Over a year ago, I ditched the boring safety of the cubicle for a weirdly wonderful life of a freelancer, digital nomad, solonepreneur, location independent employee or whichever other term you’d like to use. The road was rocky with loads of turns and twists, yet I have never regretted my decision.
As any career, being a freelancer has it’s ups and downs. Being your own boss gets pretty frustrating some days and your paycheck may not be as stable as back in the office days. However, you get the perks of choosing the projects you’d like to work on, ditching the routine and managing your time more efficiently. For all the doubting folks in the offices out there, here are 50 more reasons why you should consider going freelance.
1. Location independence. No strings attached. You can live and work from anywhere. Say, renting a gorgeous villa with a pool at Bali for a month, will cost you thrice less than a tiny studio in NYC. Nomad List gives a fair overview of living costs and facilities for digital nomads all around the globe. This point was crucial for me as I was hoping to relocate to France to be together with my partner, whose job also requires a lot of travels.
2. Flexible working hours. You don’t need to pretend to be working when you have nothing to do just because your boss needs you to be at the desk. Work on your own terms during the hours you’ve chosen.
3. No more Monday blues. You can work on Mondays…or can not. It’s totally up to you.
4. No more commuting. No time wasted in traffic jams or next to someone smelly and pushy on the tube.
5. Less bureaucracy, endless paperwork and email chains. Waiting till your boss gets an approval from his boss, who gets approval from the CEO who is constantly busy. You are your own boss. There’s no need to seek everyone’s approval, except for a single client you work with. Pushing and implementing your ideas gets simpler.
6. Healthier lifestyle. You can now go to the gym or jogging whenever you like. You have time to cook healthier lunch meals and stop eating at odd hours. Besides, the golden rule of being a happy freelancer is to maintain proper work/life balance. After all, you quit the job for the sake of having more personal time, not working hours.
7. No annoying colleagues, gossips at the kitchen, weird office politics or spending the whole day in your headphones as Joanna from the next cubicle has the urge to spill out all her break up details over the phone loud.
8. Set your own rates. Jenna needs 2 hours to write a 500 words copy, when Miriam needs just 45 minutes. Both of them earn 20$ per hour. If you are Miriam, going freelance is your solution of getting more pay for being more efficient. But Jenna’s shouldn’t get discouraged too! They can just charge a flat rate based on their expertise.
9. Set your own deadlines. Just quote the time you will need for the project wisely.
10. Choose the projects to work on. Do what you are passionate about. Write the stories you believe in, not those that were imposed to you. Choose clients and companies that share the same values with you. Your life becomes more rewarding and you start feeling proud about what you do.
11. Professional growth. As a freelancer I quickly realized which skills are high in demand and which job sectors are hot right now. Adjusting your skill set can be pretty simple as you have more time and access to dozens of free or paid educational resources, mentors and coaches. You don’t have to wait till you boss graciously agrees to pay for that training program.
12. Becoming versatile in numerous professional areas is the result of your investment in self-education, plus a few extra hundreds to your paycheck. Say, traditional print media still offers a better per word rate, it’s new digital media that accepts more freelance contributions. Businesses are striving to find writers who already know the blogging basis and are capable of producing potentially viral copies, doing minor design and coding tasks, while handling social media as well. The more you know – the more you are worth.
13. Creating your own routine. No mandatory 6 pm Thursday meetings or 3 pm briefs. Or starting work at 9 am sharply when you are absolutely unproductive. Set your own rules and work during the hours when you feel the most productive – some say it’s 6-8 am, whereas others (like me) get to the work frenzy after 5 pm.
14. The power of saying no. How many times have you thought it would be a total waste of time, but still said “yes” because you were obliged to? As a freelancer you have the right to say no to things that are obviously time-wasting and projects you don’t like.
15. Working with nicer people. You can’t choose your colleagues, but you can choose the clients you work with and people on your team.
16. Better working environment. You have a comfy chair and desk you chose and enough space for all your stuff. And the power to control room temperature, lightning and fresh air inflow.
17. Bigger earning potential. Work hard – earn more. The world is your oyster and you can decide how much projects to take this month and how much money you’d like to make.
18. Vacation when you like to. Had an insanely productive month? Take a break for the next one and travel somewhere cool. Because you don’t need anyone’s permission to do so!
19. More security. As a freelancer you are the captain of your boat and you know where are you heading. You won’t be caught off guard with the news about staff cuts.
