Considering taking the plunge and working for yourself? Here’s 10 of the most important benefits of freelancing.
1. The freedom that freelancing affords is invaluable.
Throw the office dress code, schedule, and clunky processes to the side–you’re often free to work the way you want! As long as you’re delivering the right results, most clients don’t care what you’re wearing or if you’re working at midnight. (If they do, see benefit #5.)
2. You can make more money when you freelance.
It’s possible you’ll make more money as a freelancer than you did as a salaried, full-time employee. Because you don’t have to wait around for promotions and raises, your career is truly in your hands. You can work as often as you want for as many clients as you can handle at the rate you can land work at. As long as you have the time and experience to get the job done, the sky’s the limit!
3. Work from home more often. Take on more work in the process!
If you prefer, or have to work from home, then freelancing is for you! Focus on jobs that don’t require you to be onsite and you can take on way more work if you are efficient in what you do. Your home office becomes your money making sanctuary and you can spend more time with your family without that pesky commute.
4. Travel more, see the world!
I love to travel! Over the last 12 years, I’ve taken 3 sabbaticals–first 6 months in Costa Rica and Australia, then 9 months in Asia and Europe, and finally 11 months in South America. This wouldn’t have been possible if I’d had a full-time job. Smart freelancers can work for a period, take a vacation or sabbatical, and return, rejuvenated, to start work again.
Keep in mind, when it comes to sabbaticals, it’s important to know how long is too long. Leaving the country to surf in Costa Rica for a year probably won’t hurt, but being out of the professional scene for more than that risks making you look like you’re not serious about your work, or worse, you get stale in your field. My advice? Keep sabbaticals to one year or less. Or stay fresh by working on the road as a digital nomad. Check out our list of the Top 10 Coworking Spaces Across the Globe.
5. You select the clients and projects that are right for you.
We’ve all worked with less-than-stellar clients, or on projects that gave us nightmares. It’s stressful and it doesn’t usually result in top-notch work. If you think a potential client seems difficult from your initial communication, it’s safe to assume you won’t find it any easier to work with them as the project moves along and deadlines approach. As a freelancer, you’re free to (politely) say “no” when a project isn’t a good fit.
The best part? By weeding out those you aren’t excited about, you’ll surround yourself with clients and projects that you actually enjoy!
6. The world of office politics seems far, far away.
When you’re not a permanent employee, you won’t be obligated to get involved in menial office politics that seem to make work more stressful and less inclusive. As a freelancer, you can focus on your making your project a success without being held back by informal workplace pressures and politics. A good rule of thumb when contracting onsite is to not get involved in company gossip or politics. I’m there to perform my specific contract function to the best of my ability, not to try and change the culture of the company that gave me the gig.
7. You’re not married to any single company in case problems arise.
Working full-time for a great company can have many benefits–a great salary, vacation time, full health benefits–but what happens if the company goes under? What if they downsize, or you find yourself laid off? You’re on your own with no job or clients lined up.
When you freelance and a company you work with has sudden issues, it won’t be life-changing for you like it would be for a full-time employee. You provide a service to many companies, not just one, so you’re safer in the event of a project or role ending suddenly. The peace of mind that independence brings is a huge benefit of freelancing.
8. Bootstrap your startup with your freelance income.
Another thing I love about freelancing is the ability to work on things I’m passionate about on the side. In fact, I built a startup for freelancers, LocalSolo, while doing freelance work for other companies. LocalSolo has already helped me find other freelancers to partner up with on projects. If you work from home this becomes easier to manage, as your startup can be just another project you focus on daily. Of course, beware becoming a workaholic. Doing a startup and freelancing for clients is time consuming, trust me on this one 😉 One good thing is you can always decide to focus on your startup full time when it takes off and come back to freelancing later if need be.
9. Freelance Marketplaces are all the rage.
At LocalSolo we focus on Freelancers who like to work direct with their clients. However these days there are countless freelance marketplaces around that you can work through. As long as you’re willing to give a cut of your salary to the marketplace and realize that the wage and client quality might not be the high level you’re used to, then these marketplaces can be good to supplement your main income from your best local clients.
10. Work with other cool freelancers of your choice.
We’ve all been there, forced to work with a coworker that we just don’t get along with. As a freelancer though you are free to develop your own network of amazing freelance talent that compliment your skills. It’s a great feeling to bring in a friend on a really rewarding client project and rock it together! This is one core reason why we built LocalSolo, so that you can always find great freelance partners to team up with, either locally or remotely.
So there’s 10 great reasons to start freelancing right now. Go for it, get out there and grab your chunk of the new freelance economy!