Since the time freelancing became an option, wide discussions about what is better—full-time jobs or freelancing—have continued. The advocates of working full time believe that it is a more stable and secure source of income. Indeed, an employee working in an office has a guaranteed monthly salary, all kinds of bonuses, paid vacations and sick days, and a number of other social benefits; a freelancer is a self-employed person, so it is always his or her problem and responsibility whether he or she wants to take a break, gets sick, or lacks income. Skipping a work day as a freelancer often means not getting paid, whereas an office worker—even the least meticulous one—receives money regardless of the amount of work done. However, even though freelancers make a somewhat socially and financially vulnerable category of hired workers, there are many reasons making people aim for shifting from office routine to freelancing despite the risks. Why? Because freelancing possesses a number of benefits many full-time workers can only dream of.
The first and foremost benefit of freelancing is a flexible working schedule and conditions. What does a regular office worker do? He or she gets up close to 7 a.m. and rushes through half the city through bad weather, traffic jams, and crowds of people to spend eight hours in a cubicle, and then go back home. Ways to leave earlier (for example, when an employee’s little daughter is having a concert or play at school, and wants her parents to be present) are little to none. On the other hand, a freelancer does not have to go to work every day: his or her home is the workplace in the majority of cases; or, in other words, a freelancer’s workplace is wherever a wifi spot and his or her laptop is. This is a great way to achieve the notorious “work-family” balance: being able to work and at the same time stay close to one’s family members is priceless. Besides, a freelancer often does not have a specific work schedule; rather often, there is a deadline, prior to which a task must be accomplished, and no other time restrictions. Flexible working hours make it even easier to not only earn money, but to be able to pay attention to other matters as well: going into sports, for example, playing with children, taking care of elderly family members, or relaxing. Of course, it does not mean that working as a freelancer is easy—it may be a fun job, but it is still a job, with its own catches, complications, and stresses—but it gives an individual more of personal freedom than a regular full-time occupation (LifeHacks).
Connected to this is the second argument in favor of freelancing: in many companies in the western world, the classic “nine to five” scheme is becoming obsolete—and it is not that companies allow workers to work less time. On the contrary, there is a tendency for workers to overstay in their offices, trying to deal with the ever-increasing flow of daily tasks. Even when an office worker is at home or on vacation, he or she continues being bombarded with work emails, phone calls, and notifications—and, in fact, office workers are expected to be available. Even though they are being disturbed outside workplace, not replying to such calls may negatively affect an employee’s career or reputation. A freelancer, on the other hand, is his or her own manager, having to accomplish only the work he or she has applied to. Freelancing may be an even better option if you are a woman willing to dedicate your time to raising your children, but without abandoning your career; men will find this option useful as well. Generally speaking, if you like having your day structured, or do not have anything against working outside the work hours, an office job is for you; if you are, however, engaged in other activities besides work, freelancing might be a better choice for you (EnvatoTuts+). This is not to mention the eternal problem of being underpaid; there are many specialists who are doing great as professionals, but due to various circumstances, do not earn as much as they deserve. As a freelancer, you will most likely be spared of this problem: you always get what you work for.
And yes, the ability to work and travel more is yet another advantage of becoming a freelancer. How many of you, when being on vacation overseas, have met relaxed people with a laptop on their knees, and wondered, “How does this hippie make a living?” The answer is that these people are probably freelancers. The ability to take off from one’s mundane place of living and travel to a completely new environment without having to worry about the sources of income, days off, or other corporate ties is perhaps the brightest and most valuable possibility in a freelancer’s lifestyle (Bloggerz Arena). Of course, there are a number of nuances freelancers have to consider while travelling: different time zones, for example, or the costs of living (since many professionals do not make much money when starting to work as freelancers), and so on—but what are these difficulties compared to the possibility to be as free as a bird?
Being a corporate employee has its own advantages, and it would be wrong to say that full-time work is somehow inferior to freelancing. Office workers get a stable income, enjoy social benefits such as paid vacations and sick days, and are, in general, more protected than freelancers. However, freelancing can offer a number of benefits that could make office work seem dull. For example, a freelancer can afford combining their work with travelling—anywhere, anytime, and for as long as one wishes. Freelancing is also a more comfortable way to work because of the ability to choose working environments, instead of having to go to the same office year by year. And this is not to mention that freelancing allows to effectively establish and maintain the “work-family” balance! Freelancing might not be for everyone—but perhaps everyone should try freelancing at least once in their life.
“11 Reasons Why Freelancing is Better than Any Desk Job.” Life Hacks. Life Hacks, 24 July 2016. Web. 07 July 2017.
“Freelance Work Versus a Salary Job: The Pros and Cons.” EnvatoTuts+. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 July 2017.
Shaikh, Aquif. “10 Reasons Why Freelancing is Better than Regular Jobs.” Bloggerz Arena. N.p., 20 Feb. 2016. Web. 07 July 2017.
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