A job with a regular salary may be satisfying for many people and certainly isn’t the preferred choice of everyone. Being self-employed makes you your own master and can seem very tempting as a career option. According to Handy, you should weigh out your options carefully before you declare the grass on the other side to be greener. Self-employment, like anything else, has its benefits and vices:
- Flexible Work Hours – One of the greatest benefits of being self-employed is a flexible work schedule. You are free from shifts. You can choose your own time to work as long as you deliver. Wake up early and work till noon. You have a whole evening and night to spend time with friends and family or just become a couch potato while binging on Netflix or playing games on the console.
You can also pull an all-nighter, sleep in the morning, and wake up at the perfect time for brunch. As long as you get the job done, you are free to choose your schedule.
- Flexible Workplace – You don’t need to go to the office every day. You don’t need to look for an excuse to work from home either. You can work wherever you want. Book a spot at a shared working space facility, type on your laptop or turn your home into your office. You can even shift to a new city.
However, that is true for freelancers who work at their laptop or computer and an internet connection. It is true for those who are involved in the gig economy as well. If you are the owner of a retail store or provide a service that requires visiting a site, you don’t get this flexibility.
- Choose Your Work – Theoretically, you can say no to any work and choose whatever you want to work on. But if you are short on cash, you can’t be too picky. Certain freelancing marketplaces even have algorithms that reward people with a generous number of gigs with more recommendations to the client.
- Virtually no guarantee of money or work – Unlike regular 9 to 5 employees, freelancers don’t have a fixed workflow. You accept work when clients have work for you. Some months may leave you worse off than minimum wage employees while others may put corporate salaries to shame. You need excellent money management skills since your finances will fluctuate tremendously.
- Isolation – Regular work environments are social hubs where you get human contact and share work experiences with your peers. As a freelancer, you may spend your days without human interaction for days or even weeks. However, if you own a small cafe, retail store, etc. you don’t have to worry about that.
Handy believes that you should consider all the factors carefully before you decide between a regular job or self-employment. Each has its own perks and drawbacks. Discuss the topic with your peers or people who are in both fields to get information from their first-hand experience and make a better decision.