The job market of today has become both competitive as well as innovative. Covid 19 pandemic has further forced company to make work from home or remote work option a preferred option. A lot of employers are now preferring freelancers over full time workers due to the continuously changing landscape of the job market. So, even employees are now in a fix to judge the best out of the various option like full time, contractual or freelance.
Whether you should freelance or work for a company largely comes down to the type of person you are. Some thrive in a corporate world in well-defined roles while others prefer to have the control and freedom that comes with being self-employed. The self employment vs full time job debate is eternal but it has gained even more steam due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s a look at the pros and cons of being an employee and a freelancer.
Industries with Plenty of Freelancers: the Legal Industry, Finance and more
According to a 2021 article from Forbes, the fastest-growing industries for freelancers include accounting and finance, digital marketing, and real estate.
But, all kinds of industries have opportunities for freelancers, from healthcare to the hospitality industry.
With remote working becoming the norm and the increasing availability of online resources, it’s easier for freelancers to find clients than ever before.
So, generally, employees have no greater choice than working as freelancers when it comes to the types of industries that have opportunities.
Pros and Cons of Full-Time And Freelance Work
- The freelance industry is huge and is becoming more popular day by day.
- As per various reports almost 59 Million people in the US workforce freelance.
- It is also expected that by 2027 freelancers could outnumber the full-time employee category.
- The gig economy is now bigger than ever, thanks to the emerging tech.
- The Millennials start participating in the gig economy and freelance while as students and are better equipped for freelance work.
However, the employees love the security and other features of a full-time job. Some of these include.
- Job security
- Fixed income
- Training and learning opportunities
- Fixed career direction
- Insurance and health scheme
- Work-life balance- fixed leaves and fixed work timing
and so on.
Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both freelance opportunities and full-time work in further detail.
The Pros of Being an Employee
The key advantages of being an employee are you get regular consistent paychecks and benefits like 401 (k) matching, health insurance and paid leave.
But there are other pros of being employed, such as being able to enhance your skill set.
Different projects and initiatives in the workplace provide opportunities to learn new things and gain exposure to different roles. Furthermore, being employed by a company allows you to climb the corporate ladder to gain better status and income.
You have family days, you can make a lot of friends (and a few enemies at times), find mentors, work with great bosses and so on.
It is easier to stay focused on the career path due to the network you develop while being a full-time employee.
With the hybrid work culture these days, employees get an added benefit of working remotely which used to be an advantage of freelance work.
For example, if a business wants to hire a developer, they could have a full-time employee from some other country who could work remotely.
This has even given rise to a lot of companies that offer employees on a contractual basis as well as freelancers on the same platform. As for the developers, a lot of companies hire a developer on Freelancer, Fiverr, Upwork, High5Hire and similar websites. These niche recruitment websites including the top ones like Indeed, LinkedIn etc. offer easier transition to employees to switch between full-time and freelance roles at will.
The choice the employees now have to become a freelancer at will has decreased the gap between full-time and freelance work.
The Cons of Being an Employee
The main drawback of being an employee is you will always be dependent on other people and have to do things in ways that other people want you to do them.
Some people simply prefer being their own boss. If that’s you, you could soon become depressed at having to always get permission before taking steps and not having your ideas heard.
Furthermore, in some positions, employees can find themselves doing tedious tasks as part of their daily duties, whereas freelancers always have the opportunity to outsource certain tasks.
But, arguably, the biggest disadvantage of being an employee is your position isn’t secure. While it’s true that a self-employed business may not succeed, at least freelancers have more control over their futures. Employees are at the mercy of their employers, and unfortunately, employees are often let go as we have witnessed during economic slowdowns and pandemics.
The Pros of Being a Freelancer
One of the best things about being a freelancer is the flexibility. You get to choose the hours you work and how much work you want to do.
Furthermore, freelancers are often less stressed than employees because there’s no one breathing down their necks. That can result in a higher degree of quality and creativity. Sure, you’ll still have deadlines as a freelancer, but you get to work on your own terms.
Also, because you can work as much or as little as you want and you get to set your own rates, there are no limits on the income you earn.
If you can successfully secure good clients, you can end up earning a much better rate as a freelancer compared to an employee in the same field.
Finally, you are in greater control of your life, group, team, family etc. as a freelancer.
The Cons of Being a Freelancer
When you’re a freelancer, unless you utilize a good life-work balance plan, you’ll always be in work mode. You could continually have to chase the next job.
Furthermore, you could have to chase clients to get paid.
There’s also the risk that your venture might not pan out as you had hoped. If that happens, you could more easily fall into debt and even become bankrupt.
Also, you don’t get any benefits from an employer, so you’ll have to put money aside for things like health insurance and pensions.
The freelancer job might not give you opportunities for free training, courses, networking etc. that jobs in large organisations would provide.
If you are working full-time, you might envy the flexibility of freelancers. On the other hand, when freelancers are not getting a lot of work, they might envy the financial security and fixed income of a full time job.
As is said, ‘the grass is greener on the other side’, no one choice is better than other. It comes down to your choices and personality.