To many, is seen as one of the most enjoyable ways to make a living. People think it’s great because you can pick your own work hours, you can take on jobs you want and as a self-employed person, you get to make your own decisions and choose the clients that you work with. However, there are challenges to overcome to any worthwhile endeavor and freelancing is no exception. Through Money-Smart Millennials, entrepreneurship is highly encouraged for this generation but you must realize that the road is not free of potholes.
In this post, we’ll be talking about some of the biggest concerns that freelancers have. There is a dark side to freelancing and it can be enough to scare many potential freelancers away from this career path.
It’s not always easy to find work
Don’t expect to receive job offers the moment you post your resume on a freelancing website. Just as the process requires perseverance when you are applying for jobs as an employee, you will need some patience as a freelancer. At first, you’re going to get a lot of interest from people who may or may not be willing to pay, and you’ll receive the dreaded “will you work for exposure?” requests, based on the field that you’re in. Photographers will certainly relate. It is your choice to do pro Bono work but it shouldn’t be indefinitely.
As an employee, you are giving instructions and work. As an entrepreneur, freelancer, you must look for it. Creativity is key. Advancing your career as a freelancer can be just as challenging as finding long-term, steady, stable employment.
There’s no job security and taking time off is difficult
To coincide with the previous point, just remember that there’s no job security as a freelancer. But truly, as an employee, there is no job security either. The moment you fail to find clients is the moment you no longer have an income. This means that you need to constantly look for work and if there’s “overtime” on offer (an influx of clients that need your services) then you’ll have to agree to it most of the time and work as much as you can to prepare for droughts in the future.
Unlike jobs, you can’t really take paid time off as a freelancer. You’re obviously not given paid holidays and if you fall off the grid because you’re inactive, then your regular clients will often look for others through your competition.
Remember that you still need breaks in your life and you must learn to manage your time productively.
You have to manage your own ‘benefits’ and your taxes
Until you’re making enough money to hire an accountant to manage your business finances for you, you may need to do everything on your own. You can get help with preparing your taxes and there’s plenty of cloud accounting software that can help you make budgeting easier, but ultimately, you’ll be on your own when it comes to managing your money. For some people, this can be a deal breaker. For others, it’s going to require a lot of research to build up good financial habits and also some practice. There are also challenges associated with healthcare and other benefits employees receive. Now that you’re independent, you’ll have to find and pick a health insurance provider yourself.
Treat this post as a warning! Although freelancing is a fantastic career choice to embark on, you need to understand that it’s not all happy and carefree. As you can see, there are many concerns that people have when they start freelancing so it’s best to be as prepared as you can before you leave your regular job and take up working from home.
***This is a collaborative post.
Good points. I do independent consulting (somewhat similar) and when its good, it’s good. But definitely the same challenges; healthcare, time off, etc.. Gotta keep grinding! 🙂
You are absolutely right. Nothing comes easy and for those who choose freelancing, I applaud them. I wish you the best.