20. Taking advantage of foreign currencies. You can charge your clients from the UK $20 per hour, but I’m sure they don’t mind paying you £20 either. Win-win.
21. Plenty of work around. Starting out may be a bit difficult, but once you are on track and have a portfolio to show and a reputation to speak for yourself, get prepared for a little avalanche of emails in your inbox from clients who have seen your work somewhere or got referred by their mates.
22. Rising confidence. I wouldn’t believe I’m capable of making a living as a freelancer till I started doing so. People I’ve worked with told me how good I am and how great my services are. That lead to even more gigs I’ve managed to score as I believed in myself.
23. Freelancing is one step away from entrepreneurship. Once your income stream is steady, consider expanding into a limited company or hiring a few team members to provide bigger, better and faster service.
24. No awkward performance reviews. I never understood the point of these “performance review” conversations. Either I do my job well and meet the goals or not. What’s the point of wasting everyone’s time on this?
25. Learning to network like a pro. You have emails and chit chats with CEOs and entrepreneurs you have always thought to be way above your league. Besides, the word of mouth brings loads of new clients to you all the time.
26. You won’t get bored as there are so many things on the plate to tackle and multiple projects to hop on.
27. Less sick days as you don’t have to sit in the office next to the obvious influenza type.
28. Spectacular portfolio you can be particularly proud of and impress any employer with if you ever decided to go back corporate.
29. You receive credits for all the work whereas corporations are often guilty of reducing the employees input and awarding all the accolades to the manager/team etc.
30. Home office tax relief. Pay less taxes if you work from home.
31. No dress code. Yes, you can work in your Pjs if you feel like today and save thousands on clothes.
32. Feeling challenged all the time by conquering new professional peaks and cracking difficult projects efficiently.
33. Develop personal projects for fun, not profit. To contribute to the community, boost new trend or just make someone’s life better.
34. Money saved on childcare and your kids actually see and play with their mom or dad more often.
35. Be an inspiration for someone and show that anyone can work on their own terms without starving and get paid for doing what they love.
36. More time for hobbies. You can finally master French, learn to play the guitar or become a better photographer.
37. You work with people, not for people which is a huge difference in attitudes and overall satisfaction of the job done.
38. Less stress. I did not say any stress, but there’s no yelling boss at your cubicle or a grumpy manager criticizing your work in public. You don’t freak out because you are late and don’t agonize over an impossible deadline.
39. Becoming an expert as people want you to solve their problems. Plus, you can share your knowledge with others by writing a book or starting a mentorship program.
40. Going global as you know have the chance to work with people all around the globe from LA to Tokyo. Just don’t get confused with different time zones.
41. Rewarding yourself for good work. Done awesome this month and went beyond the original goals? Treat yourself with something nice like a festive dinner or a new gadget you’d been drooling over. It’s way cooler than hearing a brisk “thanks” from you boss.
42. Work the way you like. Get a stand desk, stay in bed, sit on a bench in a park. No one’s around to judge the way you like to get things done.
43. No fines. For being late, being caught watching cat videos on Youtube or cursing out loud.
44. Expanding your creativity while working on different projects, learning new things from your client and thinking of new ways of generating more income by making less efforts.
45. Learning to cope with failures. Something didn’t work out. It happens with all of us. At least, you know it was solely your responsibility and you can analyze the mistakes and avoid them in the future. On the bright side, you’ll walk away with new experience at hand.
46. Becoming a pro negotiator. You are so good at emphasizing your strength and showcasing your talents. You know when to ask for more and when it’s better to keep your expectations lower. You have a sense for paying clients and can talk nearly everyone into long-term cooperation.
47. Adapting your work to your lifestyle. You can work during day hours while your kids are at school, or get things done early in the morning to spend the rest of the day any way you like. Or you can travel and work in hotel lobbies, airports and basically any other place with decent wi-fi. Your work schedule does not define your life. It’s the opposite.
48. More options to build passive income streams. Create a paid podcast series, publish an ebook or run a paid course. If you shoot cool videos in your free time, become a Youtube affiliate. Also, there are numerous ways to monetize your blog if you have one.
49. Your hobby can be your business. Writing used to be my hobby. Now it also brings me a steady paycheck each month to fund my other major hobby – traveling.
50. Nothing is stopping you! If you are not sure whether freelancing is for you or not, just try it part-time. The risk are minimal and there are high chances you’d like to do it full time.