Hi I’m Praneeth Kumar.
In this blog you will learn everything related to is freelance a good career option and path for students/professionals or not and why freelancing is better than a job.
After reading this ultimate guide all of your queries regarding freelance are a good career option and better than job or not are answered, it is my guarantee.
So without further ado let’s get started.
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What is freelancing & is it a good career option/path & better than a job?
According to flexjobs, Essentially, a freelance job is one where a person works for themselves, rather than for a company. While freelancers do take on contract work for companies and organizations, they are ultimately self-employed.
Freelancing is definitely a good career option and better than a job because it gives you complete freedom of time and helps you to manage your own money and income.
First we will look at some benefits and drawbacks of becoming a freelancer and some essential facts to see whether or not freelancing a good career option.
Pros and cons of freelancing;
In this section you will learn the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a freelancer and choosing a freelance career option,
I will also walk you through all the benefits and drawbacks of using freelancing over a normal and traditional job that most of us aspire for.
Let’s first start with the benefits and then talk about the drawbacks so let’s dive right in.
Pros of freelancing:
Here are 4 benefits of choosing freelancing as a career option compared to a traditional job.
So let’s dive right into understanding the benefits.
Freedom of a lot of things.
With Freedom I refer to a lot of things in freelancing like,
- You are not stuck to working for a particular person and company for a long time and you can work for different people and companies and be a part of their growth and success.
- You have the ability and freedom to choose which work you want to do and who you want to work with like choose your clients.
- You also have the complete control and freedom on when and when not you want to work and you can decide your own working schedule depending upon your likes and interest.
- You have complete freedom from the office politics, gossips, rumours, dirty tactics and biased decisions of your bosses against you which otherwise you would have experienced in your employment age.
- You have complete control of how you want to work like you don’t have to wear formal dress and shoes to work, you can work with your pyjamas.
By choosing a freelance career option you have access to lots of options which you can call as a freedom for life.
Another popular benefit of choosing a freelance career option is that,
You can live a flexible lifestyle, you can choose and decide your own working schedule. Freelancing is done online so you don’t have to go to a particular location or office and travel to different places. Because of that your travel expenses are also reduced,
And you can work from anywhere and any part of the world if you are a freelancer. So you don’t have to wake up every morning and travel lot of distance in the traffic to your office and be a part of a rat race. All you need to have is a laptop and an Internet connection for freelance.
You can also set your own working schedules and work from your home or a cafe down the road drinking coffee. You can also stay with your family and work along, this will give you more opportunities and time to spend with your family and improve your relationships with your spouse and children.
This is one of those beautiful benefits about freelancing which I really like.
Control over money.
One of the biggest benefits of becoming a freelancer or choosing a freelance career is that you have complete control over your income and earning.
Because freelancing is an online business, unlike a regular job you are not confined to a particular set & limit of salary every month. You don’t have to wait for bonuses and wait for salary increases from your boss after every year.
Depending upon your work and performance you can get hired by multiple people and work for different companies at any point of time and earn money.
If you are really good at multitasking then you can choose multiple clients to work with and you can schedule different working hours to work for different projects at any point of time which can definitely increase your income.
The interesting thing about freelancing is that you can set your own charges and rates of work which obviously depend upon your own experience, skillset, portfolio and location of the client.
But, there is no limit to how much you can earn in freelancing because of which there are many freelancers who earn seven figures of income every month which is almost impossible to achieve doing a traditional job.
More opportunities to grow.
Unlike a regular traditional job, in freelancing which is work done mostly online so you have a lot of control over your time and energy.
Because of the flexibility and diversity that the freelance career offers, you have more chances and opportunities to grow in your life and career.
In the free time of your freelance career you can learn new skills or upgrade your existing skills with new knowledge,
Other than that you can also work on your hobby, get creative and passion project like starting a blog or a YouTube channel, podcast or starting an online business or anything like that.
Because of flexibility, you can also focus on your physical and mental health by doing different exercises and playing games and improving your mental health with practicing different exercises like meditation.
Also because in freelancing you’ll always have to deal with mostly clients directly who are going to be the company heads and businessman you also have opportunity to learn their perspectives, their thinking process and ideologies.
