Freelancing VS Regular employment – which one is right for you?

03.09.2015

Freelancing can really be a dream – doing what you deem fit with your time, being the captain of your own ship and working independently is quite the romantic vision. In reality things don’t always work out the way most people imagine they would and any freelancer has to go through significant hardships as well.

Not everyone is cut out for the freelancing life and this is perfectly fine, because the life of an employee has lots of benefits as well. We have gathered the core aspects that differentiate the two different lifestyles in order to help you decide if freelancing really is the right career path for you.

1. Income
Freelancer or employee, romance and feelings aside, finances are among the main reasons for what we do for a living and how we do it. Many believe that freelancers are much better-off that regular employees. This is, however, mostly a myth. Yes, freelancers do get bigger checks, but first of all, the freelancer income isn´t that much bigger. Secondly, a regular employee has a lot of benefits, which a freelancer does not have. These are on the one hand practical things such as insurance, paid vacation and sick leave. On the other hand the social aspects of working in an office shouldn’t be underestimated, as connections with colleagues not only provide you with new opportunities, they make sure you don’t get socially isolated as well. Of course, a freelancer has, as any person, a way to work around the issues of not having enough company. But, if you are a regular employee and your colleagues account for a main part of your social life, freelancing might not be the best way for you. Freelancers do have the potential to receive much more money than regular employers by taking freelance projects, but there is not a safety net at the bottom.

2. Experience
The second aspect that should play a key role in deciding whether you want to pursue a freelancing career or be an employee for a while is experience. At the core of this argument is a misunderstanding that freelancing is something one can just jump into as if it were cold water in the hope that one gets used to it. The fact is that a successful freelancing career requires experience, knowledge of your market and good marketing skills. These are all qualities one can gain while working as an employee. Visiting seminars, trainings or courses can be pretty expensive if you do it on your own. As an employee, the company will pay for those in order to increase your value. To sum it all up, if you want to pursue a freelancing career, you might want to work for a couple of years and get the experience and skill required for success.

3. Stability
Last, but not least, stability is often what makes the difference between the lifestyle of a freelancer and a regular employee. As has been pointed out, an employee has a stable income and can count on the safety a company offers, while a freelancer depends only on himself more often than not. If a freelancer makes a mistake or fails, he can’t count on a colleague to fix the error and will face a lot more than a shouting boss. What is more, an employee has a regular working routine, while a freelancer might have a problem with motivation or overwork himself. Being your own boss and sacrificing the stability an employee lifestyle offers isn’t for everyone, but as a freelancer you will have to be prepared to face that all. Now that you are aware of the benefits of both freelancing and full-time employment, you are one step closer to making the right decision for yourself and being successful on your chosen path.

Pic: © alphaspirit - Fotolia.com
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