We’ve all heard good things about being a freelancer: having maximum independence to make all your creative decisions, no bosses to answer to, flexible hours, and working from the comfort of home. It all boils down to one thing: Freedom.
Being a freelancer is definitely beyond the constraints of a regular corporate 9 to 5 job, but as they say, freedom comes at a price. Many of us may have overvalued the “freedom” associated with self-employment without properly considering what we have to give up to achieve it.
Instead of going down the usual route of looking at what’s good about becoming self-employed, we’ll look at 20 good reasons not to be a freelancer.
The points will be divided into two categories, either related to the working atmosphere or for Personal characteristics which are not compatible with.
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From a full-time job to a full-time freelance job, you’re sure to change the way things work. The secret to not diving into the unknown is knowing if you can adapt to these environmental changes. Freelancing is not for you if:
1. You like perks
Biggest downside of all: you get nothing medical coverage, paid sick leave, paid time off, retirement savings, and many other common employee perks and benefits if you want to become self-employed as the last step in your career.
Image source: Vecteezy
2. Expect absolute flexibility
Freedom is not synonymous with flexibility. The fact remains that customers will decide when you are supposed to work. They are the ones who set the deadlines, and some expect you to get back to them whenever they need answers. Have less uptime most of the time and you risk losing repeat customers.
3. You hate being on call 24/6
Demanding clients expect you to be available when they have questions about the project. If you can’t handle the thought of be reachable at any time of the day (even the godless), you should reconsider making this your next career move.
4. You want to separate work from your personal life
In the absence of regular working hours and defined workplaces, self-employment is a inseparable part of your life. You can’t stop getting calls from customers after 5 p.m. every day. Work is where your laptop is, and you can start any time of day (or night!).
5. You don’t like being in the office
You can take your laptop anywhere and continue working, but no matter what environment you are in, you having to sit in front of a machine (and preferably an office) if you are going to live as a freelancer.
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6. Most of your social life comes from work.
For the general public, it is not surprising that it has functioned as the main source of social activities, since we spend more than 8 hours at work. But as a freelancer, be prepared to face a social “drought”, because you will be work alone most of the time.
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7. You hope to have a real vacation
With irregular working hours, unrealistic expectations from demanding clients and sometimes tight project deadlines, taking a great vacation can be a challenge.
You must accept that you may still need to answer emails and work while on vacation in Bali.
8. You expect others to understand what your job is like.
A less than positive way to view freedom is unpredictability. Your income is irregular, your working hours are irregular and you might even look unemployed to your family and friends.
It takes another freelancer to see that you’re working really hard to pay the bills. Don’t be surprised if your family members scold you for shopping and cleaning for them as they head to their “real work”.
The incompatibility of your characteristics with the needs of the position is one of the biggest obstacles to becoming a full-time freelancer. Ultimately, if you don’t have what it takes, freelancing will wear you out quickly. The other twelve reasons freelance work may not be for you are if:
9. You are easily distracted and can’t organize yourself.
It’s not multitasking when you get away from real work. Try to remember this the next time you feel like responding to your personal emails or social media posts in the background of your project.
And since this is a one man (or one woman) program you are running here, it should be well organized to cover all aspects of your business.
10. You can’t prioritize
Sometimes you need to work on multiple projects at different levels of each project. Not only do you need to track milestones and deadlines for each project, but you also need to know how to prioritize.
if you already are have trouble prioritizing chores, tasks and deadlines in your full-time job or in your daily life, self-employment is not for you.
11. You don’t know your self-esteem
To do point 11 correctly, you must also know your self-esteem. This will make it easier for you to negotiate a sum that can still pay the bills and not scare off potential customers. Set a benchmark for the value of your work, and it will be harder for crafty clients to take advantage of you.
12. You Can’t Tag Yourself
In addition to negotiating well and in your own interest with clients, you will need to know how market or brand yourself before they knock on your doors. This is how you look for future projects.
Remember that you will have to constantly update your portfolios with your latest work to show the increased quality and value of your services.
13. You don’t like your job
It’s the same with any job you have; if you hate what you’re doing, you’ll have a hard time doing it in the long run. When you are independent, it passion for your work is even more crucial. When love is lost it’s easy lose one’s way and become complacent with the delivery of your work.
14. Your attitude towards work is minimalist.
If you’re considering taking on the freelance role because you think it’s “easier,” you’re in for a tough time.
To maintain your value and competitiveness in the freelance market, you must keep perfecting your art and you can’t afford to be complacent. Minimal efforts will work against you in the long run.
15. You prefer to be spoon-fed
One of the advantages of regular corporate jobs is that you only need to respect any protocol which have already been established by their predecessors. However, if you’re setting up standalone services for yourself, you’re the boss and you need to be more proactive whether you like it or not.
16. You are not good with money
Being independent is like a business: the income does not come in regularly. Sometimes it rains buckets, other times you suffer from drought. Either way, you need to make sure you set aside some of what you’ve earned. You are your own safety net.
Image source: Vecteezy
17. You want your customers to follow your style.
As a freelancer, you may have adopted or created a certain style for yourself, which you can even enthusiastically market to potential clients. but a few customers may want to have their say on the design or publication. You will need to be able to agree and disagree (with reason) from time to time.
18. You wait for inspiration to hit you.
With deadlines, deadlines and more deadlines, you can’t afford to lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, hoping for inspiration to knock on your door. Having self-discipline and a passion for always perfecting your craft can help you stay creative and on top of your game. Remember mediocrity is not an option for freelance work.
19. You lack patience
Whether you are a freelance designer or a blogger, modifications or reworkings of his masterpieces is a fact. You will redo your parts under the guidance of your customers or simply make changes to them again and again before you can finally ship your final parts. Either way, you’re in for a lot of frustration, so practicing patience in your craft will help.
20. You give up easily
Finally, as with most things in life, your efforts will only really pay off if you persevere. You can’t quit after a few setbacks, especially in the beginning when things are more likely to go wrong.
Either way, if you pick up, don’t bother getting started. If you want to start, don’t give up on a single thought.
Image source: Vecteezy
Related: How to deal with the insecurities of self-employment
So what is the final verdict? Are you ready to make the transition to a part-time or full-time freelancer? What is your biggest concern about quitting your 9 to 5 job?
share your thoughts 🙂