Freelancing Jobs: The Pros of Working for Yourself

by WorkFromHome on December 7, 2011

It’s no secret that the American economy — and, indeed, the world economy — is going through a prolonged period of uncertainty. Jobs are hard to come by, and those that are available have tens, if not hundreds, of applicants for just one available opening. Because of these economic realities, more and more Americans are turning to online freelancing as a way to bridge the gap between their stagnating incomes and the increasing cost of living in the United States. And indeed, many unemployed Americans have given up seeking a traditional job and are now fully committed to earning an income via freelancing opportunities.

These positions typically get a negative reaction from those who do not have them. Many people view them as something less than a “normal” job, and often assume that the freelancer is lazy or unmotivated, or simply unwilling to leave the home. But that is simply not the case in a revolutionized freelancing job market. What are the perks of these jobs, and what are the talking points you’ll need to use in order to impress your friends and family with your self-creted occupation and income?

You’re in Control

Gone are the days of office politics and the watchful, overbearing gaze of a management type. When you freelance, you’re working for yourself and by yourself — and you’ll only be responsible for answering to yourself, too. Freelancing gives you the ultimate amount of control if your occupation, and that means you can decide what our working hours are, when you’ll start, and when you’ll finish. You decide how much money you’ll make, and you decide what your annual salary is. There are no performance reviews (unless you’re giving yourself some helpful criticism), and there’s no need to “play the game.” Your job is to pursue clients and win their trust as well as their business. How you do that, when you do that, and how much many you make for doing that, are all up to you.

You’re Free as a Bird

Typical office positions give each employee an allotted number of “sick days” as well as a certain amount of vacation time. Any amount of sick days or vacations taken above and beyond these limits will result in a loss of pay. That is simply not the case with freelancing: there are no limits or allotments, and every decision has a financial consequence that the freelancer can manage. For example, if they wish to take a week off, they can do so — without asking anyone for permission. They can easily build it into their schedule, earning extra money in the few weeks leading up to their absence and negating the financial impact of their leave.

Freelancing is Flexible

Holding a freelancing position means that there are no hard and fast rules, hours, or requirements. The only real requirement is that the freelancer in question makes enough of an income to survive in economically challenging times. This can be great for parents who need to be home for their young children, as one parent can work from home while the other works from an office. They can leave their work to tends to the child’s needs, and they can take a day off if a child is sick and requires extra care. Freelancing allows the freelancer to respond to their environment more effectively than a traditional office-based employment option.

You Own Your Success

The great thing about freelancing is that you own your success or failure. You are solely responsible for the work that gets done each day; and when you win a new client, earn a higher rate of pay from an existing client, or beat your own financial goals and benchmarks, that accomplishment is no one’s but your own. You get to manage the direction that your freelancing enterprise goes in, and you get to set the tone for your own business. It’s a great way to plug in to your entrepreneurial streak, starting small and turning each opportunity into the groundwork for a new and self-owned business.

It’s Not for Everyone — But it Works for You

It’s true that even these four points will not persuade the most stubborn friends and family members that freelancing is a valid and lucrative occupation to hold in the 21st century. But these are still things worth knowing for yourself — and they’ll win over those who are rational and open to new ideas. Freelancing occupations — from writing to designing, customer service to information management — are among the only types of jobs whose demand is increasing during this period of economic uncertainty.

If you’ve tried everything else — temporary employment agencies, job banks, job fairs, and networking events — to no avail, freelancing is worth considering. It promotes control, flexibility, ownership, and the kind of personal freedom (and work-life balance) that so many Americans are currently seeking with limited success.

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