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Career Advice

Going freelance: the pros and cons

Going freelance: the pros and cons

Choosing to freelance is a major step that can affect both your professional and personal life. While going it alone can provide you with complete control over your working schedule, many often find that being your own boss can also have its downsides.

If you fancy freelancing, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons. So that you make a well-informed decision, take a look through the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a freelancer:

Pros

Be your own boss – one of the most attractive advantages of freelancing is that you get to manage your own schedule, workload and client portfolio. This independence gives you the freedom to choose when you work and who you work for.

Variety of contracts – the idea of working on a diverse range of projects can be an exciting prospect. An established freelancer is able to pick and choose assignments best suited to their expertise and interests, ensuring that they can look forward to a varied working week.

Work from home – along with a flexible working schedule, freelancers are able to work from their home office, a local library or even a cafe. Cutting down on the daily commute, this allows you to maximise your working day, or make the most of your time away from the daily grind.

Cons

Less focus – many freelancers find that their valuable working hours are taken up with tasks outside their expertise. As you will need to find time for sales, business setup, taxes, accounting and bookkeeping along with contract negotiations and project management, you
can often find you have less time to concentrate on what you do best.

Loneliness – many freelancers who return to full-time employment cite isolation as one of the main reasons for heading back to the workplace. Working by yourself also requires plenty of self-discipline and motivation to ensure that you complete tasks on time and to a
high standard.

Lack of security – the freelancing world can be an unpredictable one. You may find that you have plenty of work at times, while other months may be meagre. As work isn’t guaranteed, you must proactively search for projects in order to keep your freelancing career
steady.

Freelancing alternatives

If you like the idea of freelancing but don’t want to go it alone, you should consider joining an umbrella company. This allows you to hold onto your independence, while enjoying a higher level of protection.

Through working with an umbrella company, you can leave the business end behind as a support team looks after all admin, negotiation and book keeping tasks, giving you an opportunity to concentrate on your projects. It can also be a more secure and reliable option as you are entitled to full employment rights and relevant statutory protections.

Whether you choose to freelance alone or join an umbrella company, it is important to take the career path best suited to you. Making the right move can have a great impact on both your professional and personal life, allowing you to make the most of the flexible rewards that freelancing and contracting can offer.

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