Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Benefits of Freelance Work

When you think of freelance work, what is the image that pops into your mind? Someone at home slaving away at their computer in their office? Perhaps you think freelance workers don’t really work, but rather just tell others they are a freelance worker so they don’t have to admit that they are actually unemployed. Whether you believe the former or the latter, freelance workers that are motivated, hard working and on their game can make a lot of money doing what they love to do- and can do it all working, essentially, for themselves. Writers, graphic designers and programmers have been doing it for years and have been benefiting from it greatly. However, since our economy and job market recently decided to take large dip in the weak sauce pool, so many more workers grappling with unemployment have decided that freelance work is the way to make the money they need.

Freelance work was never just for writers and designers, but with so many Americans finding it exceedingly difficult to get a job you’ll see a larger diversity in freelance workers over these past couple of months. Carpenters, painters, home improvement experts don’t have to rely on a company representing them, but can instead opt to represent themselves and their services on their own. If you are flirting with the idea of becoming a freelance worker, then you should first weigh out all of your options and understand the benefits, as well as the disadvantages, to freelance work. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that most freelance workers are not lazy. Being your own boss may sound dreamy, but it is a lot of work. Take a look at these advantages and disadvantages and decide whether or not freelance work is for you.

You Choose Your Work
For most people, this is a huge advantage. When you freelance, you are essentially picking the projects that you are willing to undertake. Of course, sometimes you will likely choose to work a project you don’t necessarily want to work because you need the money, but you are choosing to work it- no one is telling you that you absolutely have to do this project or you will be fired. If you use the internet to find your individual jobs or projects, then you have the freedom to pick and choose which ones you think would be good for you.

Control Your Work Load
Going along with the first benefit, you have the ability to control how much work you are giving yourself. If you want to fill up your entire week or month with projects and work and take the next month off, you can do that. Depending on your finances, you can choose not to work for months on end. This is why a lot of people like being a freelancer. They have control of their schedule and obviously have a lot of flexibility in regards to their work schedule. On the other hand, sometimes there may not be any work for you to do and your finances may suffer from it. Before you decide to quit your job and become a freelance worker, you should first see how much work there would be out there for you.

Individual Work
This can be seen as an advantage as well as a disadvantage. If you are someone that likes to work on their own and doesn’t particularly like being bothered by other people, then freelance work can be great for you. Since freelancers typically work from home, they are often working on their own and don’t have to report to a boss, team member or co-worker. On the other hand, if you are a social person and need to have real-life contact with people everyday, then freelance may not be the best option for you. Of course, if you are freelancing your carpenter skills or, say, your home improvement skills and have a partner that you work with, then this individual aspect doesn’t quite apply to you. Either way, it is something to think about when deciding if freelance is for you.

You Are Your Own Boss
Again, this can go either way. So many people think that they would love to be their own boss, but when they actually cut themselves loose and run free, they end up sitting on the couch in front of the TV because they cannot self-motivate themselves. On the other hand, some people are great at managing their time, meeting deadlines, setting a schedule and getting their work done on their own. It really depends on what kind of person you are and what kind of work ethic you posses. If you think you can manage yourself, then freelance work may be great for you. If you know that you need a boss above you to keep you motivated and accountable for your actions, then you may want to rethink your freelance dreams.

Work From Home
These two-sided characteristics of freelance seem to be a trend, but this aspect can definitely be beneficial and harmful at the same time. Again, a lot of this depends on your work ethic, but if you are the type that needs to wake up, get dressed and walk into an office everyday, then freelance may prove to be difficult for you. When you work from home, there can be a lot of distractions that keep you from your work. If you are disciplined, then these distractions won’t get to you. However, if you find that you are easily distracted or stray from your work when you are not being watched, then you may fail miserably at creating and completing your own work.

If you think you fit some of the characteristics needed to be a good freelance worker then you may consider how much you can benefit from being your own boss. On the other hand, some people enjoy a structured day with supervision.

Have you thought about being a freelance worker or are you someone that would fail miserably at being your own boss?

IMAGE: Courtesy of Cartoon Stock

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter