Working freelance is a new form of employment and income, where individuals set their own agenda and working hours. It comes with many pros and cons, like most job roles. Since 2001 the number of freelancers in the UK has risen by 1.5 million, according to the Office of National Statistics. So, leaving tradition behind, the days of the regular 9-5 working life are over.
What is freelancing?
A freelancer is a self-employed person who offers services to clients. It’s a way of starting your own business through content creation for businesses. If you have a particular skill, such as writing, designing or developing, businesses are always seeking freelancers to work with them.
Starting your own business can be a terrifying idea, but may come with rewards if successful. Freelancing requires your time and dedication to make it work. You’ll need to understand how business works, how to build a brand and what professional skills you require.
This type of work fits into the criteria that current generations expect of employment. We no longer want to sit at a desk 8 hours a day doing repetitive, unfulfilling tasks. We want to grow as individuals, present our skills and discover our potential, as our platform Yondur encourages!
What are the pros?
- Flexibility to choose when and where you work.
- Choose your own clients, you aren’t restricted by the requirements of an employer.
- Manage your own time. If you need to switch your schedule around so you can attend appointments or other commitments, then it’s easily done without having to request time off from your job.
- Gain skills in time management, project handling and communication, along with many more, depending on the nature of your work.
- Decide your rate of pay. You have the freedom to set your own charges for clients, these will vary for each individual and their level of experience.
- No strict dress code or uniform. If you wish to work at home in lounge-wear, it’s completely acceptable. However, most freelancers will make an effort to look the part to help their productivity levels. If you work in pyjama’s you may feel inclined to work in bed, which isn’t ideal for your work-life balance.
- No commuting costs, although if you decide to work in public areas, such as coffee shops, you’re likely to spend money on hot drinks and food!
- Work and pay flow may be inconsistent, as some weeks may offer more work than others. Receiving a steady paycheck like previous jobs is in the past! This may be worrisome, especially if you have bills to pay.
- Loneliness is common among freelancers, because you’re often working alone for long periods of time without much social interaction. To combat this, you can work in cafes and libraries, or meet other freelancers in your area to build a social circle.
- Fewer benefits are included. You won’t receive paid time off or sick pay, or any other additional benefits an employer may have offered.
- Running your business is up to you, the tasks that are split between an entire team are now your responsibility. These tasks include sales, marketing, invoices and taxes, and technology. This may be a pro too though, because you’re the decision maker. You’re in charge and there aren’t any office politics.
- Chasing invoices can be frustrating and inconvenient. This is an increasing problem in the freelancing community because companies don’t always pay on time, causing unnecessary stress on your finances.
- Lack of structure and routine in your daily life, unless you create it for yourself as many freelancers do!
The job market is constantly changing and growing. New jobs are being created with more flexibility around how you work. The statistics reveal the growing popularity of freelancing, as 43% of generation Z are considering freelance as an alternative to full-time work and 64% of millennials favouring remote working rather than in-house work.
So, is the freelance working life for you?