The Pros and Cons of Freelancing

I work part time for a property company, and have been there for 9 years. It’s not a bad job, I enjoy the work, and most days I don’t particularly mind going into the office.

However it’s working and making money for someone else’s benefit. Like most working mums find,  working and having kids is so difficult to juggle, and I’m increasingly thinking about just going it alone and freelancing.

I do a bit of freelance work at the moment and it’s great, but doing a bit in your ‘spare time’ is very different to only doing freelance work.

I am quite a sensible and cautious person, and tend to be ruled by my head (although sometimes I do wish that this wasn’t the case!) so I’ve been making a mental list of the pros and cons of freelance work before I make my decision.

I thought this list might be helpful to other mums in the same situation, so here are my thoughts so far…

The Pros of Freelancing

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  1. Be your own boss – This is what most people want right? No one to answer to and no one to tell you what to do. You don’t have to ask if you can go on lunch, or take a day off, or leave early.
  2. You can choose your own work – Sometimes when working for someone else you find yourself not particularly interested in a job. As a freelancer you can pick the projects and clients that interest you.
  3. Setting your own hours – If you want to work half days, or take Mondays off you can. If you’d rather do more work in the evening then that’s up to you.
  4. Freedom to attend school assemblies etc – You don’t have to beg your boss for an hour off every time the school have an assembly or sports day, or promise to forgo lunch breaks for the next week to make up the time.
  5. Earning more money – Usually you can charge a much higher hourly rate for freelance work than you will get paid by an employer. plus every penny you earn goes in your own pocket, not someone else’s.
  6. No office politics – Working in a big office, this is something that I would love to avoid! No bitching, or departments blaming each other. No arguing over who parked in who’s spot, or who didn’t replace the milk.

The Cons Of Freelancing

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  1. Chasing money – I’ve been lucky so far and most of my freelance clients pay on time, but I know people who have to chase for payment of their invoices every month which I can imagine is a bit stressful when you have bills to pay!
  2. Finding work – One of the biggest things that worries me is finding enough work. You have to be very pro-active as a freelancer and pitch yourself to get clients. If you lose a client you have to be confident that you can find a replacement.
  3. No one to bounce ideas off – When you’re working by yourself you don’t have your colleagues to run your ideas past or brainstorm with.
  4. No one to motivate you – Will I be motivated enough to get on with my work when I can just sit on the sofa and watch daytime tv instead? And what about when the sun’s shining and I could just head down the beach…
  5. Accounting and taxes – Unless you can afford to hire an accountant you need to be able to keep on top of invoicing, admin and paying tax bills, as well as getting your freelance work done.
  6. Loss of benefits – If you have good benefits at work such as health care, insurance or pensions then you have to consider whether you are prepared to give up these extras or pay for them yourself.

So as you can see, there’s quite a bit to think about! Have you left a permanent job to go freelance? If so, I’d love to hear how you have found it compares!

Sarah

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8 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Freelancing

  1. Emma says:

    A really useful list of the pros and cons. I would imagine that it is harder to switch off from work too? I would love to be in a position to make some money from writing but like you say it is so hard finding the work so you really need to be motivated #marvmonday

  2. Sarah says:

    Freelancing is great. I’ve been doing it for 5 years now and wouldn’t go back to an office environment. I do miss the regular income and it can be really isolating. But like you say, I don’t miss the office politics and love being able to help out at my son’s school for trips, or going to assemblies 🙂 Feel free to drop me an email if you just need a chat – us freelancers need to stick together!! #brillblogposts

  3. My Petit Canard says:

    Ahhh, such a great post. Im in a really similar place to you, thinking about freelancing and going it alone. I’m hoping that my upcoming mat leave might be a good opportunity to trial it and see if I can make it work, although with a new baby it probably wont be the easiest time to start. But sometimes you just have to take the leap right.. Would love to hear more about what you decide to do and how you go about it if you do 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

  4. Rebecca says:

    A great article Sarah. I am a freelancer and I can certainly relate to the pros and cons. Good luck with whatever decision you make. I’m sure it will work out for the best 🙂

  5. Sarah (@tobygoesbananas) says:

    It sounds like you’ve really considered your options – I think the big one for me would be the worry about getting enough work to pay the bills. I’m just starting to make some money from my blog and wondering if there is anything else I could do to work for myself. I was on a temporary contract before my maternity leave so I don’t have a job to go back to so everything is a bit up in the air for me at the moment. Good luck with it if you decide to take the plunge! #ShareWithMe

  6. Jenny says:

    There are definitely highs and lows to every job home or at the office I have done both. Freelance is not for everyone I think you really have to be able to drive yourself, motivate yourself and have thick skin to help you along the way. I love it. But I know someone like my sister would hate it. I think it just depends on how you like to work. Hope you find your answers lovely. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me.

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