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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Freelancing Part II: Disadvantages of Freelancing
As much as I would love to work at home and at my own pace, there are still benefits and perks associated with working in an office / company setting that you can't do when you're freelancing.  I love talking so when I don't see people around, I feel uneasy.  It takes some getting used to.

I still have a full-time, office setting, company job.  But my priority is to enhance my skills.  So I write whenever I can and learn as much skills as I wanted so I can eventually have my own business (which I had before).  So far, I have managed to learn to bake and decorate cakes, make chocolate bonbons, enhance my desktop publishing skills, write regularly, and more. 

Freelancing will give me freedom, alright - tons of free time, working at my own pace, working comfortably at home, etc.  I get to manage my time and do more work.

However, I couldn't get over some issues regarding freelancing.  Issues such as:

*  Inconsistent workload.  I like working at my own pace, but I like a consistent / continuous work flow.  Freelancing is inconsistent.  There are down-times.  Unless you have other means of income, this would be a problem. 

Inconsistent Income.  Inconsistent Workload = Inconsistent paycheck.  This is difficult to manage for those whose income comes solely from freelancing.

*  People's misinterpretation.  For other people, freelancing means unemployment. LOL!  For them, if they don't see you go out every morning dressed for work, means you're a bum.  Whenever I say, "I'm a writer." followed by "Really? Which publication?"... "It's online and I work at home."  (Raised eyebrow) then, "Oh? So you're unemployed?"  Which part of don't they understand?  Sadly, no one takes you seriously.   

*  Lack of Benefits.  This is what I am going to miss should I pursue freelancing full-time.  No more paid annual leaves.  No more health and hospitalization benefits.  No more bonuses.  No more steady flow of salary. 

*  Stricter policies for loans on Banks and other financial institutions.  When you apply for loans and you put Freelancing as your occupation, chances are... disapproval of your application.  Not all banks however, as long as you have complied with their requirements, but much more work for you.

Longer working hours.  You think this is going to give you free time... well, eventually.  But at the beginning, it actually takes much more of your time.  If you do it at home, you need to manage it together with working chores, taking care of kids (for those who have), etc.  and longer working hours equates NO REST.

It can make you go crazy.  LOL! Not really.  You always work alone so it can be isolating and you're only means of communication is through your phone and social media.  Thank God for having them.

*  Doing everything yourself.  This is defined by doing most of the administrative work, basically everything about your service, including marketing, correspondences, filing tax returns, paying your social security, health care plan, etc.

*  Constant client presence.  Given that you have already established loyal clients, they can get pretty demanding.  This is where longer working hours comes in.  There are also times when you have to entertain clients at home or somewhere, which actually drains your cashflow, if it's not managed properly.

*  Improper Cashflow management.  There should be a separation between work money and your salary.  Your freelancing income IS an additional income.  But one reason you got into freelancing is to eventually be financially free.  If you don't manage your money properly, it will get down the drain and your freelancing would cease. 

There are obvious disadvantages to freelancing.  However, I am not discouraging anyone to pursue it.  As a matter of fact, I am doing this myself.  I just need to organize everything, including my time and my money.

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