At The Book we are asked all the time about the pros and cons of becoming a freelancer. Well, before we even attempt to answer the question perhaps we ought to look at where the word freelancer came from? Apparently it came about between the 14th and 16th century, where mercenary knights with no particular allegiance would take their lances in to battle for the prince or state that paid them the most money.
So, in the 21st century perhaps substitute the word ‘lance’ above for ‘mac-book’ and the description isn’t a million miles off. As the mercenaries of the 15th century found out however, there are positives and negatives associated with being a freelancer and we’ve explored a few below.
A little like when in battle, you won’t know what you’re working on from one week to the next which keeps things exciting and leads to a great all-round portfolio.
You can choose when and if you work depending on rate of pay. If the battle looks too tough then hot-foot it on to the next one.
Working all day in your onesie (if you’re working from home!) or you can wear your own coat of arms.
If you register with The Book and we get you jobs you will be paid every Friday.
When you are working the rate of pay is better than a full time position particularly better than the everyday foot-soldier.
Work is adhoc
You never quite know when the next battle is coming along, or if you are even near it. For the times it is quiet you may have to chase work…and the mortgage always needs paying and the bills keep coming…
Probably less of a problem if you are battle scarred knight however, for us mere mortals chasing money is not nice and can be a frustrating task.
For the most creative in society, typically you like to bounce ideas off people and work in a certain type of environment. In between battles you won’t have that team around you and for many people that just doesn’t suit.
You’re only as good as the last joust. If it was a good one then no problem but if one doesn’t go so well word spreads quickly.
Lack of Benefits
Weigh up the lack of pension, healthcare, insurance contributions and other corporate benefits that can be a decent part of any remuneration package.
So we guess it’s a tough decision for many. Even in the good times it’s impossible for any freelance recruitment agency to predict exactly how much work they will be able to steer your way. But we can guarantee we will be trying our hardest!
Have a look at what these freelance veterans have to say:
- PROS: “The flexibility to work as and when you want as well as being able to experience a range of different working environments and meet new people. Better pay than most perm roles.”
- CONS: “Can be unreliable work and sometimes you only really know what the job entails once you are there. Work can be a bit boring but that’s the good thing about it being part time, you always know you will be presented with interesting opportunities if you are willing to work hard and make a good impression.”
- Matt, Web Designer, Leeds
- PROS: Personally I like the lack of 'politics' in a workplace, you get to go and do the best job you can. You never have to worry about the normal social politics of a place. Plus usually everyone's really glad you're there to help.
- CONS: “The feast and famine nature of work, sometimes. I seem to be either hunting for work or turning it down because I'm booked up! It can take a while to relax into it.”
- Phil, Creative, Lancashire
- PROS: “I enjoy freelancing because you never get bored, you're often working on new projects and in new places so the job never becomes stale.
- CONS: “The downside to freelancing is the uncertainty, you never know if the work will slacken of, luckily it hasn't yet!”
- Cath, Designer, North Yorkshire
- PROS: “Freelancing gives me a great opportunity to works on a massive variety of different brands and also I thrive from unexpected exciting challenges thrown at me rather than being stuck in a mundane role.”
- CONS: “However, freelancing is the unknown so you have to save your pennies for a rainy day.”
- Claire, Web Designer, Sheffield
- PROS: “I enjoy freelancing because it gives me flexibility to do other things which I am committed to in my personal life.”
- CONS: “The only worry with this is never quiet knowing how much I'm going to earn a month and if there will be work from one month to the next.”
- Kal, Artworker, Leeds
IMAGE CREDITS: GIPHY, TUMBLR, ITSALLLURVE, MASHALE, SCOREAHIT