How to Decide Between a Full-Time Job and Freelancing
Today’s job market offers countless work opportunities, both full-time and freelance. Some people even choose to freelance while being fully employed. Depending on your availability and personal preference, you might be torn between joining a company full-time, or freelancing and being in charge of your own schedule and work.
Having a full-time job and freelancing both have their pros and cons. The question about which career path is better has undergone much scrutiny, especially in light of recent world events, such as the pandemic. When becoming self-employed or finding a job, there are certain things you definitely need to know.
If you’ve been wondering what career move to make, we’re going to break down some of the things you should take into account when making your decision.
THINGS TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN MAKING YOUR DECISION
Freelancing has one huge advantage compared to having a full-time job, and that’s the ability to be flexible, both in terms of working hours and location. A full-time job will typically confine you to an office desk, with fixed working hours, Monday through Friday.
However, nowadays, due to the pandemic, more and more businesses are choosing to let their employees work remotely. This is great for people that enjoy remote work, but sooner or later, the majority of employers are going to ask their employees to return to the office.
If you prefer working remotely and having the freedom to go anywhere without any commitment, then freelancing sounds like the perfect choice for you. However, if you like to separate your personal space from your work, having a full-time job in an office might be the better option.
2. Your Location
If you happen to live in a remote location or a place that doesn’t have many businesses with offices, it might be difficult to find an in-house job without having to commute for work. This is when freelancing can be a real lifesaver.
Since freelancing is 100% remote, you can take your job anywhere you are or anywhere you plan to move. You’re not obligated to work in any office space, so your office can be whatever place you choose.
So, if you choose to work remotely as a freelancer, you’ll be happy to learn that there are many lucrative freelance job websites to help you get started as soon as possible.
3. Financial Stability
One major setback to freelancing is the fact that your income will most likely vary month by month. Financial stability is extremely important, especially if you’re having to pay monthly rent and bills. Your monthly earnings won’t always depend on how many hours you’ve put in – sometimes there simply won’t be enough demand among clients.
This is why having a full-time job offers peace of mind, at least in terms of earnings. With a full-time job, you’ll never have to worry about how much money you’ll take home, and being uncertain about your financial situation can bring on a lot of tension and stress.
So, if you’re not in a great financial state, and you can’t afford to earn less than expected occasionally, freelancing is definitely not the best choice for you, since it can cause job uncertainty.
Additionally, sometimes you’ll have to accept a project you’re not too happy about just to be able to meet your monthly financial needs, so if that’s someone you’re not too keen on, definitely consider getting a stable job.
4. Working Hours
One of the biggest perks of being a freelancer is having the ability to choose when you work. This means not having to set alarms to wake up in order to get to work on time each morning. If you’re not a morning person, or you just prefer working on your own time, freelancing is perfect for you.
However, it might be difficult to set a strict working schedule as a freelancer, meaning you might not be able to control when and how much you work. This will also depend on the nature of your projects, how many you have, and many more factors.
So, if you enjoy having a set routine, you can definitely do so by freelancing. However, it’s easier to stick to a strict schedule when you have a full-time job that requires you to show up on time every morning.
In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and what matters most to you. So, if you want to be in control of your own time, definitely choose to freelance. If you prefer having a strictly set schedule for work, a full-time job might be better.
5. Social Life
Having and maintaining your social life while working can be difficult at times. That’s particularly true if you work a full-time job that requires you to stay behind and catch up on extra work. If you find your social life to be extremely important for your well-being, you might be better off with flexible working hours.
Luckily, freelancing gives you the freedom to choose when you work, so that you can have spare time to spend with friends and family. Though it’s not impossible to have time for both your job and your social life, it purely depends on the nature of your job.
If you’re a team-oriented person, you might find it enjoyable to spend time with your colleagues at work, which can pose as a great substitute for your social life. All of this will depend on the field of work you’re in, as well as your personal preference.
6. Employee Benefits
Having employee benefits is probably the biggest advantage to being fully employed, compared to freelancing. This includes medical insurance, taxes, and also paid vacation days, and sick leave. Unfortunately, when freelancing, you have to pay for your own medical insurance and taxes which, depending on your location, might be pricey.
You don’t have to worry about any of this if you have a full-time job since in most cases, your employer will cover these costs for you. Additionally, depending on where you live and work, you will also have a set number of paid vacation days each year.
When freelancing, you won’t have any income if you’re not working on projects, so this is something you should definitely take into account when making your final decision.
Is Freelancing Better Than A Job?
If you’ve been thinking of becoming a freelancer, you might be wondering what advantages freelancing possesses over having a regular job. Of course, your field of expertise will determine whether you’re able to work as a freelancer.
Some fields of work where you can work as a freelancer include sales, marketing, web development, design, and many more. Generally speaking, freelancing is a great way to earn good money while staying very flexible in terms of schedule and location.
However, your monthly earnings can vary greatly, and you also won’t have covered medical insurance, sick days, and paid vacation days. Even though being a freelancer means being your own boss, it has some ups and downs, so whether it’s better than a full-time job will purely depend on the nature of your job, as well as your preferences.
There are tons of freelance job websites to help you find your first gig and get started as a freelancer.
Do You Earn More As A Freelancer?
This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions when choosing between a full-time job and freelancing. People generally think that just because you can have several clients or projects at the same time, you’re going to earn more money.
You might not even know how much to charge for your freelance services in the beginning. If you’re just starting off your freelancing career, it’s wise to charge less initially. This will help you gain clients more easily.
You can adjust your project prices or hourly rate accordingly once you’re well-versed and have better connections, meaning you’ll be getting clients more easily. According to Upwork, freelancers are able to make up to $28/hour.
The amount of money you’ll be able to charge will depend on several factors, including your years of experience, the field of work or skillset you have, your location, and your online reviews, if available.
Is Freelancing A Good Career Option?
If you’re thinking of getting into the freelancing lifestyle, you might be wondering whether that’s the right career move for you. Generally speaking, if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, freelancing is an excellent career choice.
It allows you to become your own boss and shape your workday according to your preferences. This includes both where you work and when you work. Even though the first months or even years might be difficult, freelancing definitely pays off in the long run.
If you enjoy flexibility, can communicate efficiently and have the necessary skills and self-confidence, freelancing will be a breeze for you.
Can You Freelance And Have A Job At The Same Time?
Depending on your field of work and your employer, you might be able to freelance while having a full-time job. Popular industries where people tend to work and freelance at the same time include IT, marketing, sales, design, and many more.
If you’re keen on making a bit of extra money on the side, freelancing is definitely a great way to do so. Keep in mind that there are other ways you can make extra income while working a full-time job.
Depending on your employer, you may not be able to have a side gig while working for them. Sometimes you’ll be contractually obligated to work only for your employer, so be sure to double-check this before you start thinking about freelancing.
DECIDING BETWEEN FREELANCING AND A FULL-TIME JOB
Making this decision might be tough. After all, there are so many things that you need to take into account before you choose your career path as a freelancer or as a full-time employee.
While freelancing offers control and being fully in charge of your own work schedule, location, and output, having a full-time job offers stability, peace of mind, and even employee benefits such as paid sick leave or vacation days.
Both options definitely have their pros and cons, so ultimately, the choice will depend on your personal preference in terms of flexibility, financial stability, location, and many more factors.
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