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October 29, 2012 / laurencox12

The Pros and Cons of Freelance Work

Since my graduation from Temple University in May, I have been working as a freelancer in the fields of communications and event planning. I have been very lucky in that I’ve had a constant source of income since June, but doing contract-based work has also had its downsides. Personally, I have seen that the pros and cons are really two sides of the same coin. Below are three aspects of freelancing that I believe are both pros and cons of this type of work.

1. Flexible Schedule

As a freelancer, you may not have to conform to the schedule that many regular employees do. For example, in my current position I am only required to come to the office three days a week. While I tend to follow a fixed schedule (coming in to the city on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), I am also able to switch my in-office days around if needed. Although having a flexible schedule is very beneficial, it also results in me being very unproductive on the days I am not in the office. If there isn’t a specific task that NEEDS to get done while I’m gone, I will often spend my days at home watching TV or taking care of my personal projects — like writing this blog and crafting. Sure, it’s great to have time to yourself, but as someone who has scheduled every minute of my life for the last several years, having so much free time seems very wrong.

2. Opportunity to Work on Numerous Projects Simultaneously 

One of the biggest advantages to contract-based work is that you can take on multiple projects at the same time. If you are working as a freelancer, chances are you won’t have to dedicate all of your time to one client. As a result, you will be able to take on several projects and increase your income. The only negative with this is time management. If you are going to take on multiple clients at once, it is important that you know how to treat each of them equally. Having several projects is only beneficial if you can handle the work load and do each of your jobs well.

3. No Long-Term Commitment 

As someone who hasn’t quite figured out where I belong in the professional world, freelancing has been a great way for me to work on various projects and get a better idea of what I want to do in the future. So far, I have had the chance to work on event planning, PR and marketing for organizations that are in the entertainment, sports and government industries. Because my contracts have been short term (a few months each), I haven’t had to worry about being tied down at a job I dislike. Instead, I am able to take everything as a learning experience and apply it to my search for my next job. Speaking of my next job….that’s the downside. Working as a freelancer, I feel like I am always looking for my next position. Job searching is one of the most painful things one can experience, and doing so every few months can get exhausting.

Do you have anything to add to this list? Would you ever consider working as a freelancer, why or why not?

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