Freelancing is when people work for several different companies as an independent contractor. They are in charge of their own schedules and rates, but they also don’t receive any traditional benefits, such as paid vacation or healthcare.

Freelancers in the Workforce

Large companies hire freelancers for certain jobs because it is less expensive for them than covering a full-time employee. They can simply get the job they need completed without any strings attached. While there is freelancing found in a wide array of businesses, the most common freelancers are in the writing or design industries. This includes content writers, editors, proofreaders, journalists, web designers, graphic designers, and more.

Payment for Services

Since freelancers are in control of their own rates, they can determine how much they make, to a certain extent. Freelancing is very competitive, and oftentimes freelancers have to work for less than they feel they are worth just to have work to do. Some freelancers charge by the hour, others by the day, and others per project they complete.

One of the challenges with freelancing is actually getting the payment once the job is finished. To combat this, some freelancers require deposits or full payment up front. Others simply rely on contracts to ensure payment. Another option for freelancers is to work for a freelance marketplace, which is a type of middleman between them and the clients. This is a way to guarantee payment and find clients easily.

Pros and Cons of Freelancing

As with all jobs, freelancing has its perks and drawbacks. Among the top of the list of benefits for almost all freelancers is the ability to set their own schedule. The job provides ultimate flexibility, and is ideal for people who have children, hold other employment, or just like to sleep in. Another perk freelancers enjoy is the ability to follow their passions and be their own bosses.

On the other side of the spectrum, freelancers do not have any sense of job security. Since most of the work is completed on an as-needed basis, there can often be long periods of time where freelancers cannot find work. As previously mentioned, they also don’t receive paid time off, pension plans, or healthcare options. Plus, they are responsible for all of their own taxes, including the full portion of social security and Medicare.

Freelancing is certainly not for everyone. It takes a lot of discipline and fortitude, but when it is done successfully, freelancers can enjoy a life where they can do what they want, when they want, and make decent money doing it.