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Good and Bad Things That Come from Being a Freelancer

by Ciprian Paraschiv on 26th October, 2015

Management

Freelancing has become a way of living for many people around the world. From cyber nomads, using freelancing as an opportunity to reach every corner of the planet, to individuals who can make themselves snug only in the comfort of their house.

Freelancing – the self-sustaining framework of becoming your own boss

If you are reading this article, there’s a high chance that you are a freelancer. You probably got your cup of coffee next to the keyboard, be it midnight or early morning. The 9 to 6 ordinary schedule is just a myth you never believed in. Whenever you feel in the mood, you “plug in” and start doing the job you are earning your living from. Many times it happens to you to “go with the flow” and achieve in 2 days more that you did in the past 2 weeks.

There are episodes in everyone’s lifetime when you simply need to detach, to spend some time with yourself. In a very inspiring TED Talk, Susan Cain speaks about “The Power of the Introverts”, explaining why they should be encouraged and how often they bring exceptional talents and abilities to the world.

Is this model sustainable or not? It doesn’t matter, as long as it fits you and you are happy with what you gain. You just stay at home, in front of your computer and work on the projects that you need, without any restrictions. You have no boss, and you are the one who dictates when and what to do. You always wanted this kind of freedom. Now you have it, and nothing in this world will take it from you!

The dark side of freelancing

No matter how ideal the scenario described seems to you, freelancing is not the land flowing with milk and honey. It also has a multitude of downsides as well. First of all, you are the one that pays your own taxes. This means that some of your money will have to be paid to the tax man and at the same time you won’t get any sick days, medical coverage or any retirement savings, instead you need to pay these on your own.

Moreover, despite the fact that the schedule of a freelancer is flexible, it doesn’t mean that it really is like that. As a freelancer, you always need to respond to the inquiries of your customers. You have to schedule your own daily program according to them. You need to be available most of the time if you want to get good business.

Another major downside for any freelancer is that it can be very hard to separate your work from the personal life. Since you are at home, there will always be inquiries, personal calls, the need to go shopping and even to repair the hardware on your own if it breaks. There is no one to help and if you do call help it will be paid, which means extra costs.

Freelancing is a solitary job because you need to be bound to your desk most of the time and be connected to the Internet. Sure, it sounds fun in the beginning, but as time passes, this can lead to a multitude of issues with your personal life as well, since most of your social life will be coming from the online world.

Learning is a social act, and most companies care for their people development, promoting a culture of knowledge sharing. Updating your skills will require more and more solitary efforts as the business is evolving fast.

Moreover, as a freelancer you need to be very organized. Not only that, but you also have to set priorities and create a brand around your name. You’ll have to be precise in evaluating yourself and make sure that you have what it takes to pay the bills.

Lastly, as a freelancer, you need a lot of patience and resilience. Jobs don’t come themselves. Sometimes you need to make sure that you spend a lot of time finding the jobs. Then, there’s the money management, which requires you always to keep some money aside, as the freelancer income isn’t the same each month.

So yes, freelancing has his downsides as well. Once you quit your job, you will have to do everything on your own, from finding work to paying taxes and others. Not everyone was born to be a freelancer.

Ciprian Paraschiv

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