It’s a safe bet that just about everyone, at one time or another has dreamed about being their own boss. Most people envision working from home in sweats and tees, setting their own hours, choosing their own assignments, blissfully free of long commutes and traffic jams, irritating co-workers, unreasonable bosses, and tiny cubicles. And it’s true that freelancing jobs can offer all of those perks, and then some. With constantly evolving technologies and mobile devices, millions of workers every year, often fed up with trying to find a job, turn to freelancing as an ever more viable alternative, and employers are welcoming them with open arms. Most employers will still require pre-employment background checks which may include criminal background checks. Freelancing can be a very rewarding career option, but it requires a considerable change of lifestyle, and should be carefully considered before one takes the leap.
Here are five hard realities of freelancing jobs:
- Freelancing is a whole new ballgame. It requires a completely different approach to work. Transitioning from a 9 to 5 job to being self-employed can be quite a culture shock. It’s possible to develop the self-discipline necessary to meet deadlines and complete assignments without supervision, but many will find it difficult at first. On the other hand, for some it just comes naturally. And unlike having a regular salary or hourly paycheck, if the freelancer isn’t working, they aren’t earning.
- Freelancers work more hours. Unless they hire extra help, freelancers have to do everything themselves, administrative chores, bookkeeping and billing, marketing and acquiring new clients. And none of this pays anything for the time spent on it. In general, a freelancer will work more than 40 hours a week. But their hours are arguably more pleasant, spent for the benefit of one’s own advancement.
- Freelancing jobs are a lonely profession. Social isolation is an occupational hazard of most freelancing jobs. Pets, plants, and talk radio are poor replacements for interaction with real human beings. There are many ways to counter the lonely hours spent working, but it takes an effort, which can be a lot of fun.
- Freelancing jobs has ups and downs. As in, availability of work. Sometimes the workload will seem overwhelming, other times the phone just isn’t ringing. Good money management skills are a must to weather lean times.
- Freelancers have real jobs. Many people have a hard time wrapping their heads around freelancing jobs. If a person isn’t commuting to a brick and mortar structure, they can’t have a real job now, can they? It’s an attitude that freelancers just get used to, and one that will change as freelancing jobs becomes more common.