Because you will be working with such high profile customers as a freelancer so you can learn how these businesses are actually run and managed closely from your clients which can help you a lot when you ever think of starting your own company in future.
By freelancing you can increase your network of connections with new people worldwide and most of them would be owners of small businesses and companies which can help you get a lot of exposure.
And also because freelancing is an online business so apart from working on your own skill and executing it,
you will also have to work on other things like marketing and branding of yourself as a freelancer and expert in the industry, you have opportunities to improve your communication and negotiation skills by talking to other people.
So because you have lot of additional and extra time In freelancing you can use that additional time to grow and develop your skills in freelancing which could not be possible with the traditional job.
Cons of freelancing:
Let’s take a look at the drawbacks and disadvantages of becoming a freelancer or choosing a freelance career option.
The problem with freelancing is that,
It can and is going to be a lonely pursuit.
Just you sitting on your desk, managing the work in the limited time you have, and getting things done as soon as possible. This might seem all fine but the problem with this is,
If you are an extrovert you would have time to spend with your friends, work in a group mostly and do some commuting and chill. It is not the case with freelance, You, your desktop, and your pet that is it.
No group work and socializing for relaxation and stuff, you gotta be on your toes for completing the task.
It can be mentally challenging most of the time.
When you are talking about freelance,People have this idea of something called.
Be your own boss and live the life you want to live and take charge of your life.
To be honest the statement.
Be your own boss. Is a flawed statement, Let me explain to you why, Freelance means getting hired by people on a temporary basis by companies.
The job means getting hired by people or companies for a long time as a permanent time.
Ultimately when it is about getting hired by people and companies, how is it that you are your own boss. You are not your own boss, You have control of your life and finances but you are still working under someone all the time.
Be your own boss perfectly fits for those who are actually starting out an online business lets say,
- A blog.
- A dropshipping business.
- A podcast.
- A Vlog.
- A youtube channel.
These businesses are directly helping people rather than working for some person either temporarily or permanently basis.
With freelance, you are not completely your own boss. You are still an employee for someone as long as you complete the task and get your payment. The worst part of this thing with freelance is,
You are going to be hired on a temporary basis, Means, New boss for every single new project. With getting hired by a new person every single time, the problem is,
- Everybody is different with different interests, tastes, likes, mindset and dislikes.
- Everybody has their own egos, pride, and expectations.
- Everybody has a different mentality and beliefs.
Because of which you can get a lot of Criticism both positive and negative about your work and you should not expect all of your clients to be completely satisfied from your work, it doesn’t happen like that.
It is going to be way more challenging both mentally and physically frustrating because you need to deal with many opposing belief systems and people all the time when you are working with your clients.
People might have overly realistic expectations or different opinions of your work output.
Bad deadlines and people might end up with disputes and arguments with you as the freelancer. It is just not fair.But it is what it is and it is called freelance.
At least with being in a job.You know after working under a single boss for a while,You have some idea of your boss’s tastes, beliefs, and mentality. You can impress your boss and get things done for you but there is no such option for you as being a freelancer.
It is a lot more frustrating with being attacked with over expectations from the one who hired you as a freelancer and it is much more challenging to meet the deadlines with a lot of work pressures and opposing beliefs.
Let’s see blogging or drop shipping or podcast or vlogging,These are 4 different online businesses and what’s the common factor among the four,They can be passive income sources. With passive, I refer to the work you put in today and you can enjoy the fruit of the work even after a year later in terms of money.
What about freelancing then.It is also an online business. But,
It is an active process. The equation with freelance is simple, Time + Quality Work = Money.
Understood it huh! The more time you invest in freelance and completing tasks and finding new clients and improving your skill. The higher the chances of earning money. But ultimately you need to invest your time to make money every single time.
So it is not a passive income source, You cannot enjoy the fruit of your work that you do today after a year.You will get the instant result and fruit of your work as an active process.
And when you get projects to work from your clients and if you don’t complete the project within the deadline time then you may also lose the project and contracts with your clients and even get a negative review of your work which can hurt your freelance journey in future because it leaves a bad mark in your portfolio as someone who does not complete projects on time.
