There are some people that choose to do freelance work either instead of a more conventional job and others that do it alongside their job. Some people find it really beneficial and really enjoy it, but there are advantages and disadvantages. It is worth understanding what these are so that you can decide whether you feel that you want to have a go at it or not.

Advantages

  • It can feel really good to be in control of the work that you take on. When you freelance you can pick and choose jobs and only do what you wish. This means that you can pick all of the fun work and not do the jobs that you think will not be so much fun. So, think about the parts of your current job that you do not like and the fact that you will be able to avoid doing these if you are a freelancer.
  • You will be able to charge whatever you wish. This means that you could potentially get paid more as you will be able to ask for the pay that you want. You will be more in control and will be able to just take on work which pays an amount that you are prepared to work for rather than having to do what you are told for your salary.
  • You might be able to choose your own working hours. It might be the case that you prefer to work later in the evenings, early in the mornings, at weekends or at times when a conventional employer will not want you to work. If you freelance then you may have more flexibility with the time that you can work, depending on what you are doing and this means that you could work the hours that suit you better.
  • You can choose how much work you take on as well. This means that if you have certain times of the year when you want more work and times when you want less then this could be achieved if you are a freelancer. You will be able to take on more work when you need it and less when you need more time for yourself – perhaps during school holidays if you are a parent and you need to look after children or you might want more work at times of the year when you have more expenses.

Disadvantages

  • Although you have a freedom to pick and choose the jobs you want, the reality is that at times you will take on work that you will not really enjoy because you have no other choice. There will not always be lots of work and if you need the money you will need to take on what is available.
  • In theory you can charge what you wish but you will have competition. This means that you will need to price in line with others so that you get taken on for the work. Often freelancers are competing with lots of people for work, especially if they are looking for work online. Competing with people across the world for work means that you may have to charge low prices because there will be others willing to do the work for a lot less money because they have a lower standard of living.
  • Working hours that suit you will only work in certain jobs. If you have to visit or phone a customer or deal with them closely, then you will have to work the hours they need you to work. If you are doing work on your own, then this might be easier. You may find though, that you will need to put in a lot of hours in order to get a decent amount of pay so you may have to work more hours than you want to anyway.
  • If you want more work at certain times of the year, you may just find that the type of work you choose does not work out this way. It might be that there is a higher demand at the times when you hope to be working less and you might decide that you will have to take that work on or else you will not get any income. It might just be a case though, of making sure you pick a type of work that fits in with your requirements.

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