Pros and Cons of FreelancingLast week we took a look at the positives and negatives of being an employee. When fed up with the 9-5 work schedule, one can easily become enamored with the idea of freelance work. Is freelance work always better than being an employee? Are you ready to deal with self-employed tax and health insurance for self-employed? Is freelance work better for your situation?

I’m here to help you make that decision a little easier. Let’s look in the pros of being a freelancer first:

Flexibility in your schedule.

As I type this it’s two in the morning. I mean sure I could have written this piece earlier in the day, but I just didn’t have the focus to pump out quality content earlier. The funny observation that I made recently is that I do my best writing in the middle of the night. I thought I was the only one until I find out that many writers out there can the bulk of their work done at random hours.

When you become a freelancer you create the opportunity to possess a completely flexible schedule. No longer do you have to adhere to a 9 AM sign in with little breathing room. You have the ability to work when you want from wherever you want. All you need for most freelance work is a laptop. You don’t have to worry about a set schedule or a tiny cubicle.

You control your own income.

The amount of money you make depends totally on you. There’s no boss holding you down and no glass ceiling to deal with. The money you earn is all thanks to the your effort that you put into your projects. You can be totally ambitious and strive to make as much money as possible. On the other hand, you can relax and earn just enough money to pay the bills and be happy. Your income is dependent on you. For me that’s a good thing. For some it can be rather scary. Where do you stand?

No annoying co-workers.

I’m sure that everyone reading this has had to put up with annoying co-workers that make the day feel like it’s never going to end. When you venture off to become a freelancer you’ll no longer have to worry about this. The other beauty is that you can even work with your friends. If a few of you guys are freelancers then you can get together at a coffee shop to work away and crack jokes so that the day goes by quicker.

Now that we looked at the positives, we need to venture off into the negative side so that we paint a clear picture when it comes to being a freelancer:

Lack of focus.

When you work on your own you’re no longer confined to a cubicle, set schedule, or an angry boss. The buck stops with you. The biggest issue then becomes your focus. How focused are you? I thought that I was very focused until I realized how much time I waste on crap. The thing you need to understand right now is that more time does NOT equal more work all of the time. More focus equates to more work. If you’re not focused then you won’t get much work done at all. When you don’t get much work done you don’t earn much money. What will you do at this point? This is a major issue that all current and future freelancers need to address.

No vacation.

When you work for yourself you can’t just fill out a vacation request form and take off for two weeks while still getting paid. If you don’t work you don’t get paid. It’s really that simple. So if you think that life will be easier as a freelancer then please think again. There will be times where you absolutely enjoy your work and couldn’t imagine it any other way. Then there will be days where you just want to get away but you can’t because you risk losing a paying client.

Income uncertainty.

When you become a freelancer your income becomes totally uncertain. I mentioned earlier that you control your income. Yes you do. It’s just that your pay becomes irregular. Opportunities will come and go. Offers will dry up and clients will leave you. Your income will become more uncertain than ever before. Can you handle this income uncertainty?

Self-employed issues.

As a freelancer you’ll have to worry about self-employed tax and health insurance for self-employed. As an employee this is all taken care of for you. Now you will have to deal with these topics on your mind as you attempt to increase your freelance income.

What do you think being a freelancer now? Are you still going to try being a freelancer or is it not for you?

(photo credit: photo extremist)