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Career Advice

To Freelance or Not to Freelance – Guest blogger Barry Magennis asks the question that Marketing Professionals often ask…

Whether you’re looking for a chance to gain more experience than you might get in a typical full-time role or you’ve suffered an unexpected setback in your marketing career, you might be wondering or considering whether to “go it alone”. 

With more websites and agencies than ever dedicated to helping freelance marketing professionals find the ideal self-employed jobs for them, it’s little wonder that so many people are wondering about freelancing. It’s worth considering all of the advantages and disadvantages though before you make any major decisions…

The Disadvantages

One of the most comforting aspects of a full-time job is the regular payment. Without fail, you have the security of knowing that every week, four weeks or calendar month, your salary will be paid. This security and stability means that you can make plans, budget for the month ahead and save for the future. Although you might be able to guarantee an income from freelance jobs, it may be the case that you cannot guarantee the regularity with which money arrives and any regular financial arrangements you may have, such as mortgage payments and bills might have to wait or suffer if a client is late in paying or fails altogether. Don’t forget additionally, that along with this regular wage comes your sick or holiday pay and without those you may find taking time off very difficult.

Being self-employed often means working from home, which sounds great in theory but can be as much of a curse as it is a blessing. You may need to ask yourself if you have the motivation to do everything you would normally do without a boss to tell you to and also consider whether friends and family will respect that even though you’re at home you are actually “working”, and observe the same rules they would if you were in an office or structured workplace.

Being your own boss means nobody to tell you what to do but it also means that you have the ultimate responsibility if and when anything goes wrong: essentially you are your own PR, customer service and managing director and many people find this to be a lot of pressure.

The Benefits

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Thousands of people enjoy the freedom which freelance work brings them. They are able to pick their own hours, work at their convenience around family commitments, enjoy the lack of commute and work on their own terms.

Being the boss means that you get to approach the clients you want to work with or have always wanted to be able to approach. It also means that you get to set the goals rather than having someone else set an unattainable target which you can’t possibly meet on your behalf. You may find that freelancing is akin to a rest and you won’t have to compromise yourself or your principles to work with a client you disagree with or on a campaign you don’t approve of again.

The fact is that only you can decide whether going it alone is the right step for you but it’s well worth thinking long and hard before you make the leap: especially if you are turning down financial security in order to take a risk.

This is a guest post by Barry Magennis who blogs on media jobs, marketing careers and careers advice.

If you are looking to freelance, start your own business, think you have a creative idea or you are a self starting business champion then find out more about Startacus the online community celebrating the self starter – launching soon…

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