How Is Freelancing Better Than a Job?
July 28, 2015
July 28, 2015
So, what do freelancers really do? Do they really wear pajamas? Are they the hidden workforce that the world believes they are?
Alex Altman of Time.com believes that the future of work is like no one’s ever seen before — it could be a bit of cloud computing, nanotechnology, or even Genomics.
While no one can predict the future accurately, the Internet has brought in a revolution of sorts, where the nature of work is concerned.
We now have freelancers, and there are a lot of them at that. Ever so slowly, there’s been an up rise.
Contingent, temporary, freelance, flexi-workers, and pay-as-you-go vendors are the new normal with more than 42 million independent workers in the U.S alone and that’s up from 10.3 million workers in 2005.
As for the rest of the world, the numbers are a lot more but vague. Freelancers Movement puts up a few numbers. Italy and Germany have about 1.68 million workers and 1.53 million workers.
Australia has about 2.1 million people and counting. India and Philippines have no official count yet but the numbers are rising.
If freelancing is the future, and if so many people do it, does that make it a better choice than a full-time job? Is it really that good?
Yes, it is. This is how freelancing is better than a job:
Freelancing is semi-entrepreneurial
We call it semi-entrepreneurial only because there isn’t any form of leverage in freelancing. This is where it’s almost similar to a job. So, freelancing is all about a skillset you wield, and you get paid for that.
There’s only so much time and effort you can expend to get paid in return, just like it is for a day job.
However, that’s also where the similarity ends.
Everything a freelancer does is entrepreneurial.
For one, there’s the question of figuring out what to do, deciding the scope of services to sell, packaging services, and setting up shop, and there’s marketing 101.
Then, there’s the daily hustle, the uncertainty, numerous pitches, getting things done all on your own, actual work, delivering work, and getting paid (and making sure the payments come through).
Full-time employees don’t have to lift a finger in comparison. They’d just have to work on what they’ve been hired for.
Freelancing Has No Second Chances
Employees are hired. They then go through rigorous onboarding sessions; training phases, and continues with on-the-job training. All along the way, mistakes are treated as lessons and employees usually get mentors, coaching, and tons of opportunities for skill development and to get better at the job.
As a freelancer, you are on your own. Skill development is your prerogative. You don’t get any onboarding sessions. You won’t be trained. You won’t have fancy meetings. Of course, you’ll not have the privilege of doing mistakes.
The best that you’ll get is a project brief.
Freelancers have to hit the ground running. If you are a freelancer, clients presume that you know – and have the skills – for the job you are hired for.
You are your own mentor. You are your boss. You have no second chances.
Freelancing Makes You an Expert on Handling Uncertainty
Ever seen any of those forums where people complain endless about late salary payments? You do know that stress is a common ailment that the American workforce suffers from, don’t you?
Full-time employees don’t have to worry about the paycheck. In fact, they plan an entire lifetime around that paycheck.
As a freelancer, you don’t get a chance to do that.
You can’t whine. You can’t complain. In fact, we’d be surprised you actually got the time to post a whining comment anywhere about how life treats you.
You’ll wallow in uncertainty.
You thrive on the fear of non-payments, no shows, and occasional vanishing acts that clients do.
You become a pro in cash flow management. You handle uncertainty like most people handle breathing.
Freelancing Makes You Rich
A job is never the path to real riches. While freelancing also isn’t the real path, at least it’s better than doing a full-time job and depending on a singular source of income.
You have windows of opportunity with every client you manage to source. You have a chance to work as hard as you like, charge as much as you like, work for as many hours as you like, upsell services, and experiment with alternative sources of income on top of all this.
You have a choice to make as much money as you want, given your own personal constraints.
Plus, you can claim expenses when paying taxes.
Freelancing prepares you for the Big Game
If you work hard at a day job, the best you get is to move up the ladder.
You get promoted.
Possibly, you get paid more (your employer decides that).
If you do well with freelancing, however, you are in preparation for the big game. You understand business, you have an ever-growing list of contracts, and you are already in the throws of uncertainty. You manage hustle, sales, cash flow management, vendor management, customer relationships or client management, tax payments, and more.
This is the door to real entrepreneurship. You’ll know how to build systems, start any business, and scale businesses the right way.
How do you find your freelancing stint to be? What’s your take on freelancing?