4 Reasons Why Freelancing Might Be For You

John Krautzel
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Self-employment is a vague or superficial dream for many people who imagine working from home with no overbearing bosses and unlimited time for recreation. While those goals aren't impossible, it takes a proactive, disciplined professional to make sustainable income from a full-time freelance job. If you're prepared to manage your own career, a freelance job can lead to satisfying work and offer the flexibility to pursue other passions.

1. Work-Life Balance

Freelance jobs let you choose your schedule and the projects you accept. As long as you meet deadlines and communicate regularly with clients, you can build your work schedule around personal priorities, such as family activities or volunteering. Even when you're considering an on-site position, freelancing gives you the power to renegotiate contract terms that conflict with your lifestyle.

With a flexible schedule, you can take afternoons off for doctor's appointments or school events and plan vacations when it's most convenient for your family. However, working from home opens the door to procrastination and distraction, especially when friends and family believe you can ditch work at any time to accommodate them. Balancing income and project goals can help you stay focused while leaving room for unplanned changes to your schedule.

2. Self-Defined Career Path

When working for an employer, you have to move in whatever direction the company wants or find another job. Your role may change, your department may be restructured or your promotion may fall through, and you have little control over the outcome. A freelance job lets you leverage specialized skills to develop a custom career path, making it easier to stay engaged in your work. Self-employment often appeals to people who like creative or nonlinear careers, as it allows professionals to create occupational niches based on their unique abilities and experiences.

3. Job Stability

To skeptics, freelancing often seems like a financial limbo, forcing people to make risky choices in pursuit of an uncertain paycheck. The 2008 recession showed Americans that in-house positions can disappear at any time, while self-employment helped many displaced workers thrive despite economic downturn. An in-house job has a single income source, giving one company significant power over your financial wellness.

On the other hand, freelancing jobs are widely available from individual clients, government agencies and companies of all sizes, letting you diversify your income sources. You decide what your services are worth, so income depends on how well you structure and promote your business.

4. Advancement Opportunities

For employers, freelance jobs are a cost-effective means of obtaining skilled labor without hiring full-time employees. As a result, freelancers contribute to competitive projects and companies that are difficult to access through traditional employment. Freelancers aren't limited by geographic location, and they often land high-profile jobs without going through a long multistage recruitment process. Promotions and hierarchies are virtually meaningless in the freelance world, where you can overcome a short work history with an impressive portfolio and strong marketing skills.

Don't let fears of failure or financial instability scare you away from self-employment. If working for yourself is your dream, try a part-time freelance job to build your confidence and portfolio while exploring options. As a freelancer, your skills and track record can outweigh status and education, creating an even playing field where successful projects lead to higher-paying clients and opportunities.

Photo courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Maurice amen to that! I am closing in on that age myself but I love my job and am not ready to let it go. I love the flexibility it offers me so that I can still enjoy my life and grandbabies while earning a living. I, too, am blessed in that I don't have to worry about healthcare due to my career in the Navy. But many folks do have to worry about it. So if you are considering freelancing, you have to take that cost into account. And, what many folks don't consider, is that you have to pay ALL of your taxes so be prepared. It's great fun to receive a nice paycheck every month but it sure does hit hard when tax time rolls around. So, as a freelancer, you need to be able to put that money aside for taxes as well as cover your own healthcare.

  • Maurice M.
    Maurice M.

    I agree with Nancy, but if you are retired like me it does not affect me as I am covered by Medicare. And I found it very difficult to get a job if you are in this category. So whatever you can get as a freelance is a plus and a blessing.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Bryan you would get started the same way that you would for any job. Look for ones that allow you to freelance. But I would caution you here. Most people don't realize this but normally, when you are freelancing, it means that you are self-employed. What does that mean? That means that you are responsible for all of your taxes, insurance, healthcare and so on. It also means that, if they should let you go, you do not qualify for unemployment unless you have an insurance policy for that specific reason. I have never really checked into that but I am guessing it can be expensive to cover yourself in case of layoffs. So make sure that you are going into this with all of the facts.

  • bryan s.
    bryan s.

    How do you get started?

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