The Risks of Freelancing

Freelancing means freedom from organizational demands. You get to choose your boss, your client, your working hours and the way you want to work. But is it as easy as all that?

Freelancing jobs look rosy at the outset. Working in the comfort of home, flexible working hours, independent decisions and getting paid for all the fun. But there is another side to this rosy picture. It means instability and inconsistency as well. Know about the risks of freelancing in advance so you can prepare yourself to overcome them.

Some of the risks are:

Inconsistent work: Freelancers have to face the prospect of work irregularities. They have to work extra hours when they land an overtly demanding freelancing project, and twiddle their thumbs during times when no work is available. They have to live with windfalls and dry spells appearing and disappearing from their lives.

Unstable pay: Earnings from freelancing assignments are entirely dependent on the kind of projects procured. No fixed sum of money will land into your account month after month. Insecurity is an integral part of freelancing.

One woman/man show: Freelancers have to run the entire show on their own. There is no superior to consult about a particularly difficult area, no subordinate to delegate work to, no handyman to fix your laptop when you hit a fault in the middle of an important assignment. Freelancers also need to be their own book keepers.

Maintaining work-home balance: While it is easier to forget about the house work once you lock up and leave for work, when you work from home, the work around the house is a constant reminder. At the same time, you will have to pay attention to the freelance assignments at hand. Maintaining a balance between work and home will definitely be a challenge, more so for freelancers.

Lack of employment benefits: Freelancers miss out on all employment benefits like bonus, pension, paid holidays and insurance. There is also no scope for camaraderie that comes from working in an organization.

No growth: For freelancers, there cannot be a steady growth as their career is entirely dependent on availability of work and the type of projects that come their way. Showing a linear growth curve and switching to a full-time job may prove tough later.

Prepared with the possible risks of freelancing beforehand, it is easier to make freelancing a satisfying venture.