You need more resources, more time, and energy in order to scale your business. You got to improve your craft much better every day, build a strong reputation to keep a higher price tag for your work.
You are completely responsible of your career and business.
Look in freelancing you are not a employee of any company, but you are self employed.
Because of which you are completely responsible for your job and career and responsibility can be for various things like,
- You are completely responsible for paying the taxes of your income to the government every month.
- You are completely responsible for taking your own health and medical insurance.
- No one is going to pay you when you are sick and on a vacation holiday so you need to manage your money effectively.
As a freelancer, you have to take the absolute responsibility of your career and life.
Freelance Platforms sucks.
When you are a freelancer you have to register to websites such as,
All these freelance websites are crazy.
Let me tell you something,
Let’s first talk about Upwork which is the largest freelance website in the world.
On Upwork, if you want to get hired you need something called Connects.
These are things you need to purchase each cost around 15 US cents. When you get these connects from buying an Upwork membership in a bundle you will be able to apply for a job.
It is not guaranteed that you will get a job, it is that you are eligible to apply for the job by purchasing the connects. Basically means you need to spend money on job proposals,
After getting hired, Your money when you get your first 500$ payment, 20% of your payment is taken by the Upwork as cut off. It is with every first client you meet with and have a contract with.
Check this out.
Learn more about it here.
There are similar policies in other websites like Fiverr and freelancer and guru.
On Fiverr, it is 20% and on freelancer, it is 10% and 5% on guru with Paypal fees additionally for transaction costs. They all make some money in your payment as cut off and add additional charges like Paypal fees for withdrawing money and stuff like that. In the end, you will be left with pennies as profit.
And the biggest reason why freelance websites are terrible is that,
You can’t directly contact your customers if they like your work or you want to contact them other than outside the Upwork platform or these platforms.
Mainly on Upwork if you are chatting with your employee, these platforms will scan all your messages to see if there is some transfer of any contact information going on.
In up works policies, it is strictly mentioned that you cannot contact your customer and receive payments from customers outside Upwork and you cant place your contact details on Upwork to let your customers on Upwork contact you privately.
If Upwork finds you committing these tasks, your Upwork account might get terminated and all your reviews and your hard work with a reputation on Upwork is gone.
The same is true with Guru as they mentioned in their terms of service of terminating account if they violate terms and conditions. The reason is the platform takes a commission of every transaction you take as your payment from work and that is how the platform makes money.
If you start earning money outside Upwork using the clients of Upwork it is going to hurt the company’s revenue. Learn more about the policies of Upwork here. This is the same thing happening on other platforms like,
Fiverr, freelancer, and guru, these platforms though don’t cost you for connects but They charge commissions and additional fees in your payments and you will be paid after a long time like 15 days on average after completion of the threshold date.
These platforms do have control of your account and can delete your account if you found to be violating the policies.
Read more on why Fiverr sucks.
Read more on why guru sucks.
Inconsistency of work.
Unlike a regular traditional job in freelancing you will be hired by different people on a temporary basis worldwide so in freelancing there’s always an inconsistency of work.
It would be like a feast and famine cycle in freelancing.
You will get lots of clients and projects to work for as a freelancer in this month and
you would rarely get any plans and projects in the month. And one of the biggest struggles of many freelancers is to find clients and project offers.
Very few clients will renew their contract with the freelancers and there is always a inconsistency in payment and earning when it comes to freelancing because you are always hired with people on a temporary basis.
These are all the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a freelancer compared to a traditional job.
Some interesting facts about freelancing career;
Now that you have learnt why freelancing is better than a traditional job, we will take a look at some interesting statistics about freelancing and compare it with a traditional job and decide whether or not freelancing is a good career option in this modern world.
- Google’s workforce has more freelancers than permanent employees.
- 70% of SMBs in the U.S. have worked with freelancers at least once & 81% of these companies plan to hire freelancers again
- Almost half of all businesses employ freelancers.
- Freelancers represent about 35% of the global workforce, With a total global workforce of around 3.5 billion, there are about 1.1 billion freelancers around the world.
- 60% of freelancers claim they’re able to make more money than they did with their previous jobs.
