By Contributing Author
Freelancing is no longer a fringe occupation. Indeed, in the space of a few short years, freelancing has become almost as prevalent as traditional employment. And it’s possible that there will soon be more freelance workers than nine-to-five employees. Given that fact, today we’re going to describe the pros and cons of freelancing vs traditional employment –– so that you can compare and contrast the two with accuracy.
If you were to juxtapose the price a freelancer charges to take on a project against how much a full-time employee would receive for doing that same assignment, most of the time freelancers will receive a greater return per task. However, that’s not to say that freelancers get paid more than full-time employees. For one, freelancers aren’t guaranteed consistent work; one month a freelancer may have five or six major projects while the next they may struggle to find one. What’s more freelancers have other expenses that they have to cover that full-time employees don’t, and they don’t receive certain benefits like overtime, paid vacation, etc.
Insurance & Taxes
In the technical sense, freelancers operate as independent contractors. This means they have to file their taxes in a manner that reflects their position as a small business owner. Additionally, freelancers are not eligible to apply for health insurance through any of the company’s they partner with. Instead, they have to secure health insurance on their own, and as a result, may have higher costs than those who purchase insurance through a business.
No two jobs are the same. However, many full-time professionals still work within the traditional confines of the nine-to-five schedule. That’s not to say they don’t ever work on nights or weekends, but they should also be able to receive overtime pay if they do. Freelancers, on the other hand, only work when they have an assignment. What’s nice about freelancing is that pros get to set their own schedule. Yet, they’re also bound to complete assignments on a deadline, which could require them to work overtime without receiving extra commission.
Professionals who work at the same company for years tend to develop specialized knowledge. After all, if you become a real estate agent in Cincinnati, odds are you’ll gain a deep understanding of the neighborhoods in the city. Freelancers, conversely, may have one or two specialized skills, but they also have to learn new facts –– and sometimes the ins and outs of entire industries –– within the space of a few days or weeks. On Tuesday a freelance writer may have to write about construction barricades, and on that Friday blog about the difference between SEO and PPC advertising. Freelancers, by the nature of their position, have to consistently pick up new knowledge.