Freelancing has become a popular source of income because of the freedom and control it offers to workers. And recently, employers have been favoring freelancers more because they consider it a cheaper form of employment. Because of freelancing’s increasing stability, more and more people are curious if it truly provides what it claims: control, freedom, and money.
In this article, we will be going through what freelance work is, its advantages and disadvantages plus common freelancing jobs you can do!
What is freelancing?
In the traditional system of employee and employer, freelancing is a breath of fresh air. Instead of working one job and being locked into a routine, freelancers can work with different projects on their own time, without being tied down to one company or organization.
Simply put, a freelancer is hired to do a specific task, project, or service by the client. They can accept project offers from different employers at the same time and are not required to work specific hours, as long as they get the job done.
A freelancer manages their priorities, workload, time, and even their taxes all alone. It’s the middleman of the working industry where you get to be an employer and your boss. This also allows you to work from anywhere and at any time. Most freelancers work at the comfort of their own home, with no clock in and clock out hours.
If you are someone who has a lot of skills in different fields, freelancing is the gateway to exercising all of these and getting generously paid for them. Working in a company means that you are hired for a specific role with a specific skill set. This could mean curbing your other talents and abilities and wasting them away.
Pros and Cons of Freelancing
The advantages and disadvantages of freelancing vary from one person to another and can also depend on the industry one is treading on. But generally, here are the common pros and cons that come with being a freelancer.
Pros: Diverse Clients
Freelancing allows you to work with different clients and contracted to work on different tasks and projects. You can be working for the food industry one day and the next, you’ll be working with real estate brokers. This keeps everything interesting since you are not tied down to a specific set of tasks like how working in a company would. This also allows you to exercise other skills you have.
If you are looking for employment that broadens your horizons, freelancing might be the one for you.
Pros: Workload Control
One of the things people love so much about freelancing is the control over the workload. For one, you get to work as much or as little as you want. Second, you get to choose which projects you want to partake in and focus on the jobs and tasks you love doing. All these without exhausting meetings, workplace dramas and issues, office politics, and disturbing co-workers. You just do what you like and handsomely get paid for it, sometimes even at your price.
Pros: Flexible Schedule
Being able to work at the time you want is such a dream. You can sleep in as much as you want to and work on hours you are most productive. You can take multiple breaks during the day and no one would bat an eyelash while you do so. Aside from that, you can work anywhere globally as long as you have the right equipment with you (primarily your laptop and an internet connection).
Pros: Endless Opportunities
As mentioned, more and more employers are opting to avail the services of freelancers since it’s cheaper than hiring a full-time worker. This means that in the years to come, there will be no shortage of work. You look at listings and you are bound to find something you’d like to work on or if you’ve been in the industry for a while and have built a reputation for yourself, clients will start pouring in, looking to avail your services.
Now then, let’s discuss the cons of freelancing
Despite being a thriving form of employment, freelancing still pales in comparison to the stability that a permanent position offers. If you are a newbie, expect little to no clients reaching out to you. In most cases, you need to work your way in, pitching in yourself and your skillset to entice a client. This means having to compete with hundreds more freelancers who might or might not have leverage against you.
Employers also get to officially decide if they want to work with you again or hire another freelance if they are not satisfied with your work. If the tide does not favor you, you’ll be in and out in no time and left to look for another project to work on.
Though we discuss that in the coming years, there’ll be no shortage of work for freelancers, we still can’t overlook situations we have no control over. There are going to be projects that’ll get shelved, maybe a contract with an employer ends early, and worse, having no clients at all.
Cons: No Paid Benefits and Self-Employment Taxes
Freelances are not entitled to any benefits from their clients. This means you have no health insurance or pension plans set for you by the company and a good fraction of your earnings need to be set aside for this.
There’s also self-employment taxes, which you need to pay for, and regulations and laws to consider before setting your rates.
Cons: Absolute Responsibility
Being able to choose your projects and what time to work on them is a good bait to get someone into the freelancing industry. However, it’s not all glitz and glamour.
Being a freelancer itself is a business. This means you are in charge of everything. Business development, getting, managing, and retaining clients, billing and collecting payments, and paying taxes. There are a lot of things to consider, such as what platform to use in tracking and accepting payment, which programs to use for works, and what promotional methods to utilize to get yourself out there, such as business cards, website, and logo. Of course, there’s website maintenance and content creation included somewhere in all of these.
While someone might thrive in skills, not everyone is prepared to do the backend of the work. It can prove to be a struggle, especially if you are just starting.
Common Freelancing Jobs
There is a good number of professions and careers that can be sustained through freelancing. Here are a few popular freelancing jobs you can start with!
Transcribers don’t need to work onsite and can do the majority of their work from a remote location. This already makes it a notable freelance job. Most transcribers start with transcribing audio files, such as interviews, lectures, webinars, and podcasts.
Those who are knowledgeable in the field of law or medicine can specialize in legal or medical transcription work. Legal transcribers work with law-related audios like court hearings and depositions, while medical transcribers work with doctors recording or editing medical documents.
For clerical work that can be done online, more and more companies and employers are opting for the assistance of virtual assistants instead of hiring someone to occupy a permanent office position.
Virtual assistants perform administrative tasks, such as bookkeeping, taking care of travel arrangements, and appointment scheduling.
Online English Teacher
The demand for English teachers has increasingly stabilized over the recent years. There is almost no shortage of work in this field. The work that freelance teachers do vary but mostly it is to teach English to various students. School children, middle schoolers, and even for business purposes.
Most agencies train their teachers first, teaching the standards that need to be delivered to the clients. Most of these can be done online, as well. Like most freelancing jobs, online teachers get to choose the amount of work they want, however, this can require them to work at irregular hours, especially if the students are living in the opposite time zone.
Undeniably, the most popular freelance job out there is being a freelance writer. Due to the popular slogan “Content is king”, freelance writers have vast work opportunities, including article and blog writing, academic papers, technical documents, and copy.
There are generalist writers that write on whatever topics their clients require while others specialize in specific fields, like law- or medical-related papers and blogs, or writeups for the health or beauty industry.