On top of inflation and the constant battle to get to your workplace, many people (and evidently more artists) are choosing the freelance route for their career. But why should you? After all, being employed in a stable job can mean security, right?
Well there is more to it than just money and assurance, says a report from FoxNews.com. The research states that freelancers are happier, healthier and more fulfilled than permanent employees. The only two major downsides are lack of job security and lack of benefits. Despite these setbacks, those who choose to be self-employed have higher job satisfaction than their 9 to 5 peers.
If you’re already half-thinking about leaving your office job then read on why freelancing can work for you in the long run.
1. More workers are now freelancing by choice
Upwork recently released their Freelancing in America 2015 Survey Report, and we think it’s speaking for its numbers. 60% of freelancers are by choice rather than out of need, an increase of 53% percent than 2014, which was primarily driven by flexibility. 3 out of 4 freelancers will freelance, as long as they can find work.
2. It’s better for you
Working in a corporate setting can take a serious toll on your health and well-being. Constantly being fed paperwork, being reprimanded or told can hinder you from long-term happiness. So if you’re glued to your office seat because your work pays your monthly bills, but then you are miserable, just think how happy you will be when you have the power to drive your life forward without stress and work anywhere.
We’ll quote Laurie Tarkan on this.
Past research has found that an increase in job satisfaction is associated with improved health, particularly with mental health issues such as stress and depression. This large meta analysis found that, on average, employees with low levels of job satisfaction are most likely to experience emotional burn-out, lower self-esteem, and increased anxiety and depression. Other studies have found that workers with flexibility are in better physical and mental health than other employees. Workplace flexibility has also been associated with leading healthier lifestyles, including better sleep habits, more physical activity, and better stress management.
3. You choose to be paid what you’re worth
When you work freelance, you get to call the shots. You can draft up a contract or set your own rate. Unlike in a corporate setting where they can negotiate with you until you have no choice but to accept, here you can either take it or leave it.
It’s up to you to name your price for all your hard-earned skills. 60% of freelancers strongly agree that they are paid accordingly.
4. Vacations will never be a myth
That long-planned beach trip you’ve filed 3 months prior that got denied? It won’t happen here.
Of course to be able to take vacations anytime, anywhere, you’ll have to get used to managing your time well. Just send an email or put an “away” status for when you need to take a break. If you really have to work, then you can be location-independent and bring your laptop along.
So yes, no more rejected vacation leaves, ever.
5. Technology makes it easier
The explosion of the freelance industry has grown tremendously from its early years. Finding a job online can be as quick as logging onto Facebook, and collaborations can be done at the click of your fingertips. There are a lot of tools that freelancers use to make their working life easier including Upwork, Skype, Paypal, Evernote and Dropbox.
6. Flexible hours
Does “Sorry, I can’t go. I’m still in the office,” seem familiar to you? When you work in corporate, that could mean extended hours in the cubicle, or you may need to go to work earlier than usual to do an unfinished work (I’ve personally experienced clocking in at 4AM! ).
Let me tell you, work never gets done.
Having your own sense of time is a key to happiness because that means you have the choice on what goes in in your life. Doesn’t it suck when you wake up late and have to dread to commute or drive? Or perhaps getting stuck in traffic and not wanting to wake up on a Saturday?
I feel you. That’s why I made the move to quit my one and only office job.
7. You get paid instantly
Though some freelance agencies hold your earnings for a certain number of days, most of the time you can get paid in the blink of an eye. Majority of online payments are done via Paypal, money services such as Western Union, or if you’re the traditional type, there’s bank transfer (still you can choose to withdraw to your account via online).
There’s also little room for error on your payments. No need to contact HR or Accounting if your salary’s not on time. Some employers have been reported to withhold and not remit payments. You don’t need that hassle in times of emergency.
8. You have more pride in your work
Seeing a physical manifestation of your labor inspires you to do more. I’ve done print ads on newspapers and posters for my job before (some I wasn’t too proud of because my work was a “forced” design) but it will never beat the joy of seeing your perfume labels on an actual high-end perfume. You have a piece of you out there that doesn’t need approvals from several people to say it’s beautiful.
9. You have control with who you work with
You get to review, apply and select the people you engage business in. It could be a small business owner who needs their logo and website done, or a famous print magazine needing a spread. The opportunities are endless.
And if you get stuck in a rut, you don’t need to wait for another 3-6 months to resign. Even the quickest grace period you can get out of your job is 30 days – that’s too much of a drag. In the freelance world, most cases you can simply terminate the project or fire your client.
10. Work breaks do exist
Need to nap for an hour or two? Now you can! And the best part is, you can stock up your own pantry with foods you need in your work routine. You can’t do that in your office department now, can you? The most you can have at an office setting is a mere lunch break… which you usually use to check on Facebook. Guilty?
11. You are your own boss and there’s room to grow
If you will ask yourself right now “am I working on my own life?”, what will be your answer?
— Farrah Gray
Working freelance doesn’t mean you have to quit your job right away, but it allows you to have the flexibility to work on your own life so you can accomplish your personal goals. Some freelancers work solely on their projects, while others balance a daytime job plus a freelance gig on the side.
Want to work freelance?
If you want to want to choose the freelance lifestyle, apply as a creative on our team. We’d love to have you! Not ready yet? Use this free guide from Upwork’s Blog: A Beginner’s Guide for Digital Nomads.