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Freelancing: The Risks And Rewards

26 March 2017 No Comment

It’s a big choice in life we have to make, whether to opt for a career with prospects like our parents want us to do, or to follow our instincts and go for our dreams. As grandiose as that seems, we all hit that point in our lives, and for many, it’s not about being that world famous actor or sports star, it’s actually about gaining a sense of freedom in our lives, freedom that it seems our parents didn’t have. Self-employment or a freelance career is one way of reclaiming some of that freedom, and it comes with some worthy positives, but if you’re looking in the grand scheme of things, it can have some downsides too.

Depending on your choice of career, it can prove quite difficult to break into a freelance lifestyle that is lucrative and provides you the freedom you desire. It can be a feast or a famine, and you spend a lot of time working insane hours and then…nothing. And it can be like that. It can also be very worrying because you are concerned when the next job is going to come along, and when it does you get back on the treadmill of 15 hour days. It is incredibly difficult in this sense, but you need to try and find a suitable work/life balance. It’s a cliché that people who own their own business don’t take a vacation or work less than 50 hours per week, but it is a cliché for a reason. It isn’t sexy, but try and put some money aside for when there are fallow periods, because you won’t go crazy with boredom and worry at home, you can go out and enjoy yourself until the next job comes along, which it will!

There are personal and professional difficulties in being self-employed. One big one is that, in the eyes of the government, you are something of a liability. And if you are looking for a home, or real estate for sale in a beautiful part of the world, or aspire to retire early at 40 to a lovely farmhouse and raise chickens, it can be a difficult one unless you have a really large deposit/down payment on your chosen home. For those that are earning just enough to get by it can be a long time before you save up enough for your dream home unless you have rich relatives who can lend you the cash! As well as this, you are not protected by things that your employer would have to provide, such as a pension.  

But for the downsides, the prospect of being a freelancer offers something that you are unable to get with a standard employer, emotional freedom. This is a big draw to people, and as the potential for uncapped income is there, it means you can work as hard as you want or as little as you want. If you have the luxury of living with mom and dad it is a bit easier, but being on your own means you need to work hard, but the lack of a formal organizational structure is very appealing.

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