Freelancing is a scary commitment that not everyone is cut out for. If you are unsure about whether to give up the stable 9:00 to 5:00, read these top 10 reasons not to become a freelancer in the virtual workplace.
Note #1: This post focuses on freelancers who work from a home office or coworking space.
Note #2: This post is the second part of a series. The first post described the top 10 reasons to become a freelancer in the virtual workplace.
1. You Enjoy Having Your Evenings and Weekends Off
When you are an employee, you know your schedule from day to day, for the most part at least. Freelancers may have to work weekends and evenings to meet a deadline. Or they need to make up for a bad quarter, plan for a future bad quarter, or keep a good client happy.
As an employee, you get to go home Friday night knowing that you can shut down your work email and not look at it again until Monday. Freelancers can do that too. However, they need to be well established and secure in their current client list and project schedule.
2. You Get Paid While You’re on Vacation
Even though you have to ask permission from your employer to take a vacation, that vacation is yours. No one can bother you while you’re on it. And—bonus—you get paid while just doing whatever you want. Relax on the beach, jump out of that airplane, and dance the night and day away.
Freelancers have to plan not to get paid during that time. They also need to make sure they can make ends meet before, during, and after vacations.
3. Work and Home Are Separate
Freelancers get to work from anywhere, and often that means the boundary between the office and the couch is foggy. But when you have a steady job and report to an office outside the home, you can separate your personal life more easily.
Furthermore, you can enjoy those weekends and evenings guilt-free. If you don’t see the computer or the boss, they don’t exist as far as your cat or kids are concerned. Out of sight, out of mind.
4. You Have a Stable Job
Despite your obligation to the current project at hand, you know that as an employee you can depend on a steady paycheck. Having a stable job is one of the top reasons people tell me they don’t want to go freelance.
Freelancers have to constantly be on the hustle and must diversify their clients. They can’t depend on one big client too heavily. That’s because they could be in trouble one day if that contract goes south.
On the other hand, as an employee, you do need to make sure that you are not at risk for layoff and that you provide a valuable service to your employer.
5. You Enjoy Your Me Time
Many people who choose the freelance lifestyle cite the lack of a commute as a major reason for the switch. However, some folks enjoy the commute for the “me time.” If this is you, then you get that time to be on your own.
And if you take public transit, you get to take that time to read or daydream. You can also play games on your phone without your roommate or significant other distracting you.
6. Your Natural Rhythms Suit Traditional Schedules
If you are an early bird, chances are you are well-suited to the traditional 9:00 to 5:00 (or more realistically 8:00 to 5:00). Or you may have a job with a schedule that just plain suits you. Many tech jobs don’t expect employees in the office before 10:00 a.m.!
Freelancers can have a fluctuating or tailored schedule all their own. However, if you don’t already struggle with your employer’s schedule, then this one is probably not on your list of reasons to leave the regular grind.
7. You Prefer Having Work Assigned to You
Having to hunt for your own projects may not appeal to you. Perhaps you like always having something to turn to without much struggle. And if your job is stable, the ebbs and flows are not as stressful as the ones freelancers experience.
8. You Don’t Have Space for a Home Office
Now that many people are working remotely, bigger homes are in more demand. But having an office to go to means you don’t have to make room in your home.
And you may not even want to make that space anyway. Your home may be your home, and if you have an extra room, you may want it to be a gym, or craft room, or gender-appropriate cave.
9. You Can Easily Fit Exercise into Your Daily Work Schedule
Freelancers can easily/ideally find the time/space for exercise. But working in an office means you need to schedule it more strategically. However, you may work close to a gym, take your lunch breaks for exercise, or have the energy to go for a run after or before work anyway.
10. Working from Home Is Distracting
Having constant access to your big-screen TV, front porch, comfy pillows, or the kitchen may distract you from work. Even if you have a co-working space, you may not have the motivation to go to it.
Smartphones can also be huge distractions. If that’s a particular issue for you, read my LinkedIn article about how to avoid them.
In contrast, working for an employer means you work at your desk, get the job done, and head home (but not before getting that me time on the commute I mentioned before). You can then escape from the obligations at the office in the evenings and on the weekends.
So there you have it. I hope these top 10 reasons not to become a freelancer are helpful as you decide what lifestyle works best for you. And don’t forget to check out the top 10 reasons to become a freelancer too.
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