Freelancer

freelancerCan you see yourself becoming a freelancer for the rest of your career? Well, can you?

If you haven’t, you probably should. There are predictions that half of the workforce will be contractors or freelancers by the start of the next decade.

Heck, the 2nd largest employer in the United States is Kelly Services, which is a temporary staffing company.

Has the pursuit of full time employment been difficult, if not impossible? Many baby boomers who have been laid off after the age of 55 may never work as a full time employee again.

There are many issues with being a freelancer, which the infographic below highlights. There are also a lot of joys!

Freelancer Positives

Some of you will dispute this, but the money can be quite good. You will not start out making the same as you are now or did before a layoff, however.

You have control over your work life balance. You can decide how much or how hard you work. We will see later that this can also be a detriment!

Being a freelancer allows you to combine multiple streams of income. You probably will not give up your day job at first. You have the choice. This can also be referred to as building a portfolio career.

Freelancer Negatives

Some of you will become freelancers out of necessity. I refer those of you as necessity entrepreneurs. This is a difficult transition, and there can be a lot of pessimism.

You have to be able to sell yourself. Many find this very difficult. What most people do not realize is that this is a skill that can be learned. It’s not about getting people who don’t need your services to buy them, but is all about helping to solve the client’s problem.

The steady paycheck is gone! You will have to realize that there will be good times and bad. You will need to plan accordingly. When I started my business, I worked out all of the finances. I knew that we would live on savings for over a year. I knew that we would still be financially secure.

Even so, I would wake up at 3 AM and cry, “I do not have a paycheck!” There is a huge emotional component that recovering engineers like myself like to discount.

I said above that you have control over work life balance. At the same time, I often tell people I work for a JERK! (I work for myself.) I ask my boss for a day off, and the answer is usually NO! Get back to work! Having control over work life balance is not always good!

You are responsible for all benefits: healthcare, retirement, vacation, etc… What you may not realize is that, when you had a paycheck, you were paying for them anyway.

Check out this infographic from graphicdesigndegreehub.com.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Freelancer