protected in the same way as employees are.
  • Uncertainty – there aren’t guarantees of another contract when your current contract ends.
  • Admin – because you will be running your own business, there will be forms to fill in, rules to obey and accounts to keep.
  • You will be on your own – there won’t be employers paying holiday fees or sicknesses, you will have to look after your self and despite sometimes feeling lonely, being your own boss takes hard work.
  • Clients in Different Timezones can become a nightmare – unless you have a perfect schedule worked out on how you are going to be working with the current client it could become a hefty job at hand.
  • Picky Clients can waste your time and money – One thing that a lot of freelancers do struggle with is over eager clients, they say one thing and do another. These clients can cost you time and money, make wise choices. Say NO.
  • No work, No Pay, No Play – Three key steps you are going to have to remember.
  • Business Appearance – unless you have done a outstanding job in branding yourself you are going to struggle going up against bigger firms and businesses to obtain the job you are pitching for.

There are literally hundreds of different disadvantages of freelancing but, it all depends on you. The weight is on no one Else’s shoulders but, your own. Now you might be wondering what next?

If freelancing is still attractive to you, and you believe you can cope with the disadvantages and advantages of becoming a freelancer, don’t give up your day job just yet. First go around and do some research until you are sure that there is a market for your skills as a freelancer.At the very least you are going to have to go around to some freelance agencies in your area and ask about the markets that they are working in. You are going to have to find out if there are a spectrum of clients for you to benefit from and to keep you alive. If you are wanting to be successful as a freelancer you are going to have to work very hard and keep doing research to make sure you are doing everything right.Thats all I can really give to you in advice, there is now one question that you need to ask yourself.

IS FREELANCING THE LIFE FOR ME?

I am patiently awaiting your comments and waiting for you to let me know if you are the right one for the job.

Keep well everyone.

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Jacques is an Entrepreneur and Founder of the An1ken Group. He recently launched a daily vlog on Youtube — JacquesvhTV. He started Creativeoverflow in 2009 as a hub for creatives. Connect with him: Jacquesvh.com - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest

18 Comments
  1. Reply designfollow December 3, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    great info, thank you.
    .-= designfollow´s last blog ..Is Freelancing the Life for You =-.

  2. Reply Bruno Pires December 3, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    i think that the ADMIN tip is the worst

    _____________
    http://www.mundoo.com.br

  3. Reply Phil McDougall December 3, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    Excellent read. many thanks

  4. Reply rana December 3, 2009 at 1:29 PM

    For this reason, i do a parmanent fulltime job & freelancing part-time. how is this? :)
    .-= rana´s last blog ..Freelancer.com logo contest top 10 finalist announced =-.

  5. Reply @illustrated December 3, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    Thanks for the info. I am hoping to take the first steps into freelancing over the next year and found this article very motivating.

    Thanks again!

  6. Reply Jesse December 3, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    Thanks for the post, it’s an interesting read. I’d like to point out I see another group of people that weren’t really mentioned: the “Moonlighters”. Those that are working for another company full-time in the web world during the day, and then freelance on the side. It has its pros and cons as well. You have the security that a full-time freelancer doesn’t have, yet the freedom to put in as much or little effort as you like when the normal day ends. It’s twice the work though!
    .-= Jesse´s last blog ..Jigsaw Puzzles and Web Design =-.

  7. Reply Mary Ann Hortaliza December 4, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    “Everything should take into consideration, before jumping to the conclusions”

  8. Reply Edwin Sandoval December 5, 2009 at 1:50 AM

    Greetings Jacques

    This year I work full time for a wholesale dealer and too worked part time with a few customers. I found that is very difficult to grow up your customers wallet, the only way to do that is having patient or leaving your full time job.

    The next year I’ll work 50% (Formal Job) / 50% (Freelancing). With the idea of to became a full time freelancer web developer.

    Well, these are my wishes, I’ll work in order to get this goal.

    With my best Regards

    Nice post !!!

  9. Reply Waasys December 8, 2009 at 9:37 PM

    Freelancing is really an art!
    .-= Waasys´s last blog ..How to draw an USB Flash Drive =-.

  10. Reply Stephen Tiano December 13, 2009 at 7:33 PM

    Some valid points, some obvious ones. One thing I can’t stress enough is just how prepared you need to be to commit yourself to finding work. And it doesn’t hurt to develop a thick hide, as there’ll be a fair amount of rejection to get used to. I blogged about the distinguishing diffs between freelancing for clients and working for yourself. http://tianobookdesign.com/blog/?p=81

    • Reply Jacques van Heerden December 13, 2009 at 10:09 PM

      Hey Stephen, Thanks for the comment. I will soon be releasing a post on how to Find Work as a Startup Freelance Designer. Should be released within this coming week.
      I will read your article and leave my comments there.

      Have a good day.

  11. Reply Blogger Den December 17, 2009 at 5:15 AM

    What a lot of people don’t consider is that freelancing is a very general term. You can freelance and be a web designer, application developer, writer, forum poster, internet marketer… tons and tons of jobs can be done freelancing. That’s the beauty of it!
    .-= Blogger Den´s last blog ..Designing with the User in Mind =-.

  12. Reply Art December 17, 2009 at 2:13 PM

    I do freelancing for about 4 months and already dig in to some pitfalls. Being free and earning flexible income are the main reason why I chose this, but eventually I found it not productive and there’s a lot of distractions on your home.

    I still go to regular job and part time freelancing if its possible. Your article explained it a lot and hope others will read this. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Reply Angel December 19, 2009 at 12:27 AM

    Excellent post. I read it with pleasure and I still think that freelancing is for me. I was a part-time freelancer for a couple of years but now will try a full-time freelancing and I hope to be succesfully :)

  14. Reply Crystal December 21, 2009 at 3:03 AM

    Great overview for anyone wanting to venture into freelancing. My advice to anyone: If you do go into freelancing, for one–plan, plan, and plan some more before going full-time. Second, even after you dive in, you will fail sometimes, but don’t let it get you down! Always have a back up plan financially, even if its only a part-time job.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..New Web Designers: Getting Started in the Industry (Part 1) =-.

  15. Reply Enk. December 29, 2009 at 12:34 PM

    A while back I was working as a part-time freelancer and a part-time job too. Now as I’ve branded myself on the Internet good enought, I’ve left my day job and switched to full-time freelancing and trying to make a living through it.

    It was pretty hard at the beginning, its getting easier every day I work more hard and get more experience regarding to nature of clients and work.

    Good points there. ;)

  16. Reply Ronan July 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Having gone the opposite direction (freelance to employed) I would also add:
    1. Keep your skills top notch. Freelancers have to wear many hats. Its not all glamorous branding design, there is also cloning spots off clients’ faces, updating website contact details and more complex banalities.
    2 Be confident in first meetings. You have nothing to lose. You can only gain.
    3 Its very stressful worrying about money. You can’t get past that. Its just the way things are.
    4 Anyone who works in design will at some point try doing their own thing. Creative people’s egos are LARGE, way too big to be permanently employed!

  17. Reply Dan July 22, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Good read

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