- Freelancers contribute about $1 trillion to the American economy or about 5% of total GDP.
- 75% of freelancers claim that their wages remain stable during the pandemic despite the proliferation of remote work and a presumed decreased demand in freelancing.
- 59% of freelancers see themselves doing the same type of work in the future.
- Around 36% of freelancers make $75,000 or more.
- 77% of freelancers state that they are not more financially stable since ditching their day jobs to go freelance. But 68% say their life has improved since they started freelancing and much happier than before.
After reading all of these incredible statistics about freelancing, you might be wondering why businesses choose freelancers more.
Why do companies and businesses prefer freelancers over employees?
One of the main reasons why many companies and people are hiring freelancers over employees is because,
- By hiring the freelancers the companies & businesses don’t have to deal with maintaining and managing the equipment required for an employee to work in an office costs.
- The company does not need to worry about the insurance, paid leaves of the freelancers.
- The company does not need to pay fixed salaries & bonuses to the freelancers irrespective if it runs into profits or losses at times.
- The company does not need to train and coach freelancers like they would do with regular employees before handling them work.
- But above all, the company can get their job done with the experts in the field and in their own scheduled time.
But, hold on, wait.
Just because freelancing is a great career option for people does not necessarily mean that everyone should be a freelancer, there are some important qualities that people must possess before they choose freelancing as a career option.
Self introspection questions before you choose freelancing as your career option;
Take a look at a couple of questions which I have mentioned below and self examine yourself and decide whether you should choose freelancing as your career option or not.
- Are you willing to accept rejections? When you are completely new to freelancing journey it’s very hard and difficult to get your first client and earn a first dollar and gain first hand experience, many freelancers will face lots of rejections before they get their first offer.
- Are you willing to take risks? There are lots of things that you have to put at risk like your comfort zone, losing your friends and their friend circle, weekend parties, paid holiday leaves.
- Do you have patience? Freelancing is an online business and patience is the most important quality that freelancers should have in order to succeed.
- Are you able to manage time efficiently and effectively? There is no denying the fact that time is money so if you don’t manage your time effectively and waste your time in different things that are not productive and help you in completing your freelance projects you should not expect to make more money.
- Can you manage money effectively? Because of inconsistency of work you should be able to manage your money effectively and save money and live a frugal life most of the times.
- Are you good at talking and dealing with other people? In freelancing you have opportunity to talk with different customers and people with different mindset, if you don’t have good communication skills and people management skill you will have a hard time handling your clients.
- Are you open minded and willing to evolve or not? Because you are always dealing with new people all the time in freelancing so you should be open minded, you should be able to meet with the Expectations of your clients every time, you should be able to understand your client situation better, you should be open to criticism of your work along with that, you should constantly work on your skill and improve your Craft in order to stay relevant and continue in freelancing and always stay updated, flexible with the industry changes.
- Can you motivate yourself and be consistent? As a freelancer there is no one to motivate you so you should constantly motivate yourself and be consistent in your efforts, despite of all the rejections and competition, if you can motivate yourself and continue working hard both on your skills and for jobs, at some point of time you will definitely get a breakthrough.
- Are you a competitive guy? There is no other option, really, it is a harsh but important truth to be told, if you are not competitive and hard against your competitors in your skill, you can’t succeed in freelancing in long-term because of the competition in the industry, you should always look for how you can do better than others in the industry all the time, there is no place for kindness & mercy in freelancing.
- Do you have a skill? If you don’t have a skill that people can pay for to get their work done, you can’t be a successful freelancer even if you have all the 9 qualities above, at the end of the day having a skill that you can monetize is going to bring you the bread and butter for your freelance life.
If you ask these questions and self examine yourself and if the the answer for almost all of these questions are positive (yes) and good then you are completely fine and ready to choose freelancing as a career option because
you are the perfect person to be a freelancer if not you should either change your mindset or do not enter the freelancing industry because it is not meant for such people.
With that said let’s conclude the blog post.
There you go these are all the things you need to know about freelancing.
Do comment down whether you choose freelancing as your career or not.
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You can also read my blog on freelancing skills you can learn quickly.
I will catch you next time till then keep learning and keep growing.