Freelancing is a great alternative for people who want to supplement their income or have flexible schedules. However, using freelancing as a long-term career solution can be very uncertain. This article will address some of the risks of freelance work.
The Upwork and Freelancers Union conducted a survey entitled, “Freelancing in America: 2017” which estimated that 36 percent of the current U.S. workforce is made up of freelancers. That number translates to roughly 57.3 million workers and the study predicts that by 2027, the majority of the American workforce will be freelance. While this option is appealing to those who feel overworked and underappreciated, enjoy being their own boss and setting their own schedules, people often underestimate the challenges involved when becoming their own boss.
One of the biggest reported downfalls to freelancing is the lack of employer paid benefits. Paid healthcare, retirement accounts, sick time and paid vacations are no longer an option when freelancing. When deciding to go on your own, that includes pursuing and fully funding things like health insurance and retirement plans. This could change, but probably not in the foreseeable future. Legislation was introduced in Congress to use grant funding to pilot ways to provide benefits to freelance workers. The bill would only be an experiment for more long-term solutions.
Trying to maintain steady and reliable work is often difficult when freelancing. When you are employed by a company or person, you are given projects to complete and know when your paycheck will be deposited. This isn’t always the case when you are self-employed. For the most part, you won’t be able to depend on regular projects, clients, or profits. It will be entirely up to you to find your own work, invoicing your clients and keeping track of paid accounts.
Becoming self-employed means you have to run all aspects of your business on your own. No longer can you only concern yourself with completion of client projects. Freelancing means you must also tend to client development, billing, marketing and office administration. Resources you had access to from your employer may be very different when you start off on your own. Some of these resources may require costly purchases or subscriptions that you need to be prepared for.
Freelancing definitely has it perks as well as its pitfalls. Before making the decision to go out on your own, decide if you’re willing to take the risks that will surely accompany it. If you’re willing to take that risk, opportunity for success is there.