Should I Freelance or Work Full Time?
There was a time when working as an employee at a firm meant high job security, but after the recent economic meltdown that is not the case anymore. Maybe that’s why a high percentage of the current workforce, especially the younger generation, is more inclined towards freelancing than taking up a traditional desk job.
But is freelancing truly better than the latter? Or are there benefits to each that the other lacks? Read on to know more:
- Who’s Your Boss?
Everyone knows someone who hates their job. Ask them why and most of the time it is because of a terrible boss. And even if you are one of the lucky ones who has an amazing boss, sometimes your personality and work style may not suit the restrictions imposed by the workplace hierarchy. Freelancing is an awesome alternative for such people.
As a freelancer not only will you be your own boss, and thus in total control of everything you do, you will also have the freedom to choose the type of work you do.
- Any Place is Work Place
Freelancers can work from anywhere: home, the cozy coffee shop down the street, or even a Hawaiian beach! Nothing is off limits as long as you have the tools required to complete the job and are not breaking any laws.
And you get to set your own time according to your convenience!
Don’t like working 8 hours a day? No problem. Just work for three and extend the number of days in the contract with your client. Of course, this may not be possible all the time in case the client has a deadline, but even then you can choose to work whenever you want in the day (or night) as long as you finish the work on time.
- Higher Rates
Freelancers earn more doing the same job as compared to a full time worker. In fact, some earn 30-50% more. This is because as a freelancer you can set your own rates, and once the work is done will receive the entire pay without tax deductions.
Of course, the downside is that you will have to pay income taxes at the end of the year and maybe spend a few days figuring out your taxes if you don’t have an accountant, but on the plus side you can deduct the cost of running your freelance business.
- The “Added Benefits” of a Full Time Worker
Freelancing is not all sunshine and rainbows. It has a few cons and this is one of them.
As a freelancer you will not be entitled to any benefits that a regular worker receives, which includes health cover, pension fund matching, and sometimes rent and food allowances. In fact, many full time workers end up with more money to spend on pleasure activities because their companies cover the basic cost of living. Don’t believe me? Just look up the benefits a Google employee has.
- Human Connections
Everyone needs human connections to live healthy and fulfilling lives. A full time job offers you that in truckloads. From fellow colleagues to distant employees in branches in other countries (who you get to meet in annual conferences), a full time worker has many human relationships to keep them motivated.
In fact, even if you hate half the people in your work place, you will still try to outshine them just to get a promotion. A freelancer lacks this competitive spirit and motivation.
As a freelancer you may say that you prefer solitude and working alone, but after a while you will wake up day after day and keep postponing your work just because you have been cooped up for too long. Many freelancers choose to work from local coffee shops just for this reason.
- Managing Accounts
No one likes accounting. It is a dull and tedious task, and as a full time worker you are free to not pay it any mind at all. After all, the accounting division handles all the heavy numbers. But a freelancer doesn’t have that freedom.
Freelancing work involves creating invoices and billing clients, maintaining records of business costs, and travel expenses. All this can pile up into a huge mountain of paperwork at the end of the month. And if you are a busy and in-demand freelancer, the mountain can be very high indeed.
Employing an accountant is the best case scenario in such situations. But if you can’t afford one, then the sheer sight of so much accounting can make your blood run cold.
- Job Security
Everyone wants job security at the end of the day. Why? Because you do not want to wake up one day and realize that you have no source of income to pay the month’s rent.
This is the biggest disadvantage of working as a freelancer. Sometimes the workload can be tremendous while other times you may not receive even a single contract for a few months. A full time worker doesn’t have to deal with this insecurity.
Of course, you can still be sacked from a full time job, but if you are a freelancer, then it is guaranteed that you will have at least a few sleepless nights every year.
What Do You Think?
Given the pros and cons of working full time and freelancing, one can easily see that both have their benefits and disadvantages. But if you are still confused, then a simple litmus test can clarify which path is better for you:-
If you excited by the prospect of being your own boss, managing your own time and projects, then you know which path you should take.
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