Over the last decade, the gig economy has transformed the way we work. Access to remote work has changed the definition of work and the workplace. People are working from home and as consultants. A survey showed that 53 million Americans are now freelancing. This population contributes $715 billion to the economy through their freelance work.
Employers and workers may not want to go the freelance route. From an employer’s point of view, they prefer the implied commitment that goes along with the full-time employee. Workers may prefer the stability of a full-time job or find benefits like health insurance and a retirement fund desirable.
Employees yearn to be their boss and to work on their schedule. Many freelancers envy the stability and security of a full-time salaried employee. The grass may look greener on the other side, but when it comes to deciding what is best for you. You will have to consider your priorities and circumstances. Both fields have their pros and cons, and what is right for you depends on how you want to work.
In this article, we’re going to compare both freelancing and full-time employment to help you make a better choice.
Stability Vs Flexibility:
Full-time employees have the security of an employment contract. A predictable working schedule and income, that help them to plan for the future of budgeting.
Freelancers will not get paid for single-day work. There will be no guarantee of next week’s or next day’s work. Their income fluctuates and is unpredictable. They have the freedom to work whenever and wherever they like at their comfort. Freelancers determine the hours they work. They can offer services to multiple clients simultaneously and earn more if they meet the deadlines.
Benefits Vs Struggle:
The big advantage of full-time employees is that they can access benefits like health insurance, paid vacation, sick leaves, parental leaves, and retirement schemes. Companies organize pieces of training that help to develop your skills for free.
Freelancers are on their own. They arrange their health insurance and do not get any paid leave while taking time off. They plan for their retirement themselves. Freelancers do training to develop their skills on their own.
Security Vs Instability:
Full-time employees are more secure than freelancers because they get a regular paycheck each month. Even if you get fired or you’ll receive a notification.
Freelancing work can be unstable. One month you’ll have a lot of work and the next month you may struggle to get a single assignment. This makes it hard to plan and manage financial affairs. They might also lose their regular clients. Freelancers have multiple clients that they can rely on for income.
Control Vs Freedom:
Full-time employees have a boss who tells them what to do. They must work within the rules of the organization that can be quite extensive. They have less control over their work and always must report to their seniors.
Freelancers have total control. They choose what to work on. How long to work and when not to. If an assignment doesn’t interest them, they are free to reject it. They do have a different boss for each assignment, who gives them instruction, but they can always opt out of it.
Full-time employees get a ready-made social network. Since they work with the same people every day, they are likely to become friends with most or at least a few of them. Companies also organize social events and trips often for their employees.
Freelancers are often alone as they work from their personal space most of the time. Even if they work on-site for a company, they are leaving soon.
Full-time employment offers you less time to spend with your family, friends, and life partner due to regular office times. But freelancers can always reschedule their work and spend ample time with their family and friends.
Not every workplace has office politics. In many organizations, there are power or personality clashes to deal with.
Freelancers don’t have to deal with office politics as they are not tied to a company. They have multiple bosses in various organizations, which usually helps detached from office politics.
Working for a single company provides you with motivation in very structured ways. At the end of each year, you get performance reviews that determine whether you will earn more next year, get a bonus, an incentive, or a promotion.
Freelancers must motivate themselves. They must find their clients, do their marketing, and negotiate their contracts. They always keep themselves out there and organize their own time to make sure that they stay on top.
Regular Job Vs Freelancing Pros & Cons:
Regular Job Pros & Cons:
- Steady paycheck
- Structure and consistency to your schedule
- Consistent workflow
- Focusing on delivering work instead of generating new sales, work.
- Company benefits
- Limited earning potential
- Less sense of ownership
- Lack of freedom
- Feeling stuck if there’s a lack of mobility
- Lack of time, energy, or focus to pursue a passion project.
Freelancing Pros & Cons:
- Freedom with a flexible schedule.
- Choosing who you want to work with.
- Unlimited earning potential.
- Tackling a variety of projects and clients.
- Feeling isolated
- Hustling 24/7 for new gigs
- Inconsistent work and cash flow
- Juggling multiple clients
- No paid time off, no paternity leave
You have seen both sides of choices, their goods, and bad. It depends on your personality, and what you want from your professional life. There is nothing like one path is better than the other. They are different in their pros and cons.
If you are highly motivated, like variety, like being a boss, choose the projects you want to work on. If you find daily office life stressful, then freelancing is a better option for you. Choosing either of them will not bind you with it forever. You can always move back and forth between freelancing and self-employment if your preferences change with time.
Engage in some self-analysis, understand what you want from your career and decide which career path is perfect or right for you.