Freelancing has grown more and more popular over recent years, with the pandemic and the shift to work from home only accelerating trends that were already in motion. Over a third of workers in the US are currently freelancers, and it’s estimated that in 5 years (by 2027), there will be over 86.5 million freelancers in the US - over 50% of the workforce.
People who consider making the switch to independent work often have several key concerns about striking out on their own, and worry if leaving the security of 9 to 5 employment is a smart move to make. Things like finding freelance leads, branding and marketing themselves or concerns about finances and taxes are all common worries for prospective or aspiring freelancers and solopreneurs.
There are definitely some key drawbacks when it comes to freelancing, things like complicated freelancer taxes and inherent employment insecurity. Despite these, people who make the switch from a 9 to 5 to freelance work often say that ultimately, the benefits outweigh the costs. Here are 6 key reasons why people prefer freelancing over 9 to 5 work.
1. Control Your Freelance Workload
Having control over your workload is something that 9 to 5 workers can only dream of. Being able to manage how much work you’re doing and how many projects you take on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis allows you to manage other parts of your life, and carve out time for anything from regular date nights to a summer vacation.
2. Flexibility in Opportunities and Schedule
In addition to controlling the amount of work that you do, freelancing also enables you to choose what work you do. That is, being able to pick and choose what projects that you decide to take on and spend your time completing. You don’t have to take on a project that you think looks like a waste of time or a waste of your talent. You can even choose who you want to do your work with and you have the power to decline work with clients whom you don’t want to work with for any reason.
3. Self Management
Being your own boss is a huge draw to freelance work. Managing yourself, on your own schedule to achieve your own goals is a massive plus. No manager to boss you around, and your priorities are your own. Obviously freelancing is no vacation - you still need to keep your clients happy, track budgeting and stay on top of your business, but the key is that the power of authority lies with you and you alone.
4. Location Independence
Because freelancers aren’t tied specifically to a single company or team, many of them choose to simply live wherever they choose, irrespective of where their clients may be. Some even elect to travel while working, or live nomadically, never staying in one place for very long. The ability to live wherever you choose, to work from wherever you want is a level of agency that many 9 to 5 workers will never have. For the freelancers already taking advantage of this lifestyle perk, here’s our list of some of the best freelancer haunts in Thailand!
5. Control Over Income and Earnings Decisions
Being a freelancer also means having control over your pay. There’s no boss to negotiate salary with, if you want to give yourself a raise, you can raise your rates. You control pricing of your services, and can choose to work as much or as little as you want. You also have the flexibility to pursue additional sources of income outside of your freelance “job”, and can set up passive or active income streams that you can manage during your work day.
6. Greater Earning Potential
It’s often falsely assumed that in exchanging 9 to 5 work for freelancing, people take a pay cut in exchange for more flexibility and freedom. This isn’t the case at all. In fact, on average, skilled freelancers earn about $10 more per hour than 70% of workers in the overall US economy, and over 44% of freelancers say they make more than they did working a 9 to 5.
As freelancing becomes increasingly mainstream, more people will look to freelancing as a career option that allows them the flexibility to live their lives the way they want. If you’re an aspiring freelancer or solopreneur, if you’re reading this article now trying to figure out if freelancing is right for you, then Noumena can help. We’ve got the right experts and resources to help you upskill and succeed. Download the app now to get started.