The job of a freelancer is all about freedom. Working from home, with option to pick and choose your projects, take lunch when you want, and make your own decisions is incredible. But, there's a side to freelancing that nobody ever talks about. In fact at times freelancing can become really overwhelming, and can bring despair to the best in business. So exactly what is freelancing really like? Here's the truth about it.
Freelancers are a lonely lot
The usual 9 to 5 job in the office – though not very exciting – still brings about daily interaction between colleagues.
At times this sort of social atmosphere may be distracting. But those little interactions between your co-workers are things that I took for granted. As much as I'd hate to admit it, I miss the birthday and christmas parties, office gossip, and showing a new employees the ropes.
You don't know what you've got until it's gone.
Freelancers work alone, without seeing anyone else for hours on end. While all my friends were out at company holiday parties, I was at home alone. And the conversations you do have – online or with a coffee shop barista if you're lucky – are strictly small talk. It's just not the same as a face-to-face conversation with a co-worker.
This was very depressing at times, until I discovered that there was another way. A way where I could continue to freelance without the loneliness and boredom. Work travel programs allow you to enjoy the benefits freelancing, but with a group of like minded people. It actually got me excited about working again, and I made lifelong friends that understand exactly what it's like to work remotely.
Freelancers have demanding clients.
The word ‘Free’ in freelancing implies that you can work in your free time without having to report to any higher authority.
There is a notion that freelancers don't have bosses because they work for themselves. This is not really true. Freelancing work is essentially client-based, which means you have multiple bosses!
Clients are the backbone of your business and by freelancing you have little control if they make a poor decision.
Still there are benefits to having clients, rather than a boss. You can (for the most part) set your own terms, decide who to hire and fire, and work flexible hours.
Freelancers have to fend for themselves
In most conventional working places, all the resources and tools pertaining to your job are readily made available. As a freelancer, you need to supply all of these yourself.
On top of this, some jobs come with additional perks such as medical insurance and paid time off.
When you work for yourself, there is no paid time off and you have buy your own medical insurance. In fact, I work more hours as a freelancer than I did in the office. This comes as a surprise to most people.
It's important that you do take time for yourself – to travel, date, and socialize.
Freelancers have no guaranteed salary
Since freelancing is an irregular work style, so there is no bi-weekly paycheck. Your earnings would be a little more than a regular office job, but you can never guarantee you'll be paid.
Clients can sometimes interfere in the usual routine and slow your work down. They can push deadlines back and pay invoices late. Or even worse, fire you. It can become stressful if the money is not coming in time.
It's not all bad, if you plan accordingly
There is no doubt that Freelancing is a career option that can be frustrating. But, if you plan accordingly and mitigate the risks of freelancing it can be extremely rewarding. So, combat loneliness and boredom by traveling and meeting other remote workers. Create a solid plan to deal with demanding clients and maintain a strict budget. That way, you too can avoid the downsides of the business.
If you are a freelancer, Wanderboss’s work travel program will also help you find clients based in Australia. Learn more.