Freelance Pros and Cons
By Elijah Thomas
Freelancing isn’t as easy as it may seem — nor as difficult.
It really comes down to the relationship you want to have with an employer.
Freelancers get to enjoy the intrigue and flexibility associated with ever-changing assignments, work hours and locations. On the other hand, working full-time offers a steadier paycheck, and a package of benefits like insurance and paid time off.
Here’s how to decide which is right for you:
Freelancing has been around for ages. But it really took off at the dawn of the pandemic, as workers shifted from everyday office hours to remote or hybrid models. Many decided to remain in freelancing even as quarantine-driven worries abated. Dubbed the Great Resignation, this era was associated with plunging employee engagement as so many found themselves unwilling to return to the five-day-a-week grind. More recently, traditional office work has rebounded — but freelancing is still seen by some as a way to take back career control.
Freelancing is typically described as “being your own boss,” but that’s a misnomer. You’ll actually be working for several supervisors, since freelancing by its very nature involves taking on a rotating series of assignments. Many think that freelancers set their own hours, principally because they’re not found behind a desk on a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. basis. But this work might require working during unconventional hours, impacting some people’s lifestyles. Finally, there’s no small amount of uncertainty about how much you may earn on a month-to-month cycle. Assignments may not arrive, leading to financial struggles that wouldn’t necessarily happen with a standardized level of income. Succeeding in a freelance career typically comes down to how well you can manage these intrinsic challenges.
You’ll actually continue down a familiar path when beginning a freelancing career, or even when working to extend your freelance base. As with traditional applicants, you’ll have to create a resume and cover letter. Some freelance gigs also require a pre-interview, as well. So develop a polished, inviting “pitch” before applying. What are your strengths and unique qualities? The most successful freelancers know how to sell themselves, whether they provide a service, online content or a product. Many of the job descriptions are shared, with the only difference being that you’ll work for a pre-determined period of time.