If you’re working in the information technology (IT) industry, you might’ve occasionally found yourself toying with the idea of going freelance. There are several risks and sacrifices involved, including doing without the comforts you would enjoy as a full-time employee. One is you’d be giving up the security that comes with a 9-5 job. There are the company perks such as travel opportunities, access to training and personal development courses, company-paid insurance, and much more. Being employed at a big company would generally mean better benefits and higher pay, which makes freelance seem even riskier for these employees.
Yet several still continue to make the leap, even when working for established corporations or internationally-recognized startup companies. What are the several advantages a career in freelance offers which you can’t find in a full-time job?
You could be most productive in the morning but can’t help your brain going on snooze in the afternoon and prefer to resume in the evening. In a freelance setup, you get to decide when you should work. Do your earnings for a few hours of work a day cover your lifestyle? You don’t have to work beyond that if you don’t want to. Party until before dawn then start work midday while you’re still in your pajamas and right after your miracle hangover cure gets your head screwed back on the right way. As long as work commitments aren’t derailed, you can decide to take a vacation any day of the week whenever you want.
It could also depend on your agreements with your clients. There are those who require some freelancers to be online during certain hours based on their assigned tasks. For example, a client requires the virtual assistant to be online during specific work hours so they could discuss assignments and other concerns.
When you own your hours, work-life balance is easier to grasp. It becomes a reality or close enough to ideal standards instead of a mere concept. Parents can adjust their schedules around their kids activities. Cook breakfast, drop your kids off at school then head to work at a nearby café. See that soccer game or go for a random walk in the park and have ice cream. It’s a great way for working parents to spend quality time with their kids.
Many freelancers took on this career path to realize their dreams of traveling more. “Digital nomads” is a term that has been used to describe individuals earning via online while living nomadic lifestyles. In fact, there are startups now who focus on organizing immersive travel experiences for freelancers such as WeRoam and Remote Year. If you’re worried about internet access, using a signal booster is the simple hack needed to improve data connection.
Gone are the days when you had to answer to your supervisor, the manager and several other people in higher positions. You are your own boss and your freelance work is your business. You get to choose your clients just as your clients choose to work with you. Perhaps, in your previous job, you had a client who kept demanding the impossible but your boss kept promising to deliver. You struggled to make both parties see your point-of-view. As a freelancer, you can opt not to work with a client making unreasonable demands or end a contract with one who’s asking for more than agreed upon.
You also charge according to what you seem as fair industry rates without having anyone to split the rest of the money with. A small portion might go to the freelance work platform where you got the job, depending on the terms and conditions by the site. A referral fee would also be appropriate if your client signed a contract with you because someone put in the good word for you. Other than those circumstances, you know the quality of work you give and you get all the profits.