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Freelancing or Full-Time Job? Pros and Cons

In: How To

The popularity of freelancing and job flexibility continues to grow. According to a study, 36% of Americans are doing freelance work. Today you have the opportunity to choose the type of work which better suits your needs and lifestyle – full-time in the office, remotely, part-time or become a freelancer.

Considering switching to a freelance career? Make sure you’ve weighed all pros and cons before giving a two-week notice. Freelancing is often idealized, however, like any other type of employment, it has ups and downs. If you cannot choose between day job or freelance business, our resume writers online have collected the main pros and cons of freelancing and full-time employment.

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Full-time employment

Under full-time jobs we are going to mean office positions with 40-hours or more schedule. Some value office jobs for their stability and predictability while others are unhappy because of routine tasks and poor work-life balance. Let’s take a closer look at its pros and cons:

Pros

  • Stable paycheck – you know how much you are going to earn this month, and can plan your savings and expenses. The pay is steady and comes every month, so you needn’t worry about the money. This benefit is especially important when you provide for other family members.
  • Consistent and predictable workload – you have fixed roles and responsibilities, thus, you can predict the kind of tasks you’ll be assigned and the time you’ll need to complete them. This lets you manage the workload and get things done on time. The tasks you are given aren’t much versatile, but that’s what helps you deliver the expected result. 
  • Perks and benefits – office jobs with good companies offer plenty of attractive benefits, such as dental and vision insurance, paid gym, parental leaves, healthy meals, etc. These benefits make your life easier and cover the part of your expenses. Moreover, all employers provide paid time off, so you can take a day off or go on vacation without having to worry about money.
  • Team environment and support – you work next to other people, and it’s much easier and enjoyable to work on the project with colleagues. You can ask for advice or discuss the challenging aspects. If you don’t know something, you can count on the guidance of colleagues or boss.
  • Promotion opportunities – most companies provide opportunities for professional growth based on the result of performance reviews. You can get to work on more challenging projects or promoted to a managerial role. By the way, these tips will help you speed up your career growth.

Cons

  • Little flexibility – most office jobs have fixed hours, and you have to be at the same time and place regardless of your real workload. Only a few companies offer their office employees flexibility with working hours. Working late nights is also common in most industries, so work can take up to 60 hours of your time.
  • Poor work-life balance – if you aren’t one of those lucky ones who live in a walking distance from work, you have to spend time commuting. As a result, it’s only early in the morning and late in the evening that you have to take care of personal issues or spend with family. Your work-life balance suffers as you don’t have enough time to devote to important things outside of work.
  • Lack of variety in tasks – the tasks you are given in the office are predictable and similar. Therefore, you can get bored of doing the same mundane work again and again. In most cases, you don’t have the opportunity to choose which tasks to work on.
  • Limited earning and growth potential – most companies offer pay increase and promotion opportunities. But even in this case the growth is predictable and limited. Unless you work in a startup, your circle of responsibility isn’t going to expand much. If you’re an ambitious person who wants a significant growth in skills and pay, you are likely to feel stuck.
  • Lack of time and energy to follow your passion – employees have little control over the types of tasks they are assigned. If you are passionate about your work, you probably have lots of ideas or projects you’d like to work on. So, if you’ve dreamt to create your own blog, it’s unlikely that you have time and energy for it after the exhausting day in the office.

Freelancing

Freelancing is often valued for its flexibility and possibility to be your own boss. Moreover, you can choose what kinds of projects to take and what clients to work for. However, it also has certain downsides such as instability and necessity to take all risks.

Pros

  • Flexibility with schedule, hours and location – as a freelancer, you are not restricted by an office building area. You can work from your home office, a local coffee shop or the back yard. Freelancers manage their own schedule. If you feel comfortable working late in the evenings, that’s okay as long as you meet deadlines.
  • Choose the projects and clients – freelance platforms offer a variety of projects, so you can find those you are really passionate about. You agree on pay and deadline beforehand, and work on terms you find convenient. The same with clients – if you don’t feel comfortable during the negotiation process with the client, you can choose simply not to work with them.
  • Healthy work-life balance – freelancers have a privilege to organize their day the way they want. If you feel like doing yoga in the middle of the day, having lunch with friends or jogging every evening, there’s always an option to fit these activities into your schedule. Now, you can find time for activities you overlooked because you had an office job.
  • High earning potential – it’s you who set the price for your services, and you can keep it as high as you wish (as long as the clients are willing to pay). If you are a uniquely qualified specialist, people will be ready to pay you decent money. Moreover, you can always take more work to increase income.
  • No commuting – forget the time spent in traffic jams and the costs for commuting. You can work from home or a café located in the walking distance. Moreover, you don’t have to pay for expensive lunches and buy office attires, which makes a significant economy.
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Cons

  • Unstable income – as a freelancer, you get paid only when you work, so there might be an inconsistency between paychecks. Moreover, a busy month can be followed by a month when you can hardly land a project, so it’s hard to make financial plans. Unless you’re a contractor, it’s the reality for most freelancers.
  • No benefits and paid vacations – as a freelancer, you’ll miss cool benefits such as free laptop or gym membership. Moreover, days off and vacations are no longer paid. You can go on vacation whenever you like, but note that this week isn’t going to be compensated for.
  • You have to run all business aspects – not only freelancers have to get work done, but also they are in charge of other aspects of running a business, such as negotiating, troubleshooting, taxes etc. You will probably spend a significant amount of time looking for new gigs and clients.
  • Getting organized is often challenging – when you work from home and no one supervises you, it might be difficult to stay organized and hard-working. Thus, you might find yourself procrastinating most of the day and then trying to complete the entire project a few hours before the deadline.
  • Social isolation – office work offers us socialization. As you work from home you might feel lonely – no one to discuss the recent news with or ask for help with the challenging task. If you are used to the hustle of the busy office, working on your own and feeling isolated can add up to your stress.

Both freelancing and full-time office job has its peculiarities. Luckily, you have the opportunity to choose. So, evaluate both the advantages and disadvantages of each option to choose the type of employment that will stimulate your professional growth and help reach your long-term goals.

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