Working for yourselfIt may be difficult to leave your job and set up as a freelancer but it will be worth it. Of course there are some disadvantages to going at it alone, but with great risk comes great reward. Here are just some of the negatives and positives about working for yourself.

Disadvantages:

1. You work longer hours than before

If you are in a fast past job with demanding clients, you may find you are working very long hours and do not have much of a social life. You may think that if you are your own boss, then you will be able to control the hours and not work as many. You could not be more wrong. At your old company you may be earning a decent wage, not having to worry about where the new business is coming in from potential clients. Now that you are working for yourself, you have to work for your current clients as well as making sure you have enough new business.

2. You seem to be always working and everything is associated with work

Unless you are strict with yourself, which leads on to point 3, you may find that you are always working. This is especially true if you are working online as you are always connected to the internet and you may be tempted to check a few emails, check your sales, check out new bloggers etc. Even when you are not working, you may still be associating different activities with work. For example, at your last company you may have attended many “media parties” or other networking events, accepted the freebies and chatted with your work colleagues. Now that you are freelancer, every networking event or meetup or conference is a potential new piece of business. You keep a clear head and talk to the relevant people, catching up with other entrepreneurs, making sure you have enough business cards printed to give out to those you meet.

3. You have to be very disciplined

This is not so much a disadvantage, probably only to those who get easily distracted. In order to keep the work life balance that you may have left your other job for, you need to set aside time for work and time to relax. If you are working at home, you can get easily distracted. Others in your family or in your house may not appreciate that working from home is actually work, not an excuse to ask you to babysit the younger siblings or help with the dinner. You may find you will have to go to the library or rent some office space to get some quality and focused time to do the work for your clients.

Advantages of Working For Yourself

1. More Flexibility

As you are your own boss, you can decide when to do the work and when not to. This means if you have to go to the doctors or dentists or have an appointment for the bank, you can do so during the week and not cram everything into the weekend. You can also meet up with older family members during the week for lunch instead of at the weekend when everyone comes round. You can plan your day so that it fits in with you. If you are a sports enthusiast or like keeping fit, you do not have to wake up early and trek to the gym before work, you can go during the day, allowing you to feel more awake.

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2. You control your workload

You only have to blame yourself if you have too much work to do and cannot complete the work on time. This comes back to point 3 above, you have to be very disciplined. Only take on the work you know you can complete and deliver on time. Now that you are your own boss you do not have to worry about more work landing on your desk unexpectedly meaning you may not be able to take that long holiday you have been planning. You know how many clients you have and you decide if you want to increase that number or not, no one else.

3. You can work from anywhere

You no longer have to face the daily commute, fighting traffic on the roads or train. You will save up to at least 2 hours per day in commuting time meaning you can be more efficient with your time. Instead of working 9 – 5 with an hour travelling each side, you can work 8 – 4. If you need to visit some relatives or need to travel for work, you can also bring your laptop and work from there. For those that work online, the only thing you really need is reliable access to internet.

There are both advantages and disadvantages of working for yourself. Some people prefer to be in the bustling office where there are many people about. Others prefer to work independently. You know what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you think you can handle freelance, go on give it a go, what have you got to lose? There are many organizations that will be able to give you advice and tips on setting up on your own.