If you loathe the idea of working in a cube farm, you’re in luck. The traditional office setting is becoming a thing of the past. By 2020, freelancers are predicted to make up 50% of the full time work force.
Opportunities for freelancers are increasing thick and fast. If you’re thinking about making the break for freedom, tons of economic experts say now’s the time to do it. Two years ago, more than $930 billion was earned by freelancers, and that number has only increased as companies look to hire remote worker rather than hiring a full time staff.
I have worked as a freelancer for years and have also done the whole 9 to 5 thing. Both offer their own unique perks and setbacks.
One of the major benefits of freelancing was the freedom and flexibility it offered. I wasn’t stuck working set hours every day. I got to make my own schedule and work from anywhere, whether it was my home office or a café in London.
Another advantage of working for myself was that I got to choose the projects I dedicated my time to. I often chose clients and industries that I was passionate about, and I felt like I was making a difference with my writing.
Freelancers typically mention periods of feast and famine, and that was definitely my case. Some months, I’d be rolling in assignments and cash, while other times I wouldn’t work for weeks and be living off of tap water and ramen noodles.
Tax time is always hell. When those W-9s start rolling in during the first week of February, I had to prepare myself. As your own boss, you have to dedicate about 30% of each paycheck to taxes, and I was always behind. Let’s not forget the fact that you have to pay for your own health insurance too.
As a full time employee, you enjoy the knowledge that you’ll get paid each week in a timely manner. You never have to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from. Companies also offer full timers tons of perks, such as health insurance, 401Ks, and more.
Working at a traditional day job also enables you to compartmentalize your life. Often times when you’re running your own biz, the lines between life and work can get blurry. At a 9 to 5 job, you get to leave the office and not worry about work until the next morning.
The downfall to working a regular job is that you don’t have freedom. You get two weeks of vacation per year and a handful of sick/personal days and that is it. Also, if you get laid off, you don’t have anything to fall back on. That’s your one gig. You’re not juggling tons of clients like a freelancer would.
As I said before, both have their positive and negative components. It’s about finding what works